Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 14


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 14

General Info

Issue No:
14 (343)
On Sale Date:
November 1987
Cover Date:
March 1988
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
For the Glory of Gaea

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
George Perez
Writer:
George Perez, Len Wein
Penciller:
George Perez
Inker:
Bruce Patterson
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Carl Gafford
Editor:
Karen Berger

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Vanessa Kapatelis, Julia Kapatelis
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
Heracles, Hermes, Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Euboea, Menalippe, Philippus, Hellene, Mnemosyne
Other:
Myndi Mayer
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Comments

This issue continues directly on from events in the “Millennium” crossover series. In issue 7 of “Millennium”, Wonder Woman confronts the Manhunter posing as the Goat-God Pan and a fight ensues. After a brief struggle the Amazon Princess ensnares the Manhunter with her golden lasso but he tries to pull away, telling her she will have to kill him if she wants to stop him escaping. She holds on tight to the golden rope as he strains to get away, making the lasso cut deeply into his torso. Finally it rips him in two and Wonder Woman is horrified at what she has done. However, her hero colleagues inform her that the Manhunter was only an android.

With the Goat-God finally avenged as per Hermes’ wishes and the challenge completed, Diana is transported back to the Cavern of Doom to retrieve her mother.

Synopsis

As Wonder Woman flies back through the void between worlds, she ponders how recent battles have all ended in senseless slaughter. She has fulfilled Hermes’ request to avenge his son but in doing so has left behind her own gravely wounded mother. She only prays her service to the Messenger God has not cost her life!

As she finally arrives back in the Cavern of Doom she is shocked by the sight before her. Heracles, now returned to the form of flesh, holds the entire weight of Paradise Island on his back while at his feet lays the unconscious Hippolyta. The Demi God warns Wonder Woman to leave this place as it is too dangerous but she tells him he is wrong because her place is at her mother’s side. She touches down by the Amazon Queen and holds her mother’s face gently in her hands. Realising that Diana is Hippolyta’s daughter, he tells her to take the queen above ground swiftly as the island bears heavy on his shoulders and he is not sure how much longer he can hold it up. Wonder Woman replies that she once read he was strong enough to support the heavens themselves. He responds that unfortunately the legends tend to exaggerate and she must go now!

Just then another voice says that they will not have to and Zeus, together with the other Gods and Goddesses appears before them. The Father of the Gods tells his son that he has at last awakened from his sleep of ignorance and he is duly humbled. Despite everything, the Amazons continue to believe in them and have even forgiven those who once abused them. Through them, the glory of Gaea has truly been restored and it is time for the Gods to finally earn the faith the Amazons have so willingly given them! Diana and her mother have shown mercy to his son as well as strength and courage. If they are truly representative of all Amazons, then theirs is the noblest race ever to walk the Earth. He therefore releases Diana from any more labours. The Goddesses then continue that they too release the Amazons from the penance they visited upon them centuries ago. They know now that the destiny of the Gods is in capable hands.

The Gods then instruct Wonder Woman and Heracles to leave the Cavern and the power of Gaea shall bear the weight of the Island from now on. The Amazon Princess quickly scoops up the Demi God in her arms and flies towards the cavern’s exit. Above ground meanwhile, the Amazons run in fear as a quake strikes and the portal surrounding Doom’s Doorway collapses. Light streams out of the entrance and the Amazons fear that the demons have been unleashed. But Euboea reassures them that the light is pure and that it is the work of the Gods themselves. A silhouette appears bathed in the light and as the figure emerges they are shocked to see Wonder Woman carrying Heracles in her arms. She greets them and says she brings them a godly guest. Heracles asks to address the assembled throng but the Amazons fear that he who once abused and imprisoned them has been sent to destroy them again. Wonder Woman though reassures them that the age of destruction is ended and that they must listen to what the Demi God has to say to them.

Hippolyta, who has begun to come to whispers that her daughter speaks the truth. They must not allow their fear and anger to undo all they have learned…all that makes them Amazons. They are not the only ones who have been forced to suffer penance. She has learned much today and as their queen she asks Heracles to address the Amazon Nation!

The watching Amazons stand fearfully entranced as the son of Zeus is lowered to the ground as he who was once the cause of their initial ruination and subsequent exile now becomes the first man to set foot on Paradise Island! He tells them that he has given them much cause to revile him. He betrayed their trust and made a mockery of their kindness. In a world of ignorance and belligerence he stood tall as he believed was his right as a man! He could not admit that the Amazons were not preaching domination over man but rather equal merit. Thus he allowed madness to cloud his heart, causing him to abuse them, especially their loving queen. He betrayed their trust and that is unforgivable. Nonetheless he begs for their forgiveness.

