Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 75


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 75

General Info

Issue No:
75 (404)
On Sale Date:
April 1993
Cover Date:
June 1993
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
The Last True Hero

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Brian Bolland
Writer:
William Messner-Loebs
Penciller:
Lee Moder
Inker:
Andre Parks
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Steve Mattsson
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:
Hoppy Greene, Cassie Arnold, Isabelle Modini, Brian Elliot, Dickie Loder
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Comments

Another great Bolland cover. I find Brian’s style is very reminiscent of Amazon Archive’s own official artist, the late, great Al Rio.

Synopsis

TV News reporter Cassie Arnold broadcasts a piece from outside a Boston Bank, where a robbery had been attempted by the self proclaimed “Laser Killers” gang. She reports that as the gang members had demanded the staff to hand over the cash, threatening to use their lasers to burn through the vault door, The White Magician had materialised and using his powers, had first deactivated the laser weapon and then used a mystic spell to stun the robbers. By the time the police had arrived the hero had gone, leaving behind the grateful bank staff and the two unconscious robbers.

At the same moment at Taco Whiz, Hoppy turns away from the TV report and asks Diana if she has decided yet whether or not to join Micah’s Detective Agency? As the Amazon Princess cleans the counter she replies that she is still undecided. She tells Hoppy that she had been trained from birth to fight evil and protect the weak, but actually getting paid to do it somehow feels unworthy. “More unworthy than slinging Burrito Whizzes for a living?” responds Hoppy.

Diana smiles back that feeding people is a just and dignified occupation. Hoppy replies it’s OK as a job but not as a career. As Diana ties a blindfold across her face, she says that she simply wants to strive to be the best she can at everything she does. “That’s why I’ve been practicing!”. A puzzled and bemused Hoppy watches as Diana effortless constructs a Burrito completely blind but at an amazing speed. She tells Hoppy that by honing her senses this way she can improve her instincts and serve more people faster during the lunchtime rush hour.

As Diana proudly removes her blindfold and holds up a perfect Burrito, Hoppy nods in approval and spots a book on the counter that Diana has been reading. “The Romance of Hispanic Cooking”. Diana tells her that she just wants to be prepared but Hoppy replies that proper Hispanic food is what they serve in Mexico whereas what Taco Whiz produces is defrosted refried beans!! She then asks Diana who come she is reading a book when she had assumed all her spare time would be focused on tracking down her missing Mother and her Amazon sisters?

Diana replies that she had been but that her search had proved utterly fruitless. She adds that she has a powerful mystic friend named Inza who might be able to assist but she is apparently “off-Earth” at the moment. So all Diana can do is wait…and think.

She packs her things and says that she will be back in time for the noon shift and when Hoppy asks where she is off to, she relies she is visiting someone at the hospital. When Hoppy asks if it is a sick friend Dana casually replies “No. I’m visiting someone who hates me!”.

A short while later Diana enters the hospital room where Isabelle Modini is recuperating. She places a vase of flowers by the scowling policewoman’s bedside and smiling, holds out some books, which she says she thought the officer might enjoy reading. But Isabelle snarls that she does not want anything from Diana. She adds that she knows Wonder Woman’s game plan. Liberal types like the Amazon Princess get good press playing the do-gooder. Maybe Diana even has some hang-up whereby she goes all squishy-sort on the bad guys. But either way, Isabelle makes it clear she does not care.

Diana replies that she had only tried to catch her after she had been shot. But the officer snaps back that she had then left her dangling like a yo-yo in her magic rope while she sweet talked Dickie Loder. The Amazon explains that she had hoped by him surrendering himself it would reaffirm his humanity. But an angry Isabelle spits that he was just a worthless perp and that because of the neck injury Wonder Woman had now saddled her with, the force were looking to give her early retirement even though being a cop was the only thing she had ever wanted to do!

Diana apologises but Isabelle turns her head away and asks her to just go away. An upset Diana rushes from the room and past Ed Indelicato, who has also come to visit. He can see that the Amazon Princes is distraught and calls after her but Diana has already disappeared down the corridor. He enters the room and asks if Diana had been here visiting. Isabelle holds up the books Diana had left and replies that the Amazon had left these stupid books for her to read. “The Blue Knight.” “The Onion Field”. “The New Centurions”. Could she have found more stereo-typed presents the officer growls.

Ed says that Diana is just trying to be friendly and that she is a good person. A dismissive Isabelle responds that they all know he is soft on Wonder Woman and for him to give it a rest. But he replies that Diana might have been right about that junkie, as he has been spending the last few days de-toxing and has asked to see Isabelle in order to apologise. She sarcastically replies that she has this wonderful book to read, telling her how to be a good cop so perhaps Ed would leave her in peace. The inspector replies that he recognises she is a hard case and will do as she says, but adds that he will be positing an armed officer to guard her room because she is due to testify in the Danzik case next week and who had threatened to kill her…

Meanwhile as Diana walks down the corridor towards the hospital exit she passes a doctor who is holding a cigarette in her hand. The doctor asks her how foolish would she be to start smoking again after two years? Diana replies “Very foolish I think.” The doctor nods in agreement but adds that after the day she has had it’s tempting. She then recognises Diana and tells the Amazon that she had been treating the two gang members that were brought in this morning. She does not know what the White Magician did to them, but she has never seen anything like it before. It was as if they did not have minds at all. They died screaming an hour ago. And now she gets to watch Brian Elliot die too.

