Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 159


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 159

General Info

Issue No:
159
On Sale Date:
November 1965
Cover Date:
January 1966
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
The Golden Age Secret Origin of Wonder Woman
Doom Island

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Ross Andru, Mike Esposito
Writer:
Robert Kanigher
Penciller:
Ross Andru
Inker:
Mike Esposito
Letterer:
N/A
Colourist:
N/A
Editor:
Robert Kanigher

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
Aphrodite, Mars, Athena, Hercules
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Mala
Other:
N/A
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Comments

With the commencement of the new Golden Age stories and art style, Kanigher uses this issue as a “jumping on” point for new readers who may have been attracted by this new direction. In it, he re-tells the Amazon’s origin story sticking faithfully to Marston’s original concept. It also marks the start of featuring two stories each issue from this point onwards.

Synopsis - First Story

Back in ancient times Earth was ruled by rival gods – Mars, God of War and Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty. Surveying the world below them, the two deities watch as men battle and pillage across all lands. Mars tells Aphrodite that Men will rule with the sword but the Goddess replies that her women shall conquer with love.

Below, captured woman are used as slaves and regarded as nothing but toys. Watching this, tears fall down Aphrodite’s cheeks and the God of War chides her for weeping like a woman as she can now see just how helpless her women are.

It was at this point that the Goddess decided to shape a new race of super women. She vows to breathes life and the power of love into her creations until they become stronger than the strongest of men. She names them “Amazons” and she creates a queen to rule her new race of super women. To Hippolyta she bestows her own Magic Girdle which as long as it is worn will ensure the Amazons are unconquerable. She therefore warns the young queen to never remove it. Hippolyta and the other Amazons than the Goddess and vow to use their power only in love and kindness and to battle the forces of evil everywhere!

The Amazons build a glittering city called Amazonia which immediately becomes the target of invading armies. The confident and arrogant men think that they will smash the city and enslave its inhabitants but the armies are outfought and defeated by the mighty Amazons. A watching Mars is enraged at this and rants at Aphrodite that she had tricked him by making her Amazons stronger than men. He vows that he will conquer and punish them but the smiling Goddess replies that as long as Hippolyta wears the Magic Girdle they are invincible and the queen never removes it, asleep or awake.

Mars then visits Hercules, the strongest man in the world, and tells him that there is a woman who is mightier than he is. She and her Amazons are invincible as long as she wears the Magic Girdle and Hercules will therefore remain the second strongest in the world! The arrogant Hercules tells Mars that he will strip her of the Girdle and bring her women back in chains!

Soon he leads his army to the outskirts of Amazonia where he is confronted by Hippolyta and her Amazon warriors. He challenges the queen to personal combat if she dares or else confess that she is nothing more than a coward in skirts. She answers the challenge and soon they are engaged in combat. Hercules uses his massive club to shatter Hippolyta’s sword and sends her tumbling to the ground. As he towers over her and orders her to surrender or die! But she uses the sword handle she still holds to clout him to the floor and he realises he cannot defeat her while she has the Girdle. She leans over her fallen foe holding the club over his head but her womanly heart is touched and she cannot bear to see the strongest man in the world lying in the dust. She tells him she will spare his life if he promises to go home and leave the Amazons in peace. He replies that she is indeed generous and that he promises. To seal their pact of friendship he then invites her and her beautiful Amazons to a banquet at their encampment later that night.
So that evening the craft Hercules uses woman’s own weapon – love – against Hippolyta. As they toast each other with wine, he tells she is as beautiful as Aphrodite herself and she in turn replies that he is as strong as Mars himself. Were it not for the Girdle she would not have defeated him. He charms her by saying that the Girdle is magic only because it encircles her divine figure. If he could but hold it for a moment it would send his spirits soaring. She knows she should not remove it but the young queen cannot resist such a plea. Once it is in his grasp he laughs and pushes Hippolyta over. She cries out to her fellow Amazons that Hercules has betrayed her but in the battle that follows those women that do not fall in combat are taken prisoner.

Chained, cuffed, beaten and tormented by their cruel captors, the Amazons are in despair. A chained Hippolyta prays to Aphrodite to forgive her sin and give her the strength to break free and recover the Magic Girdle. A sneering Hercules tells her that her pleas fall on deaf ears as Mars will prevent the Goddess from helping the Amazons. After all, the God of War is stronger than the Goddess of Love and Beauty! But appearing only to Hippolyta, Aphrodite tells the Amazon queen that she has the power to break her chains but only if she can force a man to undo the bonds that a man has placed upon her. Thanking the Goddess, Hippolyta instantly leaps towards Hercules ordering her Amazons to rise against their captors. Hercules tells the queen that she is foolish to hurl herself in chains against his sword but the daring Amazon allows the blade to slice through the bonds, thus freeing her!

In the raging battle that follows Hippolyta recovers the Girdle and the Amazons are victorious. Hippolyta tells Aphrodite that she will never remove the Girdle again but just as she tells her fellow Amazons to remove the cuffs that still encircle their wrists from where they had been chained, the Goddess tells them that they must leave them on. These bracelets must always be worn to teach the folly of submitting to man’s domination. The Amazons obey and guided by Aphrodite, they board ships and follow the Goddess to a secret island of peace. Finally reaching their destination, the Amazons build another glittering city and the Goddess of Love tells Hippolyta that this island is the Amazons’ paradise – But only a woman’s paradise. If they allow a single man to set foot on its shores the Amazons will be doomed, losing their immortality and powers.

In the years that followed the Amazons flourished in sunny peace and contentment except Hippolyta, who felt increasingly sad and lonely. The ever watching Aphrodite asks Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, how to lighten the Amazon Queen’s heart? Athena replies that Hippolyta needs someone to love – not a man who could break her heart – but the innocent love of a child. And so, under the direction of the Goddess of Wisdom, Hippolyta is shown how to mould a statue out of clay. Eventually the queen finishes her creation which is that of a young girl. Aphrodite blesses the statue with life and names the child “Diana”, after the Moon Goddess. An overjoyed Hippolyta hugs her newly created daughter and says “you are my wonder child!”.

As Diana grows up she lives up to his statement as at the age of three she rescues am Amazon who has been pinned under a falling tree, lifting the oak as if it was match wood. Hippolyta realises that Diana already has the strength of Hercules! At the age of five Diana is able to outrun the fleetest dear in the forest, moving swifter than the God Mercury. At fifteen the young Amazon spends the night in vigil at Aphrodite’s alter. She receives her bracelets of submission and Diana pledges herself forever to the service of the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Her mother warns her not to let any man chain the bracelets together or she will be forced to obey him until she can get him or another man to break them free again. And if her bracelets are removed, terrible forces can transform her into a creature of uncontrollable fury.

Lastly, at the age of nineteen in a secret grove, Diana takes a drink from the Fountain of Eternal Youth and beauty and happiness become her Amazon birthright so long as she remains on Paradise Island. Diana replies that she will never give up such a wonderful birthright.
A short while later though Diana and her friend Mala are walking along the beach when they see some wreckage floating towards the shore. Diana sees a body floating on what looks like a wing from a plane and Mala challenges the Princess to race her to it. They dive into the sea but even though Mala is the fastest Amazon swimmer, Diana flashes past her and gets to the wreckage first. She clambers on board and finds a handsome, blond haired man lying unconscious and just like her mother before her, Diana’s heart is stirred. Mala arrives and finds some paperwork in his flight suit, identifying him as Captain Steve Trevor of the American Army Intelligence. But Diana is not listening and refuses to let him die. As she lifts him up in her arms and jumps into the sea again, Mala warns her that a man cannot set foot on the island and that she cannot take him back to the city. Diana calls back that she will take him to her laboratory which is on the outskirts and begs Mala not to mention anything to her mother.

In the laboratory Diana works day and night to perfect a healing ray for the unconscious pilot’s life while a court Physician who has been secretly brought by Mala, tends to him. On day five though, just when she has finally finished the “Purple Healing Ray” Diana is informed by the doctor that the patient is beyond recovery. But Diana fiercely fights for the stricken pilot’s life and using the Purple Healing Ray vows not to let him die! Miraculously, Steve Trevor slowly opens his eyes and seeing the overjoyed Diana staring down at him murmurs “Angel …beautiful Angel…” Suddenly though a worried Hippolyta enters the room. So this is why Diana has not been at court all week – for a man! She orders for him to be returned to the warring world of men immediately! But a protesting Diana replies that he is too weak to travel alone and that she will fly him back to America. Her mother tells her that is impossible for if she leaves the Island she will lose her birthright. Deep down, Hippolyta realises that her daughter is in love with this stranger.

Meanwhile in Olympus, a laughing Mars tells Aphrodite that her Amazons may have defeated Hercules but that the whole world is now at war. She retorts that he will stop laughing when America wins and ends the rule of Nazi violence and bloodshed. Shortly afterwards, she appears before Hippolyta and tells the queen that a young Amazon must take Captain Trevor back to America. She must also remain there to fight evil and injustice everywhere. Hippolyta must choose her greatest Amazon for she will need all her strength against the forces of crime and violence in Man’s World.

The Amazon Queen obeys and next morning proclaims that a tournament to select their greatest Amazon will be held the next day. An excited Diana tells her mother she is sure she can win but Hippolyta forbids her to take part. Diana protests that someone must go so why not her? Besides, it is no sacrifice to battle crime and injustice – in fact it is an honour! Hippolyta cannot bear the thought of losing her child and tries to think of a good reason to ban Diana’s participation. She tells her daughter that because the prize is such a great honour she must eliminate any possibility of favouritism if she were to choose her own daughter – therefore Diana cannot compete!

