Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 76


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 76

General Info

Issue No:
76 (405)
On Sale Date:
May 1993
Cover Date:
July 1993
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Knowledge

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)
Heroes:
Doctor Fate (Inza Nelson)
Villains:
Circe
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Danthis, Hellen, Hippolyta
Other:
Hoppy Greene
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Comments

When Wonder Woman had returned to Earth after her time in space she had discovered that her mother and the rest of the Amazons were dead and that Paradise island had been destroyed. She discovers with the aid of Doctor Fate how it had happened and how Circe had apparently been responsible before the Witch herself had died. But all was not what it appeared.
Another spectacular cover from Brian Bolland!

Synopsis

Inza Nelson – the mystic also known as Doctor Fate – and her husband Kent finally arrive home after their two week vacation in Mexico. As Kent takes the bags up to the room Inza listens to their voicemail messages. Inza is shocked to hear Diana’s voice – as she has assumed the Amazon was still lost in space – and listens intently as Diana explains how she needs her help as Themyscira, her mother and thousands of Amazons have simply vanished from the face of the Earth…

Meanwhile at Taco Whizz, Hoppy is giving Diana a dressing down after the Amazon had failed to get back in time for the lunchtime rush following the events at the hospital. Diana listens meekly as Hoppy explains how she has let both Hoppy and the other girls down, as they had been so busy they had lost custom and that to all intents and purposes Hoppy should be firing the Amazon Princess!

Hoppy suddenly realises that while she has been giving Diana a lecture the Amazon has been packing her things. When Hoppy asks her where she going Diana replies that everything the manager has said is right and that she has let them all down. So she is going home as she is has betrayed Hoppy’s trust and has betrayed her trust.

As Diana walks out of the fast food restaurant a flabbergasted Hoppy runs after her as Diana adds that she would no longer feel right working amongst those she had disappointed. Hoppy reminds her that she is a superhero and that she is supposed to put doing good first. Diana acknowledges the fact that the reason she was late had been because she had saved a life – but she should still not have been late as her “super-hero” status does absolve her of her day-to-day responsibilities.

Hoppy blocks her path and looking up at the tall Amazon says “Sure it does.” She adds that fighting aliens or stopping crime lords is far more important than some stupid job. But Diana is indignant that Hoppy will not deny the Amazon her responsibilities. But Hoppy pleads with her not to quit and Diana reluctantly agrees but only on the condition that Hoppy gives her more work to do and make her clean up after everyone.

They go back inside the restaurant and soon they are open for trade and the tables quickly fill up with hungry customers. As Diana surveys the people she tells Hoppy that it is quite inspiring how they are helping people to eat with their cheap and cheerful food – as many of these people are struggling to make ends meet.

As they work in the kitchen to meet the never ending demand Hoppy explains to Diana how the manager got her name. She was named after ‘Hopalong Cassidy’ – a white cowboy character from the 50’s. Most cowboys at the time wore white hats and the bad guys dressed in black. But Hopalong always wore black and yet he was one of the good guys. Her father loved that fact and believed in symbols.

Suddenly in a mystic flash of light Inza – now in her Doctor Fate guise – materialises in front of their eyes. Diana and Doctor Fate greet each other warmly and Inza explains that she had only just picked up the Amazon’s message as they had been out of time – adding that she is sorry to here of her mother. Holding out her hand she then offers Diana the chance to go right now and see if the mystic can still sense something at the missing island’s location. Diana replies meekly that it is still the lunch time rush and that she cannot really leave right now. But Hoppy will hear nothing of it and tells Diana to go and find her mother as she can call upon one of the other girls to come in who has been after some extra hours. diana thanks her and with a flash she and Inza vanish!

A few minutes later Doctor Fate and Wonder Woman – now in her costume – are flying towards where Themyscira used to be. Inza asks why Diana has taken a job in a restaurant? Wonder Woman replies that she has no money now that her mother has gone and the Mayer Agency has gone bankrupt. Doctor Fate says that she had always thought the Justice League paid their members a stipend? Diana replies “Me too!” before adding that while she had been marooned in space her file had been marked as “MIA” and now they cannot seem to be able to get the computer to start issuing cheques again.

Finally they arrive at the small rocky out crop marking where her home used to be located. As they both hover over it, Doctor Fate cannot believe her eyes and asks how this can be all that is left of an island that contained forests, mountains and more importantly thousands of people. Diana replies “No one knows” and the mystic replies “We’ll see about that”. She then explains that she can weave a spell made up of time strands and send them back to the moments just before it happened. As the spell begins to engulf them in a mystic whirlwind Wonder Woman asks if they will be able to stop it but Inza replies that they will be like ghosts merely observing the events passively.

