Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 21


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 21

General Info

Issue No:
21 (350)
On Sale Date:
June 1988
Cover Date:
October 1988
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
The Cosmic Migration

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
George Perez
Writer:
George Perez
Penciller:
George Perez
Inker:
Bob McLeod
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Carl Gafford
Editor:
Karen Berger

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Julia Kapatelis, Vanessa Kapatelis
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
Hermes, Aphrodite, Heracles, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Artemis, Apollo, Athena
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Menalippe, Penelope
Other:
N/A
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Comments

This issue sees a historic event that will have a major impact on the future of the Amazon nation.

 

Synopsis

It is night time on Themyscira as the Oracle Menalippe sleeps peacefully in her bed. The God Apollo uses the opportunity to converse with the Amazon Priestess through her dreams and she wakes with a start.

Meanwhile at the Wakefield home of the Kapatelis family, Diana, Julia and Vanessa arrive back after attending the Memorial Service for Myndi Mayer. Vanessa is subdued and retires to her room as Diana watches her, concerned. Myndi’s death has hit the young girl hard and Julia explains to the Amazon princess that her daughter had admired the Publicist. She was rich, successful and beautiful – everything that a little girl could want. And then all those drugs and liquor destroyed her. These are difficult times for a child to grow up in and she prays that she has taught her daughter enough so that she can recognise the “Skeeter La Rue’s” of this world.

As Diana sits down pensively, Julia asks how she herself is bearing up. The Amazon had hardly spoken during the entire drive back home. Diana replies that after these past few weeks it seems like her whole world is falling in on her. She cannot help feeling responsible for Myndi’s death. If she had not been so blinded by the celebrity of being Wonder Woman, maybe she would have seen the corruption around her and warned Myndi. They say the Publicist was a slave to her ambition. Diana wonders whether she herself was any better. At the Charity Fair the Silver Swan had attacked not her but Wonder Woman, that icon to an unattainable ideal of feminine beauty – a Princess of vanity. She doubts the villainess even knew who “Diana” is or what her mission is all about.

The Amazon Princess had even had to implore Superman to call her “Diana”. It seems “Diana” has gotten lost and only the facade of Wonder Woman remains. She had gone to Greece hoping to cleanse herself so that her life’s purpose would be clear again. But then she had been confronted by Circe. Why hadn’t her Gods warned her about the witch? Why did so many have to die simply because they believed in Wonder Woman? Has she failed the Gods so miserably? Is her mission simply just too much for her?

Julia cradles the unhappy Amazon in her arms and tells her that as long as she possesses the great power they had bestowed upon her, the Gods will always be within her. It is normal for an Apostle to experience a crisis of faith at one time or another. She continues that Diana should not blame herself for getting caught up in the “Wonder Woman” whirlwind. She is only human after all. Diana sighs and responds that she just wishes the Gods would send her some sort of sign.

At that precise moment they hear a tapping sound at the front door. When Julia opens the door, a white dove darts inside and lands on Diana’s lap. Seeing it is the messenger bird from Themyscira, Diana removes the note around its leg as Vanessa emerges from her room to see what all the fuss is about. Julia and Vanessa wait anxiously as the Amazon Princess reads the note, fearing it might contain bad news. But Diana assures them all is well but that she is needed back home. Vanessa rushes over and clings to Diana, begging her not to leave and saying that every time she goes something bad happens. Diana smiles and reassures her that there is nothing to fear and that she will return just as soon as she can.

Half an hour later the three of them stand by the shores of the lake. Diana, who is now dressed in her Wonder Woman costume, waves good bye to her friends as she lifts gracefully into the air. Vanessa tells her to say “Hi” to her mother and smiling back, Diana replies that hopefully Vanessa will be able to say “hello” personally.

