Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 5


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 5

General Info

Issue No:
5 (334)
On Sale Date:
February 1987
Cover Date:
June 1987
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
The Ares Assault

Creative Team

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

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Julia Kapatelis, Vanessa Kapatelis
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
Hermes, Decay, Deimos, Phobos, Athena, Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite, Demeter, Persephone
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Menalippe
Other:
Colonel Michaelis, General Tolliver, General Hillary
Share us

Comments

In stark contrast to the pre-crisis version of the Amazon Princess, this issue sees Wonder Woman actually “kill” her foe!

Synopsis

There is no laughter on Paradise Island tonight as the sombre Amazons wait patiently for word from the oracle Menalippe. As the influence of Ares grows stronger across the Earth even the flowers are starting to die.

Hippolyta watches as Menalippe stares into the mist of her cauldron. The oracle tells the Amazon Queen that it is difficult to decipher anything. Hippolyta replies that Menalippe is hiding something and instructs her to reveal the fate of Diana. The oracle tells her queen that she honestly knows nothing of her daughter’s fate and can only sense the time of reckoning is nearly at hand. Even the demons held captive in the bowels of the Island are in danger of being released. Why does Apollo not answer their prayers?

Meanwhile beneath Mount Olympus, Artemis tries to awaken his sleeping brother Apollo but with no success. He accuses Apollo of being a coward but Hermes responds that he is merely a pragmatist. That which awaits them beyond the veil is beyond even the power of Gods to control. Artemis replies that they should face oblivion on their feet as warriors, not sleeping on board the great Ark that the Grim Charon is charged with steering across the river Styx. Demeter says that true wisdom is knowing when to accept the inevitable – the passing of an age. Aphrodite is already on board the great Ark, having accepted her fate and weeping in shame that her own children should be in part responsible for their fate. As the ferry man beckons them Artemis still refuses to believe it is ending this way. But Athena responds that although the gods may well have lost faith in Man, it is Princess Diana’s faith in them that must ultimately prove their salvation…

Back in Man’s World, the news networks carry stories of the increasingly tense state of affairs. The proposed summit meeting between East and West collapsed just hours before it was due to begin…new fighting has broken out in the Middle East after a truce had been declared…rebel raids in Nicaragua have caused many casualties…terrorists killed many people at French and Belgian airports…while local news reports that the alleged murderer Colonel Steve Trevor is still at large. At a press conference General Sam Tolliver claimed to possess evidence that Trevor is a spy and would not rest until he had been apprehended. Meanwhile, the identity of the incredible “Wonder Woman” who saved Boston from the creature Decay remains a mystery and a sizeable reward has been offered to anyone who knows her current whereabouts…

Unknown to the public at large, Diana is at Julia Kapatelis’ winter retreat tending to the bump on a woozy Etta’s head. She confirms that Etta will be fine and Julia asks Colonel Michaelis what is going on? Michaelis apologises and says that he had startled Etta, who had slipped on the ice and bumped her skull against the car. He had tracked her and Steve in order to help his friend. Etta asks what they should do now and Steve replies that it all depends on Diana. The Amazon Princess replies that although she still does not understand everything that has happened here, she truly believes what Hermes has told her and that she needs Steve. Etta then asks what is going on?

Julia then produces the Talisman and tells them that it apparently has something to do with this. Etta disagrees and removes the file she had stolen from Tolliver’s office, saying that she believes this is the real reason behind everything. She holds up the file which reads “The Ares Project”…

Deep in the bowels of the Earth meanwhile, Deimos holds his Talisman aloft and asks his brother Phobos if he can feel the fateful tingle of eager anticipation as their father’s plan will finally bear fruit. Even now, on opposite sides of the Earth, the great military powers are massing their forces. Generals who have long worshipped their father now lead troops into combat for reasons they do not fully comprehend…and yet are willing to fight to the death to obey. But the watching Phobos still feels a failure in the eyes of their war god father’s eyes and he intends to do something about it.

Hours later at the winter home of the Kapatelis family, Julia lets out a cry of exultation and Diana asks if she has managed to decipher the Talisman’s meaning? The professor replies that she has come as close as she is likely to get. Apparently, the inscriptions translate into a strange geometric pattern with the focal point being designated by the picture of a Vulture. What that means she cannot tell though. Diana takes the paper with the pattern leaving Julia to take some well earned sleep. As she walks along the corridor she feels the pattern looks strangely familiar. Perhaps the other can help? But when she enters the living room she finds them all fast asleep, with the Ares File documents strewn over the table. Steve has pinned a chart up and Diana suddenly realises that it exactly matches the Talisman pattern! She cries out, waking the others, telling them she knows what Ares plans!

Elsewhere, General Tolliver and his troops storm and over run a secret nuclear military facility…

Back at the winter retreat, everyone is crowded around the chart. It seems that when the mirror image of the pattern is laid over the map of ancient Greece it marks the sites of the bloodiest battles of the time. Yet the same pattern when laid over a map of the modern world indicates sites of various nuclear bases. The “Vulture” depicted rests over the location of Mount Olympus on the old map and a point in the upper Midwestern United States on the new map. That must be the focal point for the Ares Project.