A few moments later they find themselves standing on the cliffs of Themyscira looking down upon the beach. Wonder Woman recognises two of her Amazon sisters, Danthis and Hellen. She can see them both looking at something in the water and frustrated, asks Inza why they can only see what is happening but cannot hear anything. The mystic tells her that they are both only barely existing here in the past as sprit forms.

They continue to watch as the two Amazons drag ashore what looks like a golden statue. As they draw nearer Wonder Woman sees that it is a life-size statue of her! They continue to observe Danthis and Hellen drag the statue inland and then instantly find themselves transported inside the palace, where Danthis and Hellen are now kneeling before Hippolyta, seeking her peace. Wonder Woman explains to Inza that Amazon tradition allows the Queen to heal any dispute between friends by force of will. As Hippolyta lays her hand on each of the two Amazons’ foreheads, Diana adds that it tends to work most of the time!

Still unable to hear anything that is being said by anybody however, Diana watches as her mother stands in front of the seemingly harmless statue, gently caressing it’s cheek. Doctor Fate remarks how sad the Queen looks and that it is obvious how much she misses her daughter. Just then another robed Amazon enters the scene and Wonder Woman explains that she is the Oracle – and that if anybody can figure out a mystery then she can.

Placing her hands upon it, the Oracle tries to sense its inner nature. Suddenly the statue erupts into searing light that blinds her and powerful energy blasts begin shooting out from the golden figure in all drections! As the energy tendrils slam into the palace with devastating force and the Amazons try to run for cover, Wonder Woman cries out a warning to her mother – but of course she is not really even there and Hippolyta hears nothing. A bolt strikes the Amazon Queen at point blank distance and her body is instantly vaporized before a stunned Diana’s eyes! An instant later the entire island is consumed in a violent fireball!

Violently snapped out of the spell, Doctor Fate is stunned into momentary unconsciousness and transforms into her normal self, plummeting from the sky and splashing into the ocean below. She sins ever deeper into the inky blackness seeming doomed but Wonder Woman swims after her and carries her back up to the surface. She lays Inza gently on the rocky out crop as the mystic begins to come to and asks if she is alright? Inza replies that it must have been some explosion to have affected their spirit forms. She then tells Diana how sorry she is about what had happened and the Amazon Princess replies “No. Do not be. I knew somehow that my mother was dead.”

Inza then gently says that Hippolyta had said something just before she died and asks if Diana could make out what it was. Wonder Woman scowls and replies “Yes. It was Circe. She cried out Circe!”

A short while later Wonder Woman and Doctor Fate are flying towards the mysterious island where Circe lives. On the way Diana explains how Circe – a powerful sorceress – is probably the most evil woman in the world and has lived for over seven thousand years using her magic’s. And throughout almost all that time she has hated the Amazons.

As they touch down Doctor Fate asks Diana if she knows what she intends to do and the Amazon Princess replies “Not yet.” As they look around the island seems deserted and run down. As they make their way cautiously to the dark, desolate castle where Circe resides and enter the main chamber Doctor Fate conjures up a light spell and Wonder Woman is shocked to see the husk of Circe’s corpse lying on the floor! As the Amazon Princess kneels down by the body she asks Inza if she can determine what had happened.

Doctor Fate uses the time spell again, promising not to involve them too deeply into it this time! She takes them both back to the exact time frame when Themyscira was destroyed. They see a laughing Circe watching Hippolyta and the Amazons’ demise using her spell pool. But as she does so she accidentally spills some of her wine from the goblet she is holding. The liquid falls into the combustible spell pool and creates a fire ball that incinerates the Sorceress!

As they return to the present day Wonder Woman stares down at Circe’s remains. She tells Inza in an emotionless voice that she had not been candid when she had told the mystic that she did not know what she was going to do to Circe when they found her. But violence has fed upon itself like it usually does, leaving nothing behind. Vengeance is now beside the point.

Doctor Fate places a gentle hand on Diana’s shoulder and says that it is OK to grieve. But Wonder Woman replies that her mother and her Amazon sisters had died as Amazons. Death is always close at hand and there is no point to grieving. Inza however takes her hand and says that she does not believe that – and she does not think Diana believes that either.

Wonder Woman sinks to her knees and begins to sob as Inza cradles her friend. A few minutes later Diana composes herself and thanks her friend for her compassion and counsel. She then launches into the sky followed by Doctor Fate, who asks where the Amazon Princess is going now? Diana replies that she is returning to Taco Whizz because the next shift starts in twenty minutes and she does not want to be late for work again!

Inza seems surprised but Wonder Woman responds that she needed to know what had happened to her mother and the others. And now she does, she is free… and her new life is calling…