Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 22


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 22

General Info

Issue No:
22 (351)
On Sale Date:
July 1988
Cover Date:
November 1988
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Through Destiny's Door

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:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Hellene
Other:
Eileen Flowers, Barry Locatelli, Lucy Spears, Horace Westlake, General Hillary
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Comments

This issue sees the Amazons determining a new future for themselves. Like the previous issue, little in the way of action actually takes place and it acts more as a prelude to the plot of the first Wonder Woman Annual ever published.

 

Synopsis

Swooping through the skies above Themyscira, Diana, Princess of the Amazons, blares a trumpet to summon her sisters. The ballots of the previous day’s election have been tallied and the verdict is in. Now all of Paradise Island is called to a special audience so that the final decision can be proclaimed.

Within the hour the entire population converges on the Coliseum with anticipation and ambivalence. As the Amazons take their seats they glance up at the Royal Box where Hippolyta stands proudly, flanked by the Oracle Menalippe and the headmistress, Mnemosyne. The Queen’s face betrays nothing as she patiently waits for the murmuring crowd to fall silent. They then look upwards as Diana floats down into the arena and greets her sisters. She announces she has been given the glorious honour of presenting the official tally.

She says that for many days this question has been debated and that whatever the outcome they shall all honour it as the will of the majority. To those in dissent she can only hope that their disappointment will be tempered by the knowledge that this judgement is not made without great care and thought.

Hippolyta re-enforces her daughter’s words by adding that whatever the fates have in store for the Amazons they shall face them together…as sisters….as Amazons! The crowd applauds and cheers in fervent unison and falls silent once Hippolyta waves her hand. Slowly, Diana unrolls the scroll in her hands and reads the etchings.

On the question of Themyscira opening her gates to the world outside and thereby spreading the Amazon and Olympian principles throughout humanity; of her clearing the path for cultural exchange and allowing the world of Man to set foot on the shores of Paradise Island…the Amazons by majority vote say…yes!

And so it is done. No fanfare. No cheers. No applause. Just the silence again. As a new page is turned in the book of Amazon History!

Meanwhile…

Far out in the depths of space a tiny, gleaming pin point hurtles through the void faster than light. A silvery orb, no bigger than a human fist, but pulsing with a raw, blistering energy beyond mortal measure, propelling it on its long, circuitous, yet deliberate course…towards Earth!

Back on Themyscira Diana flies over the landscape looking for Hellene, whom she had been told had gone off riding into the woods after the results of the vote had been announced. The Amazon Princess wishes to speak with her and she has a good idea where the Amazon will be. Sure enough as she approaches the shrine where Doom’s Doorway had once stood, she sees Hellene laying flowers there. Diana floats down and says that she wanted to say goodbye before she left the island. Hellene greets her and comments that ass Diana is dressed in her battle armour she is presumably returning to Man’s World. Diana replies that she wears the costume only as a tribute to the courageous woman from Patriarch’s World whose name is engraved alongside those of their fallen sisters at this beautiful memorial.

Hellene turns to look at the shrine and agrees it is exquisite. She remembers that when Iphthime had sculpted it, she had wanted its beauty to overwhelm all memories of the horror that once dwelt within the cave.

Diana then says that she knows how much Hellene was opposed to the new venture but that there is so much promise in the world outside that they have a responsibility. Hellene agrees there is great promise but also great sickness. She remembers it all too well – how the sickness corrupted and weakened the Amazons and how it chained and violated them. Diana responds that that was so long ago. Hellene in turn replies that the Princess had not been there. It had not happened to her and she could therefore never truly understand what it was like.

When Heracles humbled himself in contrition before the Amazons Hellene too had been moved and as an Amazon she had forgiven him his crimes against her race, but as a woman she had not. Only recently has she now had to face these feelings again. For centuries the Amazons have extolled the virtues of humanity and equality but now, when they are all called to test, she cannot help but dread the intrusion of Man on their shores again. When all is said and done Hellene admits she really feels she may not be worthy of being an Amazon.

Diana tells her that an Amazon is not a mindless Lemming, walking unquestioningly towards its death. Hellene has a right to her fears and indeed, the duty to express them. That she has done most admirably. All Amazons are not alike. Nor are all men. She asks for Hellene to give her the chance to prove that.

Hellene replies that she is a good enough Amazon to stand by the majority vote and the princess will have her chance. She then says that she will ride back to the city to see Diana off.

Meanwhile…

At the White Mountain National Park in New Hampshire, a back packer takes a snooze beneath a tree. Suddenly the air is churned by a whistling wind and a blazing light bathes the woodlands in a golden wash. As the weary hiker confronts the brilliance, squinting in order to see what approaches, he begins to make out a shadow in the light…the shadow of something very familiar. In horror he turns to flee as the figure that steps out of the light reveals himself to be a doppelganger of the hiker!

At her local school, Vanessa Kapatelis is determined to go and speak to her boyfriend, Barry, against the advice of her friend Eileen. Barry has apparently been avoiding Vanessa for a whole week and she wants to know why. Eileen tells her to think of her pride but an annoyed Vanessa retorts that her friend should go and bother someone else.

They turn a corner and see Barry across the hallway. Vanessa calls out to him and walks over smiling. But as she approaches she sees he is in the company of another girl who he introduces as Lucy Spears who has just transferred from another school. Lucy smiles and says hello and Vanessa icily returns the favour. Lucy then explains that Barry has been so nice showing her around the school and that she has never had such a cute tour guide before. A frustrated Vanessa asks to speak with Barry for a few minutes but he says he is busy and that they can talk later.

He then leads Lucy off to meet the Cheerleader coach and Lucy waves goodbye, adding it was nice meeting Vanessa. Eileen asks if her friend is alright and Vanessa replies that she feels like someone has yanked out her stomach. First she flunks Geometry and then “little Miss Pom Pom” transfers in. What else can go wrong today?

Just then another boy walks past and mentions that he had just seen her mum, Julia, getting “chummy” with the Geometry teacher. Vanessa lets out a shriek while outside, Julia and Mr. Westlake talk under a tree. The Professor tells the teacher that she has been meaning to speak to her daughter about her study habits, but it has been busy of late. He replies that he understands, what with her association with Wonder Woman and all. He asks how Julia ever finds time for herself. She smiles and says she manages somehow. When Diana stays with them, she and Vanessa study together and her daughter’s grades always go up when the Amazon princess is around. It must be her magic touch. That in turn usually gives Julia the time to read, write and knit a little.

Mr. Westlake then asks about her social life and Julia responds that she has the strangest feeling they are no longer discussing her daughter’s grades. He blushes and apologises for being forward but she tells him not to be sorry and that she is actually flattered. She then asks flatly if he is trying to ask her out on a date. He sheepishly replies “yes” but before he can continue Vanessa interrupts and says she is ready to go home. Julia tells her daughter to wait in the car and Vanessa tries desperately to get her mother away from Mr. Westlake by pleading that if they do not leave now, they will get stuck in the rush hour traffic. Julia insist that her daughter be patient and tells her again to get in the car.

Mr. Westlake then says that perhaps now is not a good time and a frustrated Julia puts her hands on her hips and asks if he wants her to go out with him or not! He stammers that he does and she arranges for them to meet the next Saturday at a nice restaurant she knows. She smiles and then asks what his first name is. He replies “Horace”. In the car, Vanessa groans…

Meanwhile…

In the narrow cobble stone streets of the historic Beacon Hill area of Boston, amid the row of old townhouses stands a newly built replica of one that had been destroyed by Decay’s devastating rampage several months earlier. Inside, the house is empty and silent, waiting for new owners to turn it into a home. Suddenly, one of the rooms is filled with light and a cloaked woman appears out of thin air. “By all of Chronus, I’ve done it” she exclaims. She touches the floor and feels the footfalls of divine influence. She whom she seeks has been here. But the house is now empty and she cannot waste time. She must find her quickly or else everyone is doomed!

Elsewhere on Boston’s main thoroughfare Julia and Vanessa are stuck in traffic. Vanessa scolds her mother for not listening to her and Julia replies that she has heard little else from her daughter since they set off. Does the fact that she intends to go on a date with Mr. Westlake bother Vanessa? The girl responds that he is her Geometry teacher and the last thing she needs is for both him and Julia to gang up on her! Besides…he’s fat and bald!

Julia smiles and tells says that Vanessa is so young. As you get older there is much more to life than just physical appearance. Mr. Westlake is an intelligent and caring man, although a little shy. They do not all look like Barry Locatelli. On hearing his name Vanessa scowls and tells her mother not to mention “that creep” again. When Julia asks what has happened, Vanessa mumbles about how he has been showing Lucy Spears around school and how the new girl is such a fraud. Julia enquires if her daughter wants to talk about it some more as she is obviously upset about it but Vanessa snaps back “Just leave me alone!”.

Annoyed, Julia chastises her for being so rude and although she can understand that Vanessa is upset it does not excuse her behaviour! She is after all Vanessa’s mother and is always on her daughter’s side. A sheepish Vanessa apologises for being mean and Julia strokes her daughter’s hair, saying that she had had her fair share of rotten boyfriends at Vanessa’s age too.

Just then Vanessa suddenly becomes aware that everyone around them has disappeared and startled, they both realise that they are high up in the sky! Leaning out, Vanessa sees a smiling Wonder Woman carrying the car effortlessly through the sky.

Meanwhile…

At the Plymouth Rock Memorial in Massachusetts, a lone figure gazes upwards through a pair of binoculars, watching a spectacle miles beyond their actual range. Many fuming memories are sparked as he watches the red, blue and gold costumed Amazon Princess swoop across the sky carrying the Kapatelis’ car.

Suddenly he feels a tap on his shoulder as a police officer steps up, accompanied by a group of tourists. As the figure continues to watch Wonder Woman, ignoring the attempt to gain his attention, the officer explains that the tourists had reported how he had chased them out of the shrine. The stranger tells him to go away and the policeman grabs his shoulder and spins him around. He and the tourists stare in sheer terror at the burning eyes of the stranger and run as fast as they can. The stranger turns back to continue his observations…

Soon at the Wakefield home of the Kapatelis family, Wonder Woman touches down and gently lowers the car to earth. An overjoyed Vanessa bounds out of the vehicle and leaps into Wonder Woman’s arms. The Amazon Princess apologises if she had frightened them but she was so excited and wanted to talk to them as soon as possible. Seeing their inquisitive faces she smiles and tells them that she wants them to accompany her to Themyscira!

A stunned Julia realises the vote for a Cultural Exchange must have gone favourably and Wonder Woman continues that it is up to her to decide who shall be the first to set foot on Paradise Island. A giddy Vanessa asks when they are going and Wonder Woman tells them this very weekend. Vanessa tells her mother that it looks like she will have to cancel her date with Mr. Westlake and then skips into the house, crowing how she would like to see Lucy Spears top this!

As they watch the young girl go, Julia remarks what an incredible transformation Diana creates in her daughter. Wonder Woman asks if her plans for them are inconvenient as Vanessa had mentioned something about a Mr. Westlake. Julia tells her it will be fine and she is sure he will understand the unique educational opportunity the visit offers her.

With that, Wonder Woman launches into the air and calls back that she will return just as soon as she has paid a visit to Hanscom Air Force base as there is someone special she has to see.

Minutes later at the base, General Hilary’s aide enters his office and advises him that Wonder Woman is here to see him. He tells her to let the Amazon Princess in and greets Wonder Woman with a hand shake. He asks what he can do for her and she replies that she was actually looking for Etta Candy but that his aide had suggested she should speak with the General first. She asks where Etta is but Hilary replies that he cannot say as Lt. Candy is on a special assignment and that due to confidentiality reasons he cannot go into any more detail. She asks if Etta will be back by the weekend and the General says it is unlikely.

She thanks him for his time and Hilary watches as she departs the base. His aide says he hopes the General did not mind him letting the Amazon in, but that she was quite determined. He assures the aide that they did the right thing and that Wonder Woman comes from a warrior race who understands the call of duty. Besides, Lt. Candy had volunteered for the assignment. The aide then asks if the General places any credence to Lt. Candy’s assertions. The General replies that after the Ares Affair he has learned never to close his mind to anything, no matter how ludicrous it seems.

Meanwhile…

The doppelganger of the hiker watches as a glowing orb as it races across the sky, as if searching for something or somebody. The Hiker’s eyes glow for a moment as the orb pauses, then it streaks forward and passes close to where the stranger with the binoculars stands, following its trail. It again pauses as the stranger’s eyes glow too, before continuing on its flight. Across the sky in Boston the cloaked woman sees it pass overhead and her eyes respond in kind. This time though, the orb changes course instantly and streaks down towards her.

She begins to run down the street as it homes in on her like a guided missile. She leaps over a railing into a graveyard as the orb gains on her. It seems to strike the fleeing figure and evaporates them in a blinding flash. Its job done, it rises back into the sky to continue its journey leaving a pile of smouldering bones on the ground.

But hiding behind a nearby tree it seems the cloaked figure has managed to evade its pursuer and eyes glowing, watches as the orb passes by overhead…

It is Friday night at the home of the Kapatelis family as Diana continues to try and get in contact with Steve Trevor. All week she has got nothing except his answering machine and time is almost running out for the visit to Themyscira. She leaves another message and assures him that although she has left many already, it is not an emergency and says that she, Julia and Vanessa will be away for the weekend so she will try and call him the following week.

Disappointed, she puts the phone down and Julia asks if she has had any success getting hold of Steve. The Amazon shakes her head and Julia says that she is sorry but that it was quite short notice. Diana says she understands that but it would have meant so much for him to meet her mother and Amazon sisters. Julia suggests that perhaps they could postpone the trip but Diana replies that it would be unfair to her and especially Vanessa, who was so excited about the visit. Anyway, Steve and Etta can accompany her the next time.

She steps out onto the veranda and says that she had better return to her homeland to help with the preparations. Julia says that she is really grateful to Diana for doing this – for letting her and her daughter have the honour to be the first to set foot on Paradise Island. Wonder Woman responds that Julia has been her guide, mentor and confidante in Man’s World. It is she who is grateful that Julia would now allow Diana to share her own world with them. She adds “I love you.”

Julia stares upwards at the night sky above her Wakefield home. Soaring through the expanse of cotton and indigo is her dearest friend Diana, a vision of majestic grace and beauty. As the billowy clouds part to grant the Princess lighted entry, Julia’s heart races with anticipation of the next new day…the day she too will be allowed to journey through destiny’s door!