This issue sees the debut of another classic Wonder Woman foe, the menacing Doctor Psycho.
This issue sees the debut of another classic Wonder Woman foe, the menacing Doctor Psycho.
Mars, the God of War receives a report from one of his slave girls. She tells him how women are taking a more active role in the military. Mars does not want to see women rise to power and escape the domination of man. He sends the Duke of Deception to Earth to sew discord and create distrust amongst female members of the military.
The Duke of Deception chooses a man named Doctor Psycho to act as his instrument of evil. Doctor Psycho was once a promising medical student, but he was frequently the victim of ridicule from his peers due to his short stature and abnormally large head. Psycho was engaged to a woman named Marva, but soon learned that Marva was having an affair with a more attractive student named Ben Bradley. Marva and Ben conspired to frame Doctor Psycho for the theft of $125,000 worth of radium from the laboratory where he worked. A formal inquest convened and Marva testified against him, citing that she saw him entering and exiting the laboratory after hours on the night that the theft took place. With no suitable defence to prove his innocence, Doctor Psycho was sent to prison.
While serving his sentence, Psycho read a newspaper announcement in which he learned that Marva was now engaged to marry his rival Ben Bradley. His spirit crushed, this incident warped Psycho’s mind and developed into a lifetime hatred of all women. As time passed, Psycho was released from prison whereupon he set up his own private laboratory.
Presently, the Duke of Deception visits Doctor Psycho as a spirit and whispers in his ear, inciting him to fulfil his dreams of revenge against women. First however, he must rid of himself of his former love’s current husband, Ben Bradley. Psycho visits him and Bradley confesses that Marva and he had him framed for the radium theft. Psycho forces Ben to swallow a radium which subsequently kills him. He then tracks down Marva and uses his skills at hypnosis to bend her will to his own. He forces Marva to marry him and he takes her home where he treats her as his slave.
Every day, he hypnotises Marva anew, forcing her to perform various tasks for him. He also uses her as a conduit to contact the spirit world. Miraculously, Psycho manages to tap into the Netherverse and extract samples of ectoplasm. Moulding the ectoplasm like putty, he uses it to alter his own physical features.
Later, Psycho publicly announces that his wife and he will channel the spirit of George Washington at Lafayette Hall in Washington, D.C. Steve Trevor and Diana Prince attend the function and are shocked when they see a ghostly apparition of George Washington appear before them. Manipulating the ectoplasm from behind a large screen, Doctor Psycho has Washington tell the audience that women will cost them the war if they are allowed to manufacture munitions. He further warns them about women tampering with ammunition at the Supreme Shell Works. The message reaches the office of Colonel Darnell, who has Trevor set up a security force to canvas the shell factory. There is a huge explosion and dozens of workers are killed. It appears as if George Washington’s cryptic warning has proven true.
Later, Psycho sends an invitation to Darnell’s office, requesting his presence for a private seance with George Washington’s spirit. Darnell doesn’t believe in ghosts, but attends anyway, bringing Steve Trevor with him. Wonder Woman arrives and interrupts the seance. She ensnares George Washington in the Lasso of Truth, and discovers that the entire seance was a ruse. Although convinced that Psycho is a fraud, Darnell does not suspect him of the sabotage at the munitions factory.
Doctor Psycho then uses his powers over ectoplasm to take on the shape of Colonel Darnell himself. As Darnell, he removes top secret documents from the military base’s safe and gives them out to three female staff members with instructions to hide them in a secure location. When the documents turn up missing, the three staff members are accused of espionage and questioned. Steve Trevor grows suspicious and believes that Doctor Psycho is responsible for all of the recent trouble. He takes it upon himself to investigate Psycho’s laboratory, but is captured and imprisoned inside of an electrified cage. Using her mental radio, Diana Prince learns of Trevor’s plight and changes into her Wonder Woman costume. She fins a high fence sealing off Psycho’s laboratory, so she uses two trees as a slingshot to launch her over the fence and onto the laboratory grounds.
While Wonder Woman is looking for Steve, Doctor Psycho finds her and uses a device known as an Electo-Atomizer to separate Wonder Woman’s spirit from her body. With no conscious mind to guide it, Wonder Woman’s body falls into a state of torpor. Her mind is still active however, and she sends a mental summons to her friend Etta Candy. Etta and her fellow sorority sisters the Holliday Girls come to Wonder Woman’s aid. They distract Doctor Psycho long enough for Wonder Woman to gain her strength back and merge her spirit back into her body. Wonder Woman rescues Steve Trevor just as Psycho attempts to shoot him. Steve outdraws the villain, disarming him. While Steve arrests Psycho, Wonder Woman frees Psycho’s wife Marva from her sealed room.