As Julia and Vanessa watch Wonder Woman until she is nothing more than a dot in the sky, the young girl asks her mother if she really thinks Diana will come back. Julia responds that she does and hugs her daughter as the tears flow. Vanessa whispers that she does not want to lose Diana too and Julia asks “Like Myndi?”. Vanessa nods her head and mother and daughter walk back to the house to talk through the events of the last few days…

From Olympus, Aphrodite and Hermes watch as Wonder Woman traverses the chaos that separates Themyscira from Man’s World. Hermes comments that despite the many wrongs the Gods have heaped upon her, the Amazon still responds unhesitatingly to the call of her Gods. Aphrodite replies that Diana’s faith is strong. The Messenger God in turn responds that the Amazon Princess does not know the Gods like he does. They have not always shown the proper appreciation for the faith accorded by such as she. Indeed, her blind faith in them almost killed her. The Goddess of Love asks the brooding God to join her and the others but he says they can wait.

Just then Heracles appears as summoned by Hermes and asks what the Messenger God wants with him? Hermes replies that he wants to talk before they meet the others and tells Aphrodite that they will join the rest of the Gods in due course. She agrees to his request but adds that she has seen the fire in his eyes when he gazes upon Diana and she more than anyone else recognises that fire! Then she is gone, leaving the two men alone to discuss the future.

Meanwhile in the Capital City of Themyscira Hippolyta and Penelope wait for Diana’s arrival. The Queen notes that Penelope looks nervous and the Amazon tells her that she had never seen Menalippe look so excited after leaping from her bed. She is just glad that this time it is not because she has sensed the coming of Ares. Just then they see Wonder Woman’s figure appear from the clouds and Hippolyta smiles at the sight of her beautiful, beloved daughter. As Diana touches down they embrace and Penelope asks if she has brought her Prayer Robe. A puzzled Diana nods and Hippolyta assures her daughter that all will be explained once they join the other Amazons waiting at the temple.

Inside the magnificent building, the entire population of Themyscira has assembled as communal witness as Diana, Hippolyta and the Oracle Menalippe stand at the altar. They wait with anticipation for the words of their High Priestess to break the holy silence. She tells the gathering that this day will be remembered because the Gods have honoured them greatly. Heeding the request of Apollo, their Queen and Princess have joined her at the Altar for this blessed event. The three of them have been called to appear before the Gods themselves on Mount Olympus! Her follow Amazon sisters are to be the audience to this seminal event and she asks them to join her in prayer so that they may prepare for the sacred congregation.

As the temple fills with the chants of the Amazons, lightning leaps and twists across the skies. Amid the thunderous display, each Amazon submerges herself in silent meditation, praying for strength and guidance. For her part, Diana thanks her Gods for not forsaking her. If this is the sign she has prayed for, she hopes she has the wisdom to understand it. Another bolt of lightning arcs down from the sky into the temple and strikes the altar. In a flash the three women are gone and instantaneously are transported to the ruins of Mount Olympus.

Menalippe and Hippolyta stare in shock at the rubble around them, unable to believe that this is the paradise home of the Gods. There must be some mistake? Hippolyta knows Diana has been summoned here before and asks if this truly is Olympus? Her daughter replies that although she wishes otherwise, this is indeed Olympus and it still bears the ruined statues left behind by Darkseid when he had invaded this place. She had assumed that once his evil had withdrawn the spell of decay would be broken but it seems more severe than ever.

Diana then crouches by the weeping Menalippe and tells her not to lose faith. Was it not she who had once said that the eyes sometimes do disservice to the soul? Menalippe had always taught that Faith is a perception beyond vision and that one must close their eyes to see the light. A humbled Priestess nods and replies that of course Diana is correct. The Amazon Princess tells her Oracle to feel no shame for her moment of doubt as they have all at one time experienced such wavering. As Julia had reminded Diana earlier, they are all only human.

Suddenly the sky is filled with a blinding light and the Greek Pantheon appears in all their glory before the awestruck Amazons. They welcome the Amazons and Diana asks what has happened to Olympus. Hera replies that the wounds inflicted by Darkseid cut deep and some of the scars may never heal. But Olympus is as it is because that is how the Gods wish it. It is necessary so that they may make ready for the great Cosmic Migration! They continue to explain that the three Amazons, together with their assembled sisters below, visible through Apollo’s Orb, have been chosen to assist in bringing about a new order.