For an interminable moment there is silence as Heracles waits humbly for a reply. Today, the mighty Demi God has truly proven himself also as a man and the grateful Amazons do not hesitate to show their approval. With a cry of “All hail Heracles!” they swarm forwards and hug him, bidding him welcome and telling him that their home is now his. Euboea rejoices that the time of contrition is at long last ended. For her part, Diana hugs her mother, grateful that the ordeal is at last over.

High up in Olympus, Zeus and Hera watch the joyful events below as Heracles carries the wounded Hippolyta back to the city. Hera comments how the experience has changed his head strong son for the good. Zeus replies that they must all change to fulfil the great destiny that Gaea has ordained for them. He then adds that he appreciates the patience she has shown him and she in turn says that she appreciates the love this experience has awakened in him. They declare their love for each other as equals and Aphrodite races off to tell the others. She shouts out that love and joy now reign again in Olympus and now is truly the time for unadulterated lovemaking! Athena adds that they must use this new awakening wisely and never again must they allow themselves to grow so weak. Artemis agrees but adds that it can wait until tomorrow. Let the wine pour freely and let them celebrate. But they are reminded that they must also spare a moment to mourn their loss when they see Hermes sitting atop a column staring down sorrowfully. Only now has the true magnitude of his loss become clear to him. Despite their vast differences, Pan was still his son. The Goddesses realise that they must never forget the lessons learned this day…to be ever vigilant to deserve their exalted status. They may revel in Gaea’s power restored, but there will be challenges to face in the ages to come and their place in the cosmic balance may necessitate great changes in Olympus itself…

Another world away in Enid, Oklahoma, at the modest rural home of Edna and Everett Aanonson, Steve Trevor is rummaging through the dusty attic in search of memories. Etta climbs up the ladder to inform him that supper is almost ready. He replies that he has just been thinking about his father whom he had always wanted to be so proud of what his son had become. When those congressional hearings almost ruined Steve’s career, he had felt he had somehow betrayed his father. But there was always a lot of his mother’s tenaciousness in him according to his father so he guesses he stayed in the Air Force this long in order not to be a failure in his father’s eyes. His parents had never quit. Etta takes his hands in hers and tells him that she has been selfish to try and convince him to stay in the Air Force. He has to do what is right for him. Whatever he decides though, he has to know that if he leaves she will miss him more than she can say. She has loved him for a very long time. Steve and Etta embrace as their emotions take hold and suddenly the past is not important anymore. As they lie down and kiss passionately, all that matters now is their future together.

Meanwhile on the Island of Healing off the Coast of Paradise Island, Queen Hippolyta rests while her wounds are soothed and salved. Philippus enters the chamber as requested and the Amazon queen tells her she looks well and is joyful that their battle did not seriously injure the Amazon Captain. Philippus replies that the only deep wound was her heart as she had sworn never to cause her queen shame. She only prays that she can forgive her for raising her sword against one she loves so dearly. Hippolyta smiles and reassures her friend that there is no need for such contrition. The Captain had acted solely for the good of her Amazon sisters and she could not have asked for anyone better to entrust with protecting their nation.

With Doom’s Doorway no more, they need no longer fear losing another sister guarding it and it seems that all their sacrifices have at last borne fruit. The two women smile and hold each other’s hand. Philippus then tells Hippolyta to rest as great festivals await her recovery!

Several days later at the Coliseum, the air is filled with music and laughter. In the centre of the arena stands a great Bier overflowing with armour and weapons. Each piece has been joyfully contributed by an Amazon in the earnest hope it will never be needed again. Euboea addresses the crowd, saying that the symbolic destruction of these trappings of war act is in memory of those sisters who perished, that their way of life might be preserved.

In the royal box, Princess Diana asks Heracles if he is enjoying the festivities. He replies that it is a most impressive spectacle although he cannot understand how they intend to survive without an army? She replies that on Paradise Island there is no need for one as they watch the weapons set ablaze.

The following day Diana swoops joyfully though the sky, at one with her feathered companions. In a wooded clearing below, Heracles and Hippolyta watch the happy Princess as she gracefully arcs through the clouds. The Demi God tells Hippolyta that he daughter is indeed a most wondrous creature. He can understand the Amazon Queen’s pride. She replies that at times she cannot understand Diana’s restlessness though. But then she could never understand the same feelings within herself. Heracles says that he can indeed see the spirit of Hippolyta in Diana and inquires whether he can also perhaps see his own seed? She informs him that the egg was within Hippolyta from a previous life, long before Heracles had raped her. It seems the queen was fated to become the mother to the Amazon Nation’s saviour. Heracles tells Hippolyta that he is glad as it would have been a mockery for such a beautiful child to be born from so ugly an act as his violation of her. Though time has done nothing to diminish his appreciation of her Hippolyta’s beauty, it has done much to enhance his respect for her as a true equal. She responds that when first he had uttered those words to her they were dipped in venom. Now however she senses only sincerity.

