Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 317

General Info

Issue No:
317
On Sale Date:
March 1984
Cover Date:
July 1984
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Amazons!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Eduardo Barreto
Writer:
Dan Mishkin
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Rick Magyar
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Nansi Hoolahan
Editor:
Alan Gold

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, General Darnell
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
Eros
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Paula (von Gunther), Atalanta, Ariadne, Antiope
Other:
Glitch, Sofia Constantinas, Howard Huckaby, Charon, Cerberus
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Synopsis

Drifting high over the beautiful jungle foliage Wonder Woman follows the Amazons who are leading her to their home. As she reaches an area of cleared forest she is amazed to see architecture just like on her own home on Paradise Island.

She touches down in the city’s centre plaza and is greeted by her fellow Amazons together with their queen, Atalanta. They tell Atalanta that Diana is the one they spoke of who asked so many questions. They felt it best if their queen could perhaps answer them for Wonder Woman. For her part, Atalanta says she has questions of her own and they were right to bring the stranger here.

She then asks Diana who she is and how she came to possess the powers of Artemis, whom men once called “Wonder Woman” in ages past, even to wearing the same golden tiara and rope?  Diana replies that if Atalanta knows of Artemis then she must know of her mother also. She then introduces herself as Diana, daughter of Hippolyta. Atalanta is obviously taken aback on hearing this name but her Captain of the Guard, Ariadne, is enraged and orders her soldiers to seize Wonder Woman!

Meanwhile above the skies of Hippolyta’s kingdom, Steve realises their Amazon escorts have somehow realised that it is not Wonder Woman who is flying the plane and are trying to force this “intruder” down. Using his excellent piloting skills, he swiftly puts the plane into a steep dive taking the Amazon pilots by surprise. At the last moment he pulls level and roars over the roof tops of the city. The Mental Radio suddenly springs into life and Hippolyta’s face appears on the screen. She orders the pilot of the robot plane to cease this unauthorised flying at once. Frustrated, Steve asks the Gremlin whether he can get the Radio to transmit yet and at last the little creature has success! Steve quickly responds to the queen, advising her that she need not be alarmed as it is only he, Steve Trevor, simply responding to a distress call from Sofia Constantinas. It appears from her message that she does not like the way things are being run down there and would Hippolyta like to comment?

Hippolyta listens to Steve’s words together with her Amazon Captain, Antiope and Chief Scientist, Paula. Antiope advises the queen to tell Steve nothing and let her catapults bring him down. Paula, on the other hand, pleads with her not to consider such a violent response. Hippolyta says to Paula that a monarch should consider every option but she will reject Antiope’s suggestion. Besides, the plane is too swift and Trevor is too good a pilot. They then hear Steve’s voice again, saying that Sofia has learned of secrets she has been hiding from Diana and now she has gone off to tell her daughter the truth – unless Hippolyta is prepared to silence her for good? The queen replies that she is no murderer, if that is what he is implying, but she owes no explanation to a mortal such as he. He retorts that she should not start on that “mortal jazz” again and that her real problem with him is that he loves her daughter. He then pauses, suddenly realising the significance of this and adds that Sofia had mentioned this “secret” had to do with Diana’s past…and something about him being dead! He angrily demands to know what monstrous games Hippolyta has been playing? The queen replies that it is not what he thinks but the conversation is interrupted by the Gremlin, who points out to Steve a small boat in the distance. Steve realises it must be Sofia and heads off towards it.

On board the sail boat, Sofia thinks to herself that while she had thought herself lucky to find this boat and escape from the Amazons, she fears that if Wonder Woman did not receive her message she will not live to tell the tale. Suddenly a powerful current tugs the boat off course and she finds herself sailing towards the nearby rocks as she desperately tries to bring the boat back under her control…

Elsewhere along the mighty Amazon River, Wonder Woman is defending herself once more from the Amazon tribe. One of them throws a spear at Diana against Atalanta’s wishes, but Wonder Woman deflects the weapon with her bracelets and floors another Amazon approaching her from behind. She tells them that she hates to fight when she does not know what has caused such vehemence in the first place. Perhaps Tezcatlipoca’s words about chaos are coming true? Even when she wins she loses because the battle only escalates the madness. She has to end the fighting now! Swiftly she loops her golden lasso over a nearby tree branch and then ensnares the approaching Amazons in its coils. With one tug she hauls them up into the air leaving them dangling helplessly. She tells the watching Atalanta that she can keep this up all day if necessary or instead they can stop fighting and start talking again!

Atalanta apologises for her soldiers rash behaviour and explains that their ire had been raised because it was her mother’s ruinous leadership that caused them to leave Paradise Island. Wonder Woman asks her to explain and Atalanta continues that presumably Diana must know the story of Hippolyta’s ill-starred romance with Heracles, how he beguiled her, then stole her girdle of strength and how the rest of the Amazons were put into chains until Aphrodite in her mercy freed them. Hippolyta was never the same afterwards. She withdrew the Amazons from the world outside and forbade them to ever consort with men again. Wonder Woman replies that this edict was Aphrodite’s and not her mother’s. Atalanta responds that the Goddess of Love was testing her mother. It was Hippolyta’s chance to prove that she could overcome her wounded pride and learn to love again. Atalanta had thought she never would but Diana’s presence suggests that she perhaps did open her heart at last. Wonder Woman explains that she did, but not in the way Atalanta means, because she is a daughter with no father. Atalanta nods in understanding, saying that because Hippolyta denied men in her life she would have naturally sought godly help to have a child. She then adds that of course she realises the love of a mother for her daughter is powerful love indeed, but it is not the only love that women were made for. Atalanta then asks Diana if she has ever loved a man?

