Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 56


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 56

General Info

Issue No:
56 (385)
On Sale Date:
May 1991
Cover Date:
July 1991
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Victims

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
George Perez
Writer:
George Perez
Penciller:
Joe Phillips
Inker:
Romeo Tanghal
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Nansi Hoolahan
Editor:
Karen Berger

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Inspector Ed Indelicato, Vanessa Kapatelis, Julia Kapatelis
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Philippus, Euboea, Pythia, Hellene
Other:
Helen Anderson, Lt. Velasquez, June Shands, Captain Ablamsky, Captain Otto, Commissioner Gordon, Horace Westlake, Vincent Anderson, Captain Sanger, Lt. Ross Pucillo, Lt. Fogliano
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Comments

Things go from bad to worse for Diana and the Amazons as it becomes increasingly clear that events are being carefully manipulated by an unseen enemy! We also see the death of one of the key supporting characters in the shape of Lt. Mike Shands. Certainly, Perez’s take on Wonder Woman’s world always carried a gritty air of realism and believability. It rarely read like a typical comic story line, apart from when the more mythical elements of Diana’s nature were involved.
The complexity of the story line over the past several issues and the seemingly unrelated threads begin to converge together in what was one of the most dense and mature plot lines in a DC comic at that time.

Synopsis

Wonder Woman, carrying the comatose Helen Anderson, bursts through the main entrance of nearby Quincy hospital. She quickly looks around and is surprised to see the area is empty save for one orderly. Confused, she asks him where the other medical staff are, as she had phoned ahead to ensure they were expecting her arrival.

Suddenly a police officer emerges from his hiding place and pointing his gun at her, orders her to freeze! Surprised, she soon finds herself surrounded by half a dozen other officers who order her to put the “hostage” down. She demands to know what is going on and an officer growls that just because they are a small town, it does not mean they will let her do what her “murdering sisters” did to the police in Gotham. Wonder Woman can only stare back in confusion…

Meanwhile at Gotham General Hospital medical staff rush out to meet the arrival of the numerous wounded. As the casualties are wheeled to various theatres the doctors struggle to save the lives of several critically injured police officers. One of the doctors watches another, blood stained officer stagger in to the hospital dazed and asks the what has happened? The officer replies that the Amazons at the Gotham Grand Hotel had suddenly gone berserk and started killing everybody! It had been a massacre!

The doctor then enters the theatre where Phillipus lies unconscious on the bed, her body full of bullet wounds. As he prepares to perform emergency surgery Lt. Velasquez of the Gotham City Police enters the room and says that he wants to question the suspect first. The doctor replies that she will be dead if they do not operate right away. Velasquez responds that Phillipus is their only suspect right now.

The angry doctor suddenly realises that Phillipus’ wounds are due to the police and demands to know if they have ever heard of excessive force. The Lieutenant replies that Phillipus is an Amazon and when one charges with an Uzi there is no such thing as excessive force! He then goes on to remind the doctor that two dozen policemen and civilians had been killed tonight and it is not over yet. Gesturing to the Amazon, he continues that they have so far only managed to capture Phillipus, although they did find two other Amazons who had already been killed – mauled to death by some kind of wild animal! Therefore, the police need answers from Phillipus who is their only lead…

Elsewhere at St. Elgius Hospital in Boston, Inspector Ed Indelicato arrives and heads towards the visitor area. He walks in and is immediately met with a barrage of abuse from June Shands, wife of the murdered Lt. Mike Shands. She charges at him, beating her fists on his chest and accusing Ed of not being there for his partner when he was needed. Tears run down Ed’s face as he stares sorrowfully into the eyes of the weeping June, until she finally slumps into his arms and sobs as he rocks her gently.

A short while later Ed is met in the corridor by Captain Ablamsky, and the inspector demands to knows from his boss why Mike had been sent out on the stakeout alone. Ablamsky warns Ed not to come on so strong, saying that Shands had not consulted him about the museum stakeout. From what he understood though, Shands had consulted with Indelicato about his theory that the Amazons were behind the museum murders, although Ed had apparently “laughed it off”. “Well, it isn’t very funny now is it inspector?” Ablamsky snarls.

He then asks if Indelicato has heard about tonight’s events in Gotham City and Ed nods, adding that he cannot believe it. Ablamsky tells him to wise up and that Shands had been right all along. The Amazons are declaring a holy war! They have killed over twenty police officers already, including Shands and Inspector Karen. He continues that Doctors are currently working to keep their only suspect alive and that the only reason the Gotham police had not finished Phillipus off was because she is a woman.

Indelicato then icily asks if Ablamsky is finished because he has to go to the crime scene at the Museum. Ablamsky snaps back that he has already sent Lt. Pucillo down there and instead wants Ed to go to Quincy Hospital.”It seems they have arrested your girlfriend, Wonder Woman!” he says sarcastically. A shocked Ed demands to know on what charge and is told “Suspicion of murder!”.

Meanwhile at the house of Dr. Charles Stanton, police are combing the area in order to check out Wonder Woman’s alibi. They can find no sign of Dr. Psycho and Police Captain Otto asks himself why on earth Wonder Woman would come up with such an outlandish story about a killer dwarf who attacks people in their dreams? A fellow officer quips “Maybe the babe’s hoping to cop an insanity plea?”.

Just then the pathologist walks over and advises Otto that the recently discovered bodies of Dr. Stanton and his dog had been buried in the yard for nearly three weeks and there were no signs of trauma. He continues that if Wonder Woman had killed Stanton, then why would she risk exposure by bringing the pregnant Helen Anderson to the clinic? It makes no sense. Otto agrees, responding that it only makes sense if the Amazon Princess is actually telling the truth. He turns to a chair upon which Wonder Woman’s golden lasso is draped. She had told the police that she had left Dr. Psycho bound to the chair while she went for help. Perhaps Wonder Woman’s story is true and Dr. Psycho had somehow managed to escape his bonds, although from what Otto understands nobody can escape the magic lasso. “Unless Wonder Woman herself undid the knot” suggests the pathologist. Otto remains unconvinced though …

Many miles away in the darkened streets of Gotham City, Euboea and Pythia are on the run! Euboea asks how they possibly hope to find Diana in this place and her companion replies that they must have faith. The Gods cannot have let the Amazons come so far to have it all end like this – no matter how confounding and desperate it all seems. She then reflects on the recent events back at the hotel…

She and Euboea had searched Hippolyta’s room high and low but could find no trace of the Amazon Queen. Pythia had suggested that the assassins they had left unconscious in the corridor must know something. She and Euboea had rushed out into the hallway again only to find that the assassins had gone! Grabbing a fire axe they had set off down the stairwell to hunt them down. They had hoped that the men would encounter Phillipus, confident that the Amazon Captain would be able to take them down, particularly when brandishing a machine gun. But as they had reached the bottom of the stairwell they had been shocked to see what looked like Phillipus and Hellene lying dead in a pool of blood!

They had bent down to check on the women and were further surprised to find that they had both been mauled by some sort of animal claws! Also, on closer inspection the black woman was not in fact Phillipus at all but an unknown Amazon! Suddenly they had heard gunfire and the sound of Phillipus’ voice. Pythia and Euboea had picked up the weapons dropped by the dead Amazons and headed down the stairs to aid their captain. They had met Phillipus running up the other way and she had told them to turn and run!

Phillipus had quickly explained that she had chased their attackers down to the Atrium but had lost them. There had been bodies everywhere and the whole lobby had been awash with blood! Many of the dead had been policemen and as she had tried to explain to them in faltering English, her language skills had failed her and they had immediately opened fire on her! Pythia and Euboea had in turn informed Phillipus that they had still not located Hippolyta and that Hellene had been killed. Phillipus had nodded, replying “I know…that is another matter!”. She had then urged them to find Diana because the other Amazons might well be in danger too. She had then turned and headed back down the stairs. A few moments later the two Amazons had heard more gunfire and a scream of agony from Phillipus!

Pythia had had to hold back a distraught Euboea, saying that they must honour the Amazon Captain’s final command. They had then entered one of the lift shafts and had clambered down the cables to street level before making their unseen escape from the hotel.

Now, as the fugitive Amazons make a run for it, keeping to the shadows, Euboea asks Pythia where on earth they should start in their search for Diana, because the city is huge…

Back at Gotham Hospital Lt. Velasquez and Commissioner Gordon watch from a viewing gallery while doctors struggle to save Phillipus’ life. The Lieutenant tells Gordon how they have confirmed that it is indeed the Amazon Captain and that she will be a great help in their investigations. He continues that they had also identified the body of Hellene, another of the Themysciran delegation, together with a third as yet unknown Amazon. Another officer the enters and asks Gordon how they should issue the APB on the fugitive Amazons? Should they bring in all the big women they find? Gordon replies that if they look suspicious, then yes!

Meanwhile at the Kapatelis residence, Vanessa and Julia watch the TV watch in horror as the news comes in regarding the Hotel massacre. The reporter on the screen shows the carnage of the lobby area behind him and says that the body count has now climbed to fifty! An eyewitness then explains how the Amazons had attacked the police for no reason, wielding both swords and automatic weapons! Police sources suggest that there is a link between the massacre and last night’s murder of two policemen at Boston Museum.