He then takes her hand and tells her it is time for him to return home. He asks for one final kiss – a kiss of forgiveness. She smiles and replies that he has earned it – and more. Hiding in the branches above, Diana watches unseen as their lips touch and they kiss tenderly for several moments. When finally they slowly draw back, Heracles says that he prays his sins of madness can someday be erased from her memory and that she might truly see the depths of his feelings towards her. Does she in turn perhaps harbour such feelings towards him? She smiles and replies that she is still a woman after all and it has been a very long time. But she is still a Queen of Themyscira and there is much to do. She bids him a fond farewell and adds that her love goes with him.

Heracles steps back and looks skywards as a shaft of light lances down from the heavens. He requests his father takes him back into the loving bosom of Olympus for today he finally feels worthy. He has at last been forgiven his sins by those that he had sinned against. The slate is clean! As the Amazons watch his ascent, he tells them that should there ever come a time when it is needed, his power is theirs to command. And with a final farewell he is gone.

Several days later in the Amazon Senate Chamber, a great meeting is taking place. Hellene addresses the forum, saying that for the first time within living memory man has been allowed to set foot on Paradise Island. She for one is fearful of this turn of events. What has man ever given the Amazons apart from the back of his hand? Someone interjects that their hand is now offered in friendship but Hellene replies that they are more likely to come with weapons in their hands such as those they have seen in the books Diana brought back from Patriarch’s world. Princess Diana responds that while it is always possible, they cannot preach peace and equality if they continue to isolate themselves from those who need them most. A fellow Amazon agrees with Diana’s logic, adding though that they tread on dangerous ground.

Hippolyta then speaks, saying that they have learned much about Man’s World from Diana’s visit but she fears they must learn more. She therefore charges her daughter to return once more to teach them and to learn. If they are ever to accomplish a true exchange of cultures, then who better to act as their Ambassador? The Senate agrees.

The following morning in the Temple of Hades, Queen Hippolyta waits patiently, starring at the closed door to the honoured shrine of the final warrior to perish on Paradise Island – she who was also the namesake of Hippolyta’s daughter…Diana Trevor! Inside the shrine, Wonder Woman stands humbly before a large statue of the American pilot. Diana addresses the statue, explaining that when she first donned her armour, she did not understand its significance or the great responsibility it implied. She swears she shall carry Diana Trevor’s standard with honour and the suit of armour which she now wears shall be here tribute to Diana Trevor when in her world. She will make her son proud of her great sacrifice and she prays her deeds will make her proud of the Amazon Princess. There is so much their people can learn from one another and though she wears armour, she goes to Man’s World not as a warrior for this standard is to be a universal symbol of peace. Any world that can create beings such as herself, Julia and Vanessa as well as her son Stephen Trevor is one well worth preserving. She hopes she will be worthy.

Wonder Woman turns and exits the shrine to be greeted by her mother. Hippolyta asks her if she is ready. She replies that she is but that she worries about the Amazon Queen. Hippolyta reassures her that she knows now Diana is not just her daughter but also a child of the world! The gods proved that when they bequeathed her Hermes Winged Sandals which allow effortless passage between their worlds. She asks that Diana remember they also allow her to return to her mother. They embrace and the Princess says she will return as often as she can and that Hippolyta will always be in her heart.

With that she takes to the skies and without a single backward glance Wonder Woman leaves her beloved homeland behind her. With Hermes sandals on her feet she traverses the void between worlds and emerges in the night skies over Boston. She passes a jet airliner and is unaware that on board Steve Trevor and Etta are sleeping, hand in hand, as they fly back from Oklahoma. The Amazon Princess continues her journey, darting in between the skyscrapers of downtown Boston. She passes by the offices of Myndi Mayer who is busy entertaining a male friend. Wonder Woman continues on…

At the Kapatelis residence, Vanessa emerges from her room and yells down to her mother that the light has inexplicably gone out. She says that she has seen sparks and is worried her room will catch on fire. She begs Julia to come and see what the matter is and the professor reluctantly gets puts her book down and climbs up the stairs. She tells Vanessa that this is probably a big fuss over nothing but Vanessa insists she goes in first. As Julia steps inside she is shocked and amazed to see that far from there being anything wrong with the light, her dearest friend is in fact standing in the room smiling back at her. An overjoyed Julia rushes into the welcoming arms of Wonder Woman as Vanessa revels in the surprise she has pulled on her mother. The two women weep as they hug each other tightly and the Amazon Princess tells Julia she has so much to tell her and so much to do. She asks if she can stay here for a while and a smiling Julia replies that she would not let the young Amazon stay anywhere else! “Welcome home Diana, welcome home!”