Diana replies that she had been there when the White Magician had struck him down and asks if she can see him. As they step into his room Diana sees he is lying lifeless on the bed wired up to the monitors. The Amazon Princess is told that his mother had been by his bedside for two days but that the Doctor had finally managed to persuade her to go home and get some rest. She adds that the computer circuitry that had joined to his body had been fused by the explosion What was human is so badly burned that she is afraid it is now simply a matter of time before he passes away.

Diana turns to her though and says that there may be a way to save him. “There are resources I can sometimes reach” she adds. They are powers beyond the vale of normal life. As the Doctor enquires if she means “praying” the Amazon Princess seems to slip into a trance like state.

Wonder Woman knows the most important thing is to believe…finding that space between the ordinary and the real..ad to allow yourself to fall into that space…into Oceanus, the beginning of all life…the father of dream and the mother of myth. In her mind she sees herself falling into the inky blackness of the ocean, now wearing her costume. In this world everything is available if you can find the right key to make it manifest. But there is danger here too. For in a world of metaphor your own fears become real too.

Wonder Woman suddenly finds herself in the coils of the mighty Kraken, a sea monster that can devour all who enter its domain and leave them forever isolated in terror and darkness! But if all this is metaphor then only a symbolic act can free you. By eating its rubbery, acrid flesh you consume it..control it…become it., and thus triumph over it. For fear cannot survive when you embrace it. And accept it as part of yourself.

Meanwhile Isabelle is still annoyed about Diana’s visit. She thinks to herself that even if Loder really wanted to apologise what difference would it make? She hopes he does come so she can give him a piece of her mind! But just the she freezes as she sees him standing in her doorway!

As she frantically presses the alarm button he tells her that as a dope fiend he sometimes gets so crazy. And he wants to apologise to her. She almost cannot believe her ears and is relieved when she sees the door open again and an armed officer walk in – but just after Dickie has darted behind the open door. But Isabelle’s relief is short lived as she watches the smiling officer draw his gun and tells her how it is no use calling for the nurse as she is dead and in a few moments so will she be! As he calmly attaches a silencer to the barrel he tells her that Mr Danzik sends his regards.

Isabelle sees Loder still cowering unseen behind the door and wonders why he has not made a run for it yet? But to her amazement – just as the hit man raises his gun to shoot her Loder calls out for help. The faux officer spins around and fires several slugs into the Junkie as Isabelle, too weak to get away, calls out desperately for help. As Loder, bleeding to death, still tries to tangle with the hit man he is brutally shoved to the floor and the weapon spins back around to face Isabelle again. But as the hit man pulls the trigger he finds he is now out of bullets. He decides the commotion will have attracted too much attention and makes a quick exit -leaving a shaking and shocked Isabelle to stare at where Loder now lays in a spreading pool of blood. He had saved her life. And sacrificed his own in doing so.

Meanwhile Wonder Woman continues her metaphoric journey, climbing up a cliff face to reach a meadow filled with sheep. This is the Isle of the Sun. Blessed by Apollo, God of the Healing Arts. The wool of the flock is said to have healing qualities. However, Apollo is a jealous God and has left his flock guarded. As Wonder Woman removes her tiara and uses its razor sharp edge to remove a small bundle of wool from one of the animals, a flaming archer fires his deadly arrow of fire at her which barely manages to dodge, as it cuts her side. As she makes a run for it with the wool she tries to ignore the pain and concentrate for to stay now is to die. There is only one escape. One route to safety. Open her eyes.

She finds herself back in the hospital room and collapses to the floor, clutching her side while holding the golden wool in her other hand. She assures the worried doctor that the pain is not physical but is the price she must pay. She then hands the fleece to the doctor and instructs her to place it against his wounds. As the doctor does so Brian’s body is surrounded by a godly glow and the circuitry lifts way from his body and vanishes. He is cured! A smiling Doctor cannot believe her eyes and asks if the fleece can help save others too? A weak Diana murmurs that she does not know and as the excited doctor rushes from the room to try the Amazon Princess finally collapses unconscious to the floor.

When she comes to she finds herself lying in a bed wit a concerned doctor sitting by her side. She tells Diana that she had obviously needed her beauty sleep as she had been out for the count for almost three hours. Diana groans, realising that she has left Hoppy in the lurch for the lunchtime rush before asking how longer the fleece had lasted for and if she had been able to save anybody else? She is told that the Doctor had made it to the children’s Burns Unit and had managed to cure five of the kids before the fleece erupted and burnt up in a blue flame. She adds that she wishes she had managed to cure the other thirty kids in the ward and Diana tells her that unfortunately that is also part of the price that must be paid.

The doctor then stands up and tells Diana that she will rustle up some nice hospital food for her while the Amazon Princess chats to her “friend”, who has been holding an hour long vigil by her bedside. A puzzled Diana asks who she is talking about and turning, is stunned to see a Isabelle sitting in a wheel chair by her bed!

“Hello Diana” she smiles back warmly.