Hundreds of miles away, Steve Trevor and the Gremlin have managed to land the plane in the water,  just outside a cave into which they had seen Sofia and her boat disappear. They cautiously make their way inside and walk seemingly for ages. They can no longer see the tunnel entrance and yet it is still light inside. Suddenly they turn a corner and come across a blonde haired man dressed in ancient Greek attire standing there lifelessly. Steve cannot tell if the man is alive or dead and as they continue along the tunnel they see other men in a similar state. Just then they see Sofia’s boat drifting along just a little further ahead. On board they can see her together with a man dressed in robes. He is Charon, the ferryman who bears the souls of the dead to the underworld – to the very gates of Hades, and their vigilant guard called Cerberus, who will let any spirit enter the domain of the dead but allows no one to leave. And as they watch Sofia and Charon disembark at those very gates, Steve cries out “No!” and races towards them…

Meanwhile in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. General Darnell is watching TV highlights of the congressional hearing. He is angry that they are twisting the truth by choosing to show one hot tempered outburst he had made from an entire afternoon of testimony. Just then the phone rings and answering it, the General hears it is Etta Candy phoning from the office. She tells him that Keith Griggs has turned up alive and well in Tropidor. An obviously testy Darnell orders him to be flown out of the country at once before the situation there blows up in their faces. She tells him she will duly take care of the arrangements and promises not to bother him again. She puts the phone down and turns to Howard, telling him that his boss, Senator Covington, has really got Darnell bent out of shape!

Soon they have finished retrieving the files and sit down for Pizza in a nearby restaurant. She explains to him that when he first came up behind her back at the Pentagon, she had really thought he was some kind of weirdo! She had been having the strangest feelings that she was being followed over the last few days. She was so spooked she almost swung her handbag at him but she is glad she did not as she is now having a wonderful evening. Howard tells her that he is too. He then shyly asks whether they could perhaps do this again some time soon? But unknown to Etta, he is also secretly thinking to himself that when they do meet again he can finally put his plan into operation…

Returning to the steamy jungle home of the South American Amazons, Wonder Woman is conversing with Atalanta inside the palace. She tells the Amazon queen that the picture she paints of her mother is of a stranger. Hippolyta was never so unjust as she portrays her. She had only ever learned of justice, courage and of kindness from her mother. Atalanta replies that perhaps instead she should describe Hippolyta as being stubborn – so righteous that she will hear no dissent. She then gently takes hold of Wonder Woman’s hand and adds that her mother may be a fine teacher but she herself refuses to be taught. What lessons might they both have learned if she had told this tale to her daughter and what other lessons of the past does she keep hidden to this day? Wonder Woman pulls her hand away abruptly and accuses Atalanta of lying, adding that she will not listen to this anymore. Atalanta watches her exit the chamber and Ariadne asks her queen whether she should retrieve her? But the Amazon queen tells her captain to let Diana go. She thinks her words have struck a troubling chord in young Diana’s heart…

Elsewhere at the Gates of Hades, Steve’s cries cannot snap Sofia out of her obvious trance. As she walks towards the entranceway watched by Cerebus, he decides he has to go in after her. The Gremlin reminds him that the three headed dog, Cerberus, will not let anyone leave again. He asks the little creature to distract the beast while he gets Sofia out. Steve then makes a run for the girl, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her out of the trance. She tries to understand what has happened and he tells her that they are currently the wrong side of “bowser”, indicating towards Cerebus!  As the beast snarls and prepares to pounce, the Gremlin bites on its tail causing the creature to yelp and turn away. Seizing their chance, Steve and Sofia make a run for it and as Cerebus lashes its tail knocking the Gremlin into the air, Steve manages to catch him as they run past! They dash towards the ferryman who has already pulled away. As Sofia and the Gremlin dive into the water, Steve leaps the distance and bowls into Charon, sending them both toppling overboard. The resulting splash deposits some water at the feet of the blonde haired man in the Greek outfit. As Steve, Sofia and the Gremlin clamber aboard the boat and make good their escape, a flicker of life crosses the man’s eyes…

Across the globe beside a cascading waterfall deep in the jungle, Wonder Woman ponders recent revelations. What troubles her most is that she can almost believe her mother might be capable of such a thing. Just then she hears her name called and turns to see Atalanta approaching. Wonder Woman starts to apologise for storming out the way she did but the Amazon queen tells her that she understands why. She then observes that she and Diana are much alike. She herself comes to this very spot when she seeks solitude. But she will leave the young Amazon Princess alone to contemplate her private thoughts together with one more…that Diana has sisters here who will alwayswelcome her.

Near Paradise Island meanwhile, Steve, Sofia and the Gremlin board the Invisible Plane. Steve orders the craft to head back to America and as it lifts off, the Greek man who has followed them out of the tunnel watches their departure. He does not understand why Wonder Woman did not wait for him? Perhaps she did not see him…perhaps she does not know that Eros, God of Love, has returned to claim Wonder Woman as his own!