Colonel Michaelis immediately telephones General Hillary, telling him the security of the nation, maybe even the world, is at stake. Hillary tells him to calm down and start from the beginning, warning him that this had better not be some hair brained scheme to help his friend Trevor. But before Michaelis can reply General Hillary’s aide bursts in and informs him that one of their own defence bases has just been commandeered by renegade U.S. troops! The base is completely under their control and have prepared the nuclear missiles for launch. Hearing this over the phone, Michaelis tells the others in the room they are too late and Tolliver has already taken over a base. Steve curse and replies that if their research holds true then exactly the same thing is happening in Russia as they speak. All Tolliver has to do is press the button to start World War Three! They have to stop him but how?

They hear Diana’s voice behind them say “That is my job” and turn to see the Amazon Princess standing their in her Wonder Woman costume, holding the Talisman. She tells them the secret of finding the other half of Mad Harmonia’s amulet rests in its reflection. She holds it up to a mirror and says that by joining the Talisman with its reflection will complete it and lead her at last to Ares. Julia replies that she is not going on her own but as Diana tries to explain that this is her battle, the professor insists. For their part, Steve, Michaelis and Etta grab their weapons and Diana realises that her friends intend to stand by her no matter what they are about to face. Diana thinks to herself that for creatures so frail, there is a strange nobility about them.

As Diana moves the Talisman slowly towards its reflection Etta begins to wonder whether it is wise to put so much blind faith in someone they hardly know? Steve replies that he cannot explain it and that maybe it is because Diana saved his life…or maybe it is something more. As corny as it sounds…she reminds him of his mother…

The Talisman touches and for the five of them the universe abruptly turns inside out! For an eons long instant they can feel the searing heat of hellfire and a chill beyond that of any grave – and then the Princess and her four companions find themselves in the domain of Deimos himself! He holds the other half of the Amulet and goads Wonder Woman to take it from him. Julia asks the Amazon who this monster is and he introduces himself as Deimos, son of Ares, Master of Duplicity and Sovereign of the Serpents! Suddenly, several massive snakes launch themselves at Wonder Woman, causing her to drop the Amulet. Julia manages to catch it as Steve opens fire on the deadly serpents.

As the others join in the fight, Phobos watches unseen. As bullets rain down on Deimos and his serpent allies, Phobos decides that even though he has no great love for his brother, he will not stand idly by and allow mere mortals to assault a god! He uses his power of terror to reach into their souls and conjure up the things they most fear. For Etta, it is the fear of being buried alive…For Steve Trevor it is a fear of spiders…for Julia it is the fear of drowning and for Michaelis it is the fear of wild cats.

As Diana disposes of the last serpent she launches herself at the giant cat attacking Michaelis, flooring it with a mighty punch. Michaelis yells at his friend that he will take care of Steve’s nightmare, while Steve in turn should go and help the others with theirs. As Wonder Woman dives into the water and carries Julia to safety, Steve attempts to dig Etta out. Suddenly Phobos appears and is about to attack him but before he has a chance he is fired upon by Michaelis, giving Steve cover to rescue Etta. But just as he gets her free and they prepare to make their escape, Phobos unleashes a blast of godly energy…

Deimos tells Wonder Woman that her companions are hopelessly mismatched. The valiant Amazon lays Julia down on the ground and stands before the god, saying she does not fear him. He agrees that she seems to fear very little but perhaps it is time she learned fear! Suddenly his serpentine hair springs into life and Wonder Woman finds herself enveloped. Multiple heads inject their fangs of venom into her. As Deimos lifts her high into the air Julia yells that she will get help but Wonder Woman replies that this is a battle she must win alone! Deimos commends her brave words but tells her that by the time her friends reach her his venom will have filled her with blind, unreasoning fear! Then he shall consume her and her foolish companions! As Wonder Woman looks around her she sees her friends are all unconscious and it falls to her to save them all. She removes her razor sharp Tiara and hurls it at Deimos, slicing through the serpentine hair before striking its target, decapitating Deimos!

Covered in thousands of bites, Wonder Woman stands over the headless corpse and removes the other half of the Amulet from his lifeless grasp. Seeing that he will be destroyed once she joins both halves, Phobos flees while he still can, vowing to avenge his brother. Wonder Woman checks on the others as they come to and Julia asks her what they do now that they have both halves of the Amulet? Wonder Woman holds up her half and moves it towards the one Julia holds.

Another flash of light and they all vanish, only to reappear inside the control room of the missile base, surrounded by General Tolliver’s armed troops with their guns trained on their surprised guests. Standing on a balcony overlooking the control room, Tolliver welcomes them and says that they have been expected. Steve asks what he intends to do with them and Tolliver calmly replies “Why, what we do with all Traitors of course…we intend to put you all up against a wall and shoot you!”. He points to the monitor screens which show a missile in its silo and tells them they are privileged to witness their master’s moment of triumph. As they look on in horror, a strange light encircles the weapon and it begins to take on a new form.

Wonder Woman knows only too well who it belongs to…Ares, the God of War!