But shortly before the competition, Diana dons a mask to hide her identity and joins the other contestants in the stadium. Fencing, wrestling, high jumping…from sunrise to sunset the gruelling tests of strength and endurance continue until every Amazon has been eliminated except two – Mala and the masked Diana. To decide the winner the queen announces that the final test will that of “Bullets and Bracelets”! Each contestant has to shoot a gun at their opponent. The “target” must catch the bullets on her bracelets or suffer the consequences! Mala shoots first at point blank range and Diana’s bracelets become silver flashes of streaking light as she parries each deadly projectile. Having successfully deflected all the bullets it falls to Diana to fire at Mala. The amazing Amazon Princess uses her swift reflexes to get past Mala’s defences but ensures her bullet merely scratches her opponent’s arm.

later in the queen's chamber, Diana puts on her costumeAmidst thunderous cheers, the winner removes her mask and the startled Hippolyta is finds herself both proud queen and saddened mother. She tells Diana that she wishes her daughter had not won. She will be lonely without Diana but she is also very proud of her too. As winner, Diana is then presented with the ceremonial costume and lasso, prepared under Aphrodite’s personal direction to wear in America.

Later in the queen’s chamber, Diana puts on her costume and Hippolyta tells her daughter that she looks beautiful. Handing Diana the magic lasso to attach to her belt, Hippolyta explains that the golden rope is made of tiny links which are unbreakable. At Aphrodite’s command, they had been taken from the magic Girdle. The lasso carries the Goddess’s power to make men and women submit to her will. Whomever she binds with the lasso must obey her. If anyone manages to bind her with it though, then she must obey them! Therefore she warns Diana to never let it be taken from her!

As Diana steps outside she is met by a cheering crowd who heft her onto their shoulders and cry “Hola Princess Diana! Hola Wonder Woman!”. With Steve waiting inside a unique transparent plane, Hippolyta tells Diana that this robot plane responds to the vibrations of Diana’s own voice. It is her parting gift to her daughter. Holding her close, she asks that the Princess always be guided by Aphrodite and Athena and to take care of herself. Bidding each other farewell, mother and daughter tearfully part and Diana boards the waiting plane. With the injured Steve at her side, the dauntless Amazon takes off, heading for America and the most incredible adventures of her life!

Synopsis - Second Story

As Wonder Woman attends to Steve he warns her to concentrate on flying the plane as this is the same area that he mysteriously lost control of his own plane and crashed into the sea. She reassures him that the plane is on auto pilot and she will return to the controls just as soon as she has finished making him comfortable. But at that very moment the plane suddenly goes into a dive and Steve yells that this is exactly what happened to him! Grimly, Wonder Woman leaps for the controls of the wildly spinning plane. With dazzling skill she pulls the plane up at the very last moment and touches down gently.

But she finds that the controls no longer respond when she tries to take off again. Steve suggests that perhaps there is a powerful magnetic mountain that pulls everything down and also effects the controls. Wonder Woman decides it is worth further investigation and tells Steve to stay in the plane while she has a look around. Her movements though are watched from behind a tree and she suddenly finds herself ensnared in a Tiger trap net, sending her up into the air. A Tiger then lunges at the dangling Amazon princess but she easily clouts it away. She realises she had better get back to Steve as soon as possible and like a human spinning top, she whips herself around and around the tree until the rope breaks and she sails free from the net.

Bound by her own lasso, Wonder Woman is compelled to obey the villain’s every command!Using the air currents, she glides back to the clearing where her plane was parked and sees Steve standing surrounded by armed spies. He yells up to her to ignore him and warn the authorities about this nest of enemy agents but the leader tells her if she does it will be the end of her boyfriend. He instead orders her to land and Wonder Woman realises she is weakening just like her mother had done, but that she cannot leave Steve at the mercy of these villains. She surrenders and touches done amongst the spies. The leader wastes no time in grabbing her lasso and wraps it around the startled Amazon Princess. She reveals to him she must now obey his every command and for fun he orders her to stand on her head which she does. He then instructs her to spin on her head like a top and the others laugh at her humiliation. But the villains do not realise that as she spins she is tightening the lasso and in another moment it will yank him off his feet making him drop the rope!

But the wily villain suddenly becomes aware of her ruse and quickly orders her to stop spinning! Enraged, he orders his men to use their ray gun to fuse the Amazons bracelets together! Now powerless as well as under his command she desperately tries to figure out a way to free herself. High above, the Goddesses Aphrodite, Athena and Diana watch startled by the Amazons dilemma. Athena says that Diana is in a worse position than even her mother was when Hercules tricked her! How can she ever escape? Aphrodite replies that the Amazon Princess must live or die by her own efforts and that they cannot help her.

At a signal from the spy leader, a giant Anti- Aircraft gun rises from a concealed underground chamber. Steve remarks that this must be what brought down the two planes. The leader adds that he will provide a demonstration of exactly how it works and orders his men to train the weapon on Wonder Woman. But as the ray gun opens fire, she plays bullets and bracelets with the blasts even with her wrists bound and manages to use one of the shots to cut through the weld and free her bracelets! Aghast at Wonder Woman’s titanic feat, the shocked villain drops the lasso allowing Wonder Woman to spring into action and deck the entire gang of spies with a couple of powerful punches!

Soon her lasso has the gang ensnared as they are towed behind the invisible plane as prisoners. She orders them to confess and the leader explains that they were hired by a foreign power to test the new secret weapon on American planes ands report back on effective it was. A smiling Steve tells Wonder Woman that little did they realise that she is America’s mightiest secret weapon!