Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 74


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 74

General Info

Issue No:
74 (403)
On Sale Date:
March 1993
Cover Date:
May 1993
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Greatness Calls

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Brian Bolland
Writer:
William Messner-Loebs
Penciller:
Lee Moder
Inker:
Andre Parks
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Matt Hollingsworth
Editor:
Brian Augustyn

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Inspector Ed Indelicato
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Asquith Randolph (The White Magician)
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Isabelle Modini, Dickie Loder, Cassie Arnold, Micah Rains, "Wugs" Moore, "Truss" Bannon, "Moso" Hanks, "The Jackal", "Deepo", "Juice", Mrs. Elliot, Brian Elliot
Share us

Comments

As well as her day job, Wonder Woman moonlights with a detective agency as Messner-Loebs continues to create a clear distinction between his approach to Diana and that of George Perez. Even so, the first sequence of the issue still conveys the classic Wonder Woman we know and love, using the power of forgiveness, love and compassionate words to defuse a tense situation that most other heroes would have dealt with using direct action and violence.

Synopsis

Wonder Woman arrives on the scene at a local hospital which has been surrounded by police marksmen as crack head thug called Dickie Loder tries to make an escape several floors up. He is carrying some serious weaponry and when he is confronted a policewoman by the name of Isabelle Modini out on the window ledge he blasts the policewoman in the chest almost at point blank, sending her plummeting towards the ground. But before she hits she is caught by Wonder Woman’s golden lasso.

As Isabelle dangles there, bleeding from her wounds the frustrated thug tries to burn the rope by using his flame thrower setting but he cannot even make a scorch mark. As Wonder Woman effortlessly floats towards him from above she tells him the rope is unbreakable. As she draws level with him he raises his weapon and smiling, replies that while the rope may be unbreakable she certainly is not.

As he points at the Amazon Princess who is calmly staring back at him with her azure eyes he breaks out in a threat as his intimidation tactics make no impact on Wonder Woman. He snarls that she may think she is some “big hero girl” but that he can cut her down where she stands. He gestures to his weaponry and adds that this firepower makes him equal to any hero. He may only be a stealer and a dope fiend but with this sort of power he can kill a cop, president or even a super heroine.

I’ve got nothing to lose so I may as well kill you too!” he smiles ” And then this will be over and the cops can shoot me!” Wonder Woman calmly replies that he can indeed shoot her – and pointing to the middle of her chest adds that shooting her right here will kill her instantly. “But I think you’re a better person than that.” she continues. He is incredulous at her response and says that she is crazy, reminding her that he is a crack head who has just knocked over a hospital and shot a policewoman. He adds that he wakes up feeling so evil some mornings that it seeps from him like a fog!

Wonder Woman agrees that he has done some questionable things but that he has done it all to hide his better nature. “You can still become the hero of your own life. You can control your own life.” He is not convinced, accusing her of using trash talk, but she continues by gently placing her hands on the barrel of the gun and saying that if he stops now and puts down the gun, he will have saved three lives today. “Isn’t that heroic?” she asks.

He sags with the weight of his conscience as her words ring true…

Annoyed and frustrated having watched a recording of these events by the local News channel, Asquith Randolph asks Cassie Arnold to turn off the TV set. She sarcastically says that they are coming up to the best bit where she interviews the repentant crack-head but Asquith is not amused. He rebukes Cassie, reminding her that the situation is serious as Wonder Woman knows about his involvement in marooning her in space while he became Boston’s hero in her absence. And yet the Amazon Princess has yet to make a move against him. It has to be some sort of trap she is laying.

A relaxed Cassie replies that perhaps it is simply because Diana has other things on her mind at present, as rumor has it that the Amazon is broke and has had to hook up with some private investigation outfit. She probably would like nothing better than to never see him again. Asquith replies with a sinister smile “Perhaps. But in that case she, like the rest of the world, will be doomed to disappointment!”.

Meanwhile across town at the police station, Diana is sitting in Ed Indelicato’s office discussing recent events. Ed cannot believe that she had goaded Loder, almost begging him to blast her. Diana smiles back that she had to try something and keep him off balanced as otherwise he would have started shooting at others again. Ed responds that guys like Loder are already off balanced – hence the drugs. Diana tries to justify her actions, adding that he had not been there and that she had felt at the time that she was really reaching him.

Unconvinced, he reads out a message from the policewoman Loder had shot. Isabelle tells Diana that next time she wants to test her nicey-nicey liberal social theories for the cameras, do it when the real cop is not dangling like a yo-yo in sixty feet of air! “And tell her to go to blazes!”.

Diana pauses, absorbing Isabelle’s harsh critique and seeing this, Ed continues that the policewoman had been in a lot of pain at the time. When Diana had broken her fall with the lasso she had cracked Isabelle’s ribs and dislocated her neck. “But I just thought you should know what people are thinking” he adds.

Standing up, Diana responds that he was right to tell her and that isabelle has a right to her opinion. She then makes her excuses, saying that she has a lunch date with Micah Rains. Ed cannot believe she is actually intending to work “for that sleaze ball”, adding that Micah has a screw loose and is this close from losing his licence. The private eye is renowned for “skating too close to the edge”! Why is she even giving him the time of day? She smiles back “Because he is the only one who offered to hire me.”

As she exits the station she finds Micah waiting outside for her. He asks if Indelicato had been giving her a hard time as the inspector hates Micah. She replies that Ed is a good man and when the Private Eye says that he thinks Ed is jealous of Micah’s “training”, Diana decides to play along and stroke his ego by saying that Ed had indeed mentioned that fact a dozen times…

A short while later they arrive at his “office” which turns out to be a bar and begins to introduce her to his “team” of drinking buddies slouched on their bar stools. “Wugs” Moore and “Truss” Bannon are lawyers, “Moso” Hanks and “The Jackal” fight all the time but are the best of friends, there is “Deepo” and of course finally there is”Juice”, who runs the bar.