The puzzled Amazons ask what they mean by this and Hermes steps forward, responding that it should be obvious to Diana, who herself had felt a sense of abandonment from the Gods. Her fears were in fact well justified! An angry Zeus tells Hermes to watch his tongue as the decision has been made and Messenger God must abide by it! But Hermes replies that he will no longer plan the non-partisan Herald any longer. He turns to the other Gods and asks them why they insist on speaking to their loyal subjects in cryptic vagaries. Why not be honest and tell the Amazons that their years of selfless devotion are to be rewarded by the destruction of Olympus!

Heracles snaps at Hermes, warning him not to frighten the Amazons but Hermes replies that perhaps the “brawny one” would like to explain how he intends to betray Hippolyta again! An enraged Heracles advances on Hermes but Athena orders this in fighting to cease. She continues that Hermes is right when he says that in the Gods quest for a higher plane of Godliness, they have ignored the very souls who have brought them to this place. With no explanation they have shunned the Amazons’ please for guidance and assistance. If Gods show no respect for their worshippers, then what need have those worshippers for Gods?

Menalippe assures them that the Amazons’ faith is strong and that all they desire is that the Gods have faith in them. Hippolyta agrees, adding that whatever the Gods’ plan this day, the Amazons believe that it will be the good of all. Hermes then asks Diana what she thinks. These are the very same Gods who had left her at the mercy of Circe. Can she forgive that injustice? Hades interjects that it is Hermes who does the Princess an injustice. Poseidon adds that the rest of the Gods were confident that Diana would triumph without intervention. Diana suddenly realises that it had been Hermes who had saved her life by spiriting Circe away at the last minute.

Athena then explains to the Amazon Princess that her many adventures on Man’s World must have shown her how slim the line is between Humanity and Deity. While humans can sometimes appear to be quite Godlike, Gods can also be all too human. She asks Diana to forgive the Gods their human foibles, among them the failure to warn her about Circe. The Gods were so busy squabbling amongst themselves that they had simply forgotten about the Witch. When they became aware of her threat to Diana, they dared not help although it was a decision they had not taken lightly.

An angry Hippolyta steps forward, demanding to know why they had chosen to endanger her daughter. Athena explains that the Cosmic Migration must command all their attention now. Until the New order is firmly established there can be no further contact between Humans and Gods. So unprecedented and delicate is this undertaking that a mistake could rupture the framework of the Universe itself. But its success could be the dawn of a new age!

Diana asks why they have been summoned here now. Hermes replies that they need the Amazons help to destroy the mountain she had fought so valiantly to save. The Gods want the Amazons to help in their desertion of their worshippers! Artemis tells Hermes to cease with his tirade as he has made his views quite clear on the matter. The decision must rest with the Queen of the Amazons – it is not a command but a heart felt plea. The Gods realise that of late they have done little to merit the Amazons’ faith but they ask for it nevertheless. Hippolyta responds that although her body and soul are the Gods to command, she cannot speak for her sisters. This must be their choice alone.

A solemn silence echoes through the crumbling halls of Olympus as all heads turn toward the Crystalline Orb of the Sun God Apollo. Hundreds of Amazons faces look up at their beloved Queen and she nods her head, calling for their vote. Without hesitation, hundreds of metal bracelets clink together in dramatic unison to demonstrate their agreement. Hippolyta turns to the Gods and tells them that with great pride and humility the Amazons as always stand with them!

A short while later Menalippe by over Apollo’s Orb and Hippolyta asks Heracles what is going to happen next. He explains that she can best harness the power of the Amazons’ prayer that has sustained the Gods for so many years. Even when the rest of Humanity renounced the Gods, the Amazon faith persisted. Hippolyta remarks that ironically her sisters have been called to pray for the death of Olympus. He tells her that it is merely the mountain left a dying, squalid husk by Darkseid. Only its stubborn will to survive saved it but, like a lame mare, it must be put out of its misery. The fire of its destruction will ignite the torch of the New Olympus. Once done, the Gods shall return to the Amazons. Despite Hermes accusations, Heracles tells the Amazon Queen that he would rather have his eyes plucked from his sockets than ever betray her trust again. She replies that she believes him with all her heart.