On the planet Mars, the God of War voices his displeasure over the Duke of Deception’s failure with Doctor Psycho. As punishment, he has him enslaved in the women’s prison. The Duke uses his charisma to earn the affection of both the prison guards as well as the slaves. He tells them that he deliberately had himself imprisoned so that he could inspire the slave women to revolt. The Duke actually takes a liking to his own idea, and begins plotting against the guards. He trips up one of the guards, and succeeds in swiping her keys without her even noticing.
That night, the Duke unlocks the paddock cages, releasing the prisoners. The slave women revolt against their jailers and the Duke sends a message to Mars. Mars and the Count of Conquest arrive at the prison, and two slave girls overtake them with electric ray guns. After placing their former master in prison, they make the Duke of Deception their new king.
The Earl of Greed however, conspires to free Mars and the Count. Using Mars’ own gold bullion, he pays two guards to free the God of War, upon which both he and the Count meet the Earl of Greed at his ship. Mars decides that he will personally go to Earth to capture Wonder Woman. It is his belief that with her as his slave, he will be able to take back the women’s prison.
Back on Earth, Diana Prince and Steve Trevor visit Holliday College. They are in the Holliday College Observatory along with Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls. Through the observatory’s telescope, Diana spies the Earl of Greed’s attack ship approaching Earth. The ship hovers above them and large claws descend, uprooting the entire building. Steve Trevor scoops up Diana and tosses her out the window for safety. As she watches the ship pull the building into the air, Diana quickly changes into Wonder Woman.
She flies to Paradise Island where she uses the Magic Sphere to chart the Earl’s ship. She finds that it is heading towards the moon. Wonder Woman gathers Paula von Gunther, and together they mount a Sky Kanga and leap off into outer space. Their first stop is the moon, where they investigate why the moon has suddenly gone dark. Moon Nymphs of the Goddess Diana attack Wonder Woman and Paula using lasso arrows and lasso spears. They apologise, and tell them that they are under orders by Mars himself. Mars and the Count soon arrive and clasp Wonder Woman in iron chains. Having been restrained by a man, Wonder Woman is unable to break the chains. Later that evening, Wonder Woman finds Etta Candy, who is also one of Mars’ prisoners. She tells Etta to start a fight to distract Mars, while she goes to rescue her patron goddess, Diana. She frees Diana, and in turn, Diana frees Wonder Woman of her iron chains. Wonder Woman lends Diana her Sky Kanga, so she can escapes Mars’ citadel. Wonder Woman soon finds Mars herself and the two begin fighting one another. Wonder Woman proves victorious and knocks Mars to the ground. Paula meanwhile, finds a supply of chemicals and uses them to make an acid that she applies to the door of Steve Trevor’s cell. Once Mars and the Count are safely loaded onto a prison barge, Wonder Woman meets back up with Diana and everyone mounts the Sky Kanga for their trip home.
Meanwhile in prison, Doctor Psycho tells the warden that he wishes to confess to his crimes, but in order to do so, he must confer with his secretary who is also an inmate. The warden agrees, and brings Joan White to Psycho’s cell. In privacy, Doctor Psycho places Joan in a trance then uses her as a medium through which to produce a supply of ectoplasm. He shapes the ectoplasm into his own form, then hides and waits for the guards to appear.
When the guards arrive, they find the Psycho duplicate lying across the table, seemingly dead. Believing that Doctor Psycho died of a heart attack while writing his confession, the warden sends for a physician to examine him. News of Doctor Psycho’s apparent demise reaches the office of Colonel Darnell. When Diana Prince hears the news, she decides to personally oversee Psycho’s burial as Wonder Woman.
Doctor Psycho then disguises himself as a magician named Buenos Noches. He goes to the office of Steve Trevor and attempts to kill him through an elaborate magic act. Diana Prince tries to intercede, but Psycho detonates a bomb, which kills Steve’s secretary Lila. Steve and Darnell open fire on Buenos Noches, but the magician disappears in a wisp of smoke.
Steve begins to suspect that there may be a connection between Buneos Noches and the late Doctor Psycho. He decides to take his plane to the prison and inspect Psycho’s grave himself. Wonder Woman and Etta Candy agree to accompany him. En route, Steve’s landing gear malfunctions, and Wonder Woman must use her own body to guide the plane to safety. As guards rush out to the prison landing strip to help them, Wonder Woman goes to the graveyard. She digs up Doctor Psycho’s coffin only to discover that it is empty.
Suddenly, Doctor Psycho, disguised as a prison guard, sneaks up behind Wonder Woman and clobbers her across the back of the head, knocking her out. He then buries her alive in the upturned grave.
Etta Candy meanwhile finds Joan White and awakens her from her trance. When Joan awakens, Psycho’s control over ectoplasm dissipates. Wonder Woman meanwhile, manages to dig herself free however and captures Doctor Psycho. She ensnares him with her magic lasso and brings him back to his cell.