Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 163


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 163

General Info

Issue No:
163
On Sale Date:
May 1966
Cover Date:
July 1966
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
Giganta The Gorilla Girl!
Danger...Wonder Woman!

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:
Professor (Doctor) Pyscho, Giganta, Paula von Gunta
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Professor Zool
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Comments

Continuing the two story format, we see the return of Dr. Psycho (now referred to as Professor for some reason!), Giganta and the classic villainess Paula Von Gunta, whose surname has also now been changed from the original “Gunther”! It seems Robert Kanigher liked to tinker with original material as much as George Lucas did with Star Wars!

Synopsis - First Story

Nurse Lt. Diana Prince and her convalescing patient Steve Trevor are taking a Sunday stroll through the zoo when they are attracted by a female Gorilla being exhibited. As they marvel at the creature’s strength Prof. Psycho watches unseen from the crowd. He plans to attack Steve in order to break Wonder Woman’s heart and uses his brain power to hypnotise the ape. He instructs the creature to attack Steve and with a roar Giganta suddenly reaches out from her cage and grabs Steve.

As the crowd flee in terror Diana uses the opportunity to change into Wonder Woman and attempts to pull Steve from the Gorilla’s clutches. But the infuriated ape lashes out sending the Amazon flying. The stunