Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 46


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 46

General Info

Issue No:
46 (375)
On Sale Date:
July 1990
Cover Date:
September 1990
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Chalk Drawings

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
George Perez
Writer:
George Perez, Mindy Newell
Penciller:
Jill Thompson
Inker:
Romeo Tanghal
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Carl Gafford
Editor:
Karen Berger

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Vanessa Kapatelis, Julia Kapatelis
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta
Other:
Lucy Spears, Stavros Christadoulodou, Eileen Flowers, Mr. Spears, Mrs. Spears
Share us

Comments

The Perez run on “Wonder Woman” brought some of the most thought provoking stories ever seen in DC Comics and really differentiated this version of Wonder Woman not just from the pre-crisis era but other post crisis titles of the time. Having covered the subject of drugs in the “Who Killed Myndi Mayer” story line, George brings us this incredible story recounting the death of Vanessa’s best friend, Lucy Spears. No other “super hero” comic book had ever handled the sensitive subject of teenage suicides in such a direct manner and this issue truly elevates the “Wonder Woman” book head and shoulders above the rest for its sheer maturity and realism.
Once more, Wonder Woman herself only plays a “supporting” role but acts as a common thread for the combination of present day events and flashbacks that are used to explain Lucy’s tragic tale.
The title “Chalk Drawings” refers to a scene interspersed throughout the entire issue and told in fragments as a flashback, where Vanessa and Lucy have a street artist draw a chalk rendition of the two of them on the pavement. The final panel shows the rain symbolically washing the image of the two smiling girls away down a drain…

Synopsis

A priest gives a sermon as the mourners at Lucy Spears’ funeral service weep quietly. He tells them that while death can never be a happy affair, even after a long and anguished illness, but they can make peace with it and accept it. But when a child dies…when a young woman on the brink of all the glories and wonders of adulthood takes her own life…let the tears come. They will help to wash away the pain but they will never – can never – wash away their memories of Lucy.

As Mr. and Mrs Spears comfort each other in their grief, Julia Kapatelis hugs her sobbing daughter while alongside them, Diana wipes her own tears away.

The priest tells the congregation that Lucy’s parents have asked that in lieu of flowers, they make donations to the Adolescent Crisis Centre of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Later, as Lucy’s casket is carried to the waiting hearse, Vanessa whispers a sad goodbye to her friend. Julia watches from the distance and says to Diana that Vanessa is too young for all of this. The Amazon Princess replies “Is anyone ever old enough?”. Julia responds that Vanessa had never known David, her brother, as he had died when she was still so young, while Myndi was never anything more to her than a real life version of some Judith Krantz character. But Lucy is different. As she watches Eileen Flowers hug the forlorn Vanessa, Julia adds that she cannot wait for this terrible Summer to be over and become just a distant memory.

Diana listens as Julia chastises herself for having gone to Turkey on the Archeological dig in the first place. Diana tells her that she is doing important work over there and that if anything, she has been the one who has been selfish, thinking only of her own loneliness and inviting herself to Turkey. Diana continues that perhaps if she had visited Vanessa and Lucy at Summer Camp instead then this would never have happened. Julia tells Diana that she takes to much upon herself and what could she have done? Besides, she is glad Diana had come to visit her in Turkey.

She remembers the day Diana had arrived at the dig site and had been greeted by Julia and the rest of team, including Dr. Stavros Christadoulodou. Julia had been eager to show Wonder Woman a chalice they had recently unearthed with inscriptions on. Julia had called for Christadoulodou’s help as he was the best Epigraphist she knew. Wonder Woman had offered to help try and decipher the inscriptions but Julia had told her to rest and relax after the recent events involving the Silver Swan. At that moment one of Julia’s team had rushed into the tent to say that there had been an urgent message from the United States about Vanessa…

Julia snaps back to the present as she drives Diana, Vanessa and Eileen, following behind the hearse as it makes its way to the cemetery. In the back seat, Vanessa remembers the day she and Lucy had asked a street artist to draw them on the pavement in chalk. Lucy had asked Vanessa what she thought God looked like. Vanessa had joked that God looked like Patrick Swayze and that she looked like Jennifer Grey, proving that God liked flat chested women! Lucy had told her off for obsessing about her breasts and Vanessa had replied that she was not the one obsessing about God and death all the time like Lucy. “What is with you nowadays”? she had asked unknowingly.

Her thoughts drift to another time when she and Lucy had been sitting in the back seat of her mum’s car one day. Vanessa had been trying to reassure Lucy, who was worried about her parents reaction to the news that she had been caught raiding the Boy’s bunks at Summer Camp. Vanessa had told her she was only going to get a “telling off for ten minutes on the phone” and that it would be no big deal. Lucy had replied though that Vanessa did not know what her parents were like about this sort of thing…

The cortege at last arrives at the cemetery and once everyone is assembled by the open grave, the priest begins the burial service. Vanessa sees Eileen standing away from the rest of the group and wanders over to her, asking for her friend to keep her company. She looks back as three of Lucy’s other friends sob by the graveside. She thinks back to a moment at school when Vanessa had made arrangements with Lucy but found her friend talking with the three girls instead. Vanessa had reminded her about their plans but Lucy had sneeringly replied “What? Play with your Wonder Woman dolls again?” She had then turned back to the others and had added that Vanessa was such a baby to play with “dolls” in Junior High.

Hurt, an angry Vanessa had stepped forward to hit Lucy but Eileen had held her back, warning her that she could not afford another detention. As Lucy had walked off with the other girls, a humiliated Vanessa had run off down the corridor in the other direction. Lucy had then told her friends that Vanessa used Kleenex to stuff her bra and on hearing this, Eileen had scowled at the blonde girl. She had told Lucy that just because she hurt inside it did not give her the right to go around hurting other people. The other girls had asked what Eileen had meant by this comment, but Lucy ignored the question.

Eileen had then found a seething Vanessa at her locker and had said that she should not think about ending her friendship with Lucy just yet, because she needed Vanessa. An unimpressed Vanessa had asked how come Eileen had suddenly become such an expert in Lucy Spears when she did not even like the blonde girl. Eileen had replied that she knew Vanessa still did like Lucy deep down and that she should not abandon Lucy just because of one spat. Vanessa had cruelly told Eileen to get lost. Now, as Vanessa’s thoughts return to the present day, tears fall down her cheeks.

She says to Eileen that she had never realised how lonely Lucy must have been. She had let her friend down so badly. Eileen snaps back that Vanessa had done nothing of the sort. She was not responsible for what Lucy did to herself.

As Julia and Diana look on, the Amazon Princess reassures her friend that the two girls will help each other. Julia replies that Diana herself has been a tower of strength during these difficult few weeks. She remembers how Wonder Woman had flown all the way back to America from Turkey cradling Julia in her arms, in order to get back home as soon as possible. Julia had rushed into the house as soon as they had arrived home and straight upstairs to her daughter’s bedroom, where she had cradled a sobbing Vanessa in her arms.

For her part, Diana remembers her visit to Themyscira a few days ago, where she had talked about Lucy’s suicide with her mother, trying to understand why it had happened. Hippolyta had told Diana that only Lucy could have answered that question – or maybe not. Melancholia is a lonely disease, sentencing its victims to a morose, solitary confinement, silencing their song of life to a whispered dirge. They cannot ask for help…and they cannot hear those who would offer it. Diana had replied that Lucy had not seemed sick and if anything, had been vibrantly alive and beautifully spirited. Hippolyta had answered that perhaps Lucy was good at hiding her true feelings…

Now as Diana looks down at Lucy’s grave she wonders if there was anything she could have done to help the tragic teenager save herself.

Nearby, Julia is still deep in contemplation, asking herself why Lucy had done it and why she had chosen to hurt Vanessa so much in doing so. Vanessa has become sulky and withdrawn at school since Lucy’s death. She refuses to participate in lessons and her grades are terrible. She is also abusive to teachers and students alike. Even at lunch times she sits by herself ignoring the other kids. The School’s head mistress has told Julia that she believes Vanessa is severely depressed and needs professional therapy…

As the burial service finally comes to a close and the congregation drift away leaving Mr. and Mrs. Spears alone in their grief, Vanessa walks over and hugs them both. A watching Diana says to Eileen and Julia that they will help to heal each other and Eileen assures Julia that Vanessa will get better in time. As Julia looks on at her daughter consoling Lucy’s parents, she remembers how things had been so different the day Vanessa had first gone around to Mr. and Mrs. Spears house after Lucy’s death…

A hysterical Mrs. Spears had thrown the flowers to the floor and raged at Vanessa that it had been her fault. It had been Vanessa who had put all those ideas in Lucy’s head. Watching from the car, Julia had rushed over as a sobbing and hurt Vanessa had run back. Julia had angrily yelled at Mrs Spears, asking what kind of mother she was to talk to Vanessa like that. How dare she tell Vanessa that she had killed Lucy. What kind of woman was she that she could blame a child for her own sins! Mr Spears had then appeared and warned her to go before he called the police.

Later the same day Eileen had come round to visit Vanessa and after showing her upstairs to her daughter’s bedroom, Julia had come back down and told Diana how she regretted her outburst at the Spears’ house earlier. Diana had assured her that she had simply been hurt at the time by their words and had been protecting Vanessa.

Upstairs meanwhile, Eileen had tried to convince Vanessa that it had not been her fault and that Lucy had been “messed up”. She had been lonely and miserable and was desperate for a way out. When a skeptical Vanessa had asked how on earth Eileen could know such a thing, her friend had replied that she had been there herself. Once you were in that place you could never forget. You could also see it in other people. And she had seen it in Lucy. Vanessa wondered how she had not been able to see it and as she had tried to blame herself again for being a “terrible friend”, Eileen had hugged her and reassured her that that was not the case at all.

Diana had later gone to visit Lucy’s parents herself. She had offered her condolences and Mr. Spears had again angrily told her to leave and tell Vanessa that she should think herself lucky he did not bring her up on a murder charge! But then Mrs. Spears had appeared and told him to stop his ranting. She had calmly invited Wonder Woman inside the house and had apologised for the way she had spoken to Vanessa, blaming the incredible stress she and her husband were both under.

Mrs Spears had then led Diana upstairs to Lucy’s bedroom. The Amazon Princess had been shocked to see “Wonder Woman” memorabilia all over the room. Mrs. Spears had explained that Lucy had been jealous of Vanessa and holding up a “Wonder Woman” doll, added that Lucy had asked them to buy this for her. When they had said she was too old for dolls, Lucy had told them that if Vanessa could have the real thing living in her house then she could at least have a doll. And if they loved her they would understand.

Of course they loved their daughter dearly and would give her anything to make her happy. But they never forced her to do anything. It had been Lucy who had insisted on entering all those beauty pageants, even though her parents had felt they were stupid and degrading. But Lucy had said that the prize money would help pay for college.

They should have realised their daughter was in trouble. That she was trying to prove herself somehow. All those “A”‘s at school and being the Queen of the Prom and the Head Cheerleader.

Mrs Spears had then explained to Diana that they did not go near the garage anymore since Lucy’s suicide and that she felt responsible in a way for Lucy’s death. It had been her car keys Lucy had used to start the car while the garage doors had been closed.

Wonder Woman had then bid the Spears farewell and told them that the Peace of Hestia would eventually return to their lives, that they must believe that and that they should not give up. Taking the Amazon’s hands in theirs they had thanked her for her kindness and again asked her to apologise to Vanessa on their behalf…

Now, at the side of Lucy’s grave, Vanessa offers Mr and Mrs. Spears a photograph showing the chalk drawing done of her and Lucy. A tearful Vanessa begs their forgiveness and Mrs Spears tightly hugs Vanessa, assuring her there is nothing to forgive. She knows Vanessa loved Lucy as much as they did.