She then notices that Hermes is standing with the other Gods and Heracles explains that even the skeptical Messenger God could not escape the fact that he is still an Olympian. To harvest the incredible energies the Gods need requires the amassed strength of the entire Pantheon. With Ares absent, Hermes participation is imperative.

Hippolyta then asks where Diana is at the moment and he tells her that she is with Zeus, Poseidon and Hades in the belly of the mountain. Diana’s task is the most critical of all.

At that moment down below in the centre of Olympus, Zeus is explaining to the Amazon Princess that there is still time to reconsider. She responds that she understands she does not have to do this but wishes to help. She hopes she will prove worthy. Zeus says to her that the bracelets she wears will assure that as they are the key to this endeavour. The three Gods go on to explain that the bracelets were once part of Zeus’ mighty Aegis, the impenetrable shield formed from the hide of the great goat Amaltheia, who wet nursed the infant Zeus and thus provided the energy from which Olympus sprung. Only two beings were ever able to violate the power of Aegis. It was originally splintered by their father, Chronus, who smote it with his final blow. When Zeus bequeathed the shield to his daughter, Athena, she unbeknownst to him had Hephaestus re forge the shattered fragments into a prize to be awarded to the mightiest of all her Amazons. Ares had long ago demolished the rest of the Aegis so Diana’s bracelets are all that remain. Amaltheia’s power formed the corner stone of Olympus and hers shall be the power that topples it!

Just then they hear the chanting of prayer from the Amazons above and the Gods can feel the electricity surging. The Gods then explains to Diana that from the maw above her shall charge a great surge of cosmic force, the accumulated energies of the Gods, intensified by Amazon prayer. Her duty is to deflect it with her bracelets. Upon contact with Amaltheia’s legacy, the bolt will be transformed into a burst more awesome then before which must then be directed towards the junctions of the three Gods’ crossed sceptres.

They ask her of she is ready and crossing her bracelets in front of her she nods. They add that there is no way to ascertain how potent the blast will be so she must brave herself. The chorus of prayer ignites the air around the shell of once mighty Olympus, torching the heavens with the raging flames of raw, incendiary power! It rips through the dark craggy bowels of the mountain’s peak, racing towards its core. Diana prepares herself as the flaming torrent erupts from the maw and heads directly at her. The furious fireball smashes against her crossed bracelets, buttressed by Amazon muscle, transmuting by the touch of Amaltheia’s skin before deflecting towards the crossed sceptres of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. As it strikes it amplifies into a force beyond measure – destruction multiplied to infinite power! Diana strains with all her might as Olympus screams in agony, defiant to the last, its skin blisters and cracks and streams of deadly energy spout from open wounds. Finally, the pain is too unbearable and the great mountain succumbs! Olympus explodes into fragments and everywhere is infused with the blinding light of the fireball.

Moments pass before the smoke finally clears and the three Amazons find themselves back down on Earth in the temple. Diana gets to her feet and asks if everyone is all right? As Hippolyta assures her that no one has been harmed they hear Menalippe cry out that the Gods have gone and that she no longer can feel their presence. They have succeeded and the Gods have gone forth to find their new home. On hearing this, the other Amazons murmur amongst themselves and Hippolyta says to Diana that the full significance of this day is finally dawning on everyone. Today a new page has been written in the tomes of Amazon history. From this day on, the Amazons’ destiny shall be theirs alone to determine.

Tomorrow, the great Amazon vote is scheduled, where they must decide whether or not Themyscira shall also have the courage to face the unknown beyond their waters in order to build a new world…to finally allow Man to set foot on Paradise Island!