Vanessa cannot believe her ears and asks her mother that the Amazons could never do such a thing, could they? She adds that perhaps Dr. Psycho is involved somehow? Just then the door bell chimes and Julia gets up, cursing that this is probably yet another reporter. As she opens the door though she is surprised to see Horace Westlake standing there. She asks him how he had managed to get through the reporters encamped out on the street but suddenly notices that in fact they are all gone! Horace replies in a strange tone that he had convinced them it would be prudent to leave. As Julia looks at him she notices there is something odd about his eyes…

Back in the living room Vanessa listens as the news anchorman mentions that two members of the Themysciran delegation are among the dead and wounded, with Phillipus undergoing emergency surgery and Hellene having been pronounced dead at the scene. Vanessa’s eyes widen in horror as the anchorman continues that in New York and L.A., other visiting Amazons have also been brought in for questioning. During a violent confrontation at New York’s Columbia University the leader of Themyscira’s Religious Order, Menalippe, had been reportedly wounded.

He then turns to events at Quincy, where he reports how police have arrested Princess Diana of Themyscira in connection with the murder of Psychiatrist Charles Stanton. On hearing this Vanessa yells out to her mother that she thought Hermes had gone over there to make sure Diana was OK. Vanessa gets no reply from her mother however and puzzled, turns to see that she and Horace are no longer standing there and the door is still wide open…

At that moment at Quincy Hospital Helen Anderson is being rushed into surgery and Wonder Woman begs to follow them, saying that she can help save Helen and the baby because only she knows what Dr. Psycho had done to them both. But the surrounding police officers keep their weapons trained on her and as one of them advances to place handcuffs on her, she warns them back, adding that she does not want to hurt them. The police take her words as a threat and finger their triggers apprehensively.

As Wonder Woman tries to reason with them again the unimpressed officers snap back that she can tell it to the dead cops in Gotham City. Confused, she asks them what has happened in Gotham and says that she must go there at once. An officer grimly replies “Over your dead body Princess!”.

Suddenly another voice barks “That’s enough!” and Ed Indelicato strides in, accompanied by Captain Sanger and Vincent Anderson, husband of Helen. Ed waves his badge at the police officers and explains that he is here to escort Wonder Woman back to Boston. Pleased to at last see a friendly face, Wonder Woman asks Ed to explain to things to the other officers but he suggests “that my best advice right now is to just keep your pretty mouth shut”.

She looks at him hurt and confused and he explains that the Quincy Authorities had told him about her alibi that she had supposedly had “a Pygmy” tied up over at the Stanton place. If that was really her lasso the police had found, then Dr. Psycho had just out-houdinied Houdini! On hearing this, a shocked Wonder Woman cannot believe that Dr. Psycho has managed to escape her lasso and Ed agrees it does seem impossible.

Meanwhile Vincent is asking the doctors on the condition of his wife. He is told that nothing can be done for Helen and they need his consent to perform a caesarian in order to remove the baby. Vincent holds his head in his hands in shock and grief and Wonder Woman takes a step towards him to say there is a way to save them both, but is forced back by the armed officers again. Ed intervenes and says to the captain that they must realise they do not stand a chance against the Amazon if she really wanted to attack them. He suggests everybody just keeps calm.

Vincent then turns on Wonder Woman and warns her to stay away from him, calling her a witch! He asks how Ed can be so civil to Diana after one of her kind had killed his partner. Wonder Woman is again shocked at this new revelation as Ed tells her not to listen to Vincent’s remarks because Helen’s husband is simply hurting badly at the moment. She again explains to Vincent that she only wants to help but he asks why he should believe her when the doctors have said that it is hopeless for Helen. He reminds her that she has come from an island of women and asks if she has ever delivered a baby before? She calmly replies that she has not, but that she is a daughter of Artemis, Goddess of Midwives, and with her help she might be able to save both the baby and Helen.

Ed places a comforting hand on Vincent’s shoulder and says that he understands how this must all sound and that he is right that Mike Shands had been murdered, although probably by someone dressed as an Amazon. Even so, he knows Diana and even after everything that has happened today, he still trusts her. Captain Sanger asks Ed incredulously if he is really suggesting that they let Wonder Woman go near Helen and Diana swears on her honour as an Amazon that she will not try to escape. Sanger tells Ed that the risk the inspector is taking is enough to lose his badge and pension over and Ed replies that there is nothing more that can happen to him today that would not be an improvement. He then adds that at the end of the day, the decision is not his to make – it’s Vincent’s.

The waiting doctor reminds them all that they are running out of time to save the baby’s life and Wonder Woman looks directly into the frightened eyes of Helen’s husband. She explains that the man who did this to Helen was a monster. She begs him not to let that monster win. Vincent ponders her words and murmurs that Helen had often spoken of the Princess. Even when the counsellor had thought that Diana was a “danger magnet” for Vanessa, she never ever doubted the Amazon’s integrity. He knows what his wife would say to him right now. “Go for it Vinnie, you idiot!”.

Meanwhile at the Museum in Boston, Lt Pucillo is talking to his colleague about the item that had been stolen. It had been a forged spear head dedicated to an African War God named Oggun, with little or no real market value. As the two detectives look around them they see the chalk outlines on the floor marking where both Mike Shands and Lt. Karen had been killed. The spear had been kept close to where Karen’s body had lain and they ponder whether the reason why the lieutenant had been decapitated was to do with some sort of Amazon victory ritual.

Lt. Pucillo then turns to police woman Fogliano who had been first on the scene and asks her to show them where she had found Lt. Dellrosa Marshall. She takes them over to a nearby wall where the alarm box is located and suggests that Dellrosa had dragged her bleeding body all away across the room to raise the alarm. Other than the three police officers though, there had been no other signs of life. It seems clear to Pucillo’s colleague however that the Amazons are responsible for the murders and theft.

Fogliano is not so sure though and says that it does not make any sense. Even if the perpetrators were Amazons they believe in Greek Gods. Why would they be stealing religious objects from other faiths? Lt. Pucillo nods in agreement. “It’s a good question” he says…

Back at the hospital in Quincy, Wonder Woman has donned a surgical gown and now stands over the lifeless body of Helen lying on the operating table. As the medical staff watch she crosses her arms and the Amazon Princess explains to the puzzled onlookers that she needs to spiritually prepare for the “Nursing of the Soul”. She needs to assure the newborn that there is nothing to fear from its mother. There is a maternal bond when mother and child are as one – two souls nursing upon the other. When such a bond is severed however the midwife must take the standard.

Outside, Vincent watches anxiously through the window and one of the police officers reminds him that he need only give the word and they will “pull that witch out of there.” A doctor spins round and tells the officer to shut up as Wonder Woman is trying to help!

Back in the theatre the medical staff watch amazed as Helen’s life signs stabilize. Wonder Woman tells them that comforting Helen’s spirit is the easy part. The mother wants her baby to live but she cannot live with its hatred of her. She continues to explain that Dr. Psycho had marred a mind that was to have been born pure and untainted with hatred, fear and violence. She refuses to let the baby succumb to it!

Wonder Woman then lets her consciousness fuse with the baby and finds herself floating in a sea of colours. She hears a horrific cry of terror and pities the child as it is forced to face horror before knowing peace. It is no surprise the infant rails against it so violently! She tries to soothe it, saying that she will bear its tortures so that it may be free once more and it can join its mother. “No!” bellows the child, thunderously throwing Wonder Woman around. She hears the baby’s consciousness telling her to stay away and that there are monsters all around. Why is its mother letting these creatures kill it? It hates its mother for abandoning it so!

Wonder Woman replies that these are but monstrous dreams and it is not its mother’s doing. She offers again to expunge these wretched images from the infant’s soul and the baby asks why it should believe her. Suddenly Helen’s voice can be heard saying “Because I believe her”. Helen continues to tell her child that she loves it with every fibre of her soul and that her life is the baby’s to share. Unsure, the baby replies that it is afraid of the monsters and Wonder Woman holds out her hands and says that it need fear them no longer and that she will take them away. She calls for it to follow her back to innocence and to no longer feel afraid. The baby slowly reaches out towards her as she assures the infant that she will protect it.

In the theatre the sound of a newborn infant coming into the world suddenly fills the room and the medical staff cannot believe their eyes. Vincent watches amazed as Wonder Woman delivers the healthy baby and she looks down at it with a welcoming smile before gently kissing its forehead and blessing it.

As the medical staff take over Wonder Woman emerges from the theatre, removing her gown. The amazed doctors tell Vincent that the same moment Diana had delivered the baby the monitors had all lit up! Helen is going to pull through as well! Vincent slumps into a chair, overcome with relief and Ed Indelicato tells Wonder Woman that she looks exhausted. She smiles back that under the circumstances she feels just fine. She then tells the weeping Vincent that he has a beautiful baby son. He looks up ashamed and says that he cannot thank her enough, especially after the way he had spoken to her earlier.

Captain Sanger then tells her that she had been great and that he is sorry about the situation he now finds himself in. She nods in understanding and says that she will offer no resistance to being taken into custody. She will accompany Ed back to Boston and learn what new nightmares have stirred during the night…