Juice hands Micah a piece of paper and says that a lady had called, before reminding him how many times he had told the Private Detective not to tell people leave message at his bar. Micah sits on a stool and reading the message, shakes his head and when Diana asks what the matter is, she is told that the lady had been Micah’s only client. It had been a bodyguard case because the woman had been afraid of her own son. Now apparently the to had “reconciled”. “I’m fired” he sighs.

He suddenly feels a hand land firmly on his shoulder and looks up to see several heavies looking down. One of them, having heard that Micah has lost his only client, says that this would imply that the private detective will not be able to repay the loan he owes. As Micah tries to beg for another three says to find the money the three thugs begin to beat him up.

Diana decides to take a seat and watch the action as Micah suddenly takes down one, then another of the thugs before finally kicking the third out through the door. He then sarcastically tells Diana that she had been a “big help” and she calmly replies that he seemed to be having son much fun it seemed a shame to interrupt him!

A short while late they are at the home of Micah’s ex-client, Mrs. Elliott. She tells them that her son, Brian had come home last night and she had been nervous about it, but that they had talked things through and everything was much better now. But as Mrs. Elliott continues to explain Diana feels something is not right. The woman had a haunted look in her eyes like a petrified rabbit…a rabbit who had become entangled in a snare.

Just then Brian walks down the stairs and greets his mother causing her to stammer momentarily. He tells her he did not know that had company and perhaps they wanted to see his computer lab upstairs in his bedroom. She quickly explains that they were just leaving and are far too busy but he snarls back that just because she does not understand his work, it does not mean others are as stupid. As his mother tries to apologise Diana stands up and says that they would be delighted to take a look. Micah looks at her puzzled, reminding her under his breath that he had been fired by this client, but the Amazon Princess replies that she is now finding him another instead.

As they climb upstairs and enter his room, which is decked out with computer equipment, he tells the that this is what he does to make his mother despise him – which Diana finds an interesting turn of phrase for him to use. Brian continues to tell them how he has always repaired computers but that it is juts a hobby. His Dad had always understood that because he was an intellectual whereas his mother had simply married an intellectual. He adds that he had recently acquired a new micro-chip which was so amazingly fast it almost seemed alive. He even thinks it has the capability to heal itself.

He tells them that he doubts his mother could ever understand anything so complex and as he appears to seemingly tinker with a keyboard, downstairs his mother receives a shock from the discipline collar he has placed around her neck to enforce obedience. Unaware of this, Diana says the chip sounds remarkable but it seems a shame that he hates his mother so much. He in turn tells the Amazon that the reason he hates his mother so much is because she abused him. Diana and Micah listen stunned as he tells them that like a lot of people she hates and fears his intelligence. She has apparently been beating him and doing horrible private things to him since he was three years of age. Micah asks him why his father had not stopped her and Brian replies that she had used his father and that he could not resist her. Diana then asks how exactly she had used his father? Brian screws his face up in torment and states that his father had never wanted to do those things to him and that it was all because his mother had made him do it.

Just then Mrs. Elliot steps woozily through the doorway, still feeling the effects of her shock and murmurs that she had never hurt him and on the contrary had tried to protect him. That is why she had divorced his father. She adds that her ex-husband had wanted to control Brian and everything about him in order to try and make his son’s genius his own. She had finally realised too late how his father had been poisoning her son against her – but Brian loved his father so much and when he had finally died of cancer she had assumed it was finally over.

But Brian refuses to hear the truth and in rage slams his fists down on the keyboard triggering Mrs Elliot to convulse in agony once more as he screams at her ” No! Liar! He didn’t die of cancer! You killed him somehow…”

But as Diana tries to snatch the keyboard off him he transforms into pure electrical energy and the voltage sends her flying! She tries to regain her senses, her clothes having partially burned off revealing her costume underneath. The boy reminds her that he had told her how the chip was almost alive. “It uses me as a focus. It obeys me!” Micah raises his gun to confront Brian but is blasted, causing him to lose his grip on it.

He then suddenly rockets out through the roof of the house and into the sky where outside, Cassie Arnold and her film crew are already waiting to cover the dramatic turn of events. Cassie casually describes how Brian, a disturbed urban terrorist, has just broken free from his home. As the boy cries out triumphantly that he is at last free, he finds himself confronted by Asquith Randolph floating in the air in his hero costume. Brian asks who the man is and Asquith introduces himself as “The White Magician”, before adding “…and you boy are expendable!”. He proceeds to blast Brian, turning the boy into a burning shell that plummets back down to earth.

Wonder Woman catches him mid fall, gently lowering him to the ground as the hideously burned boy feels her tender touch and meekly calls out “Daddy?” As he is swiftly loaded into a waiting ambulance and rushed off to the burns unit, the press lead by Cassie surround The White Magician for an interview while Wonder Woman walks over to where Micah is bandaging his scorched arm.

In the background the White Magician continues to lap up the Press adulation after his supposed “fight to the death with the self styled Central Processor of Death” and explains how it had been so unfortunate that the poor boy had self ignited while being restrained by Randolph’s magic.

Micah tells a listening Diana that Mrs. Elliot seems OK after her ordeal. He adds that it is funny how Brian had never mentioned he called himself the “Central Processor of Death” and Wonder Woman agrees, replying that indeed much of this event seems funny…and not in a good way. The only way Cassie Arnold and the other members of the Press could have already been here waiting was if Brian had called them himself.

She murmurs “Was he advertising for an audience…or an assassin? And will we ever know?”

Micah then cheekily asks if this is a bad time to ask if she wants to join his PI agency and she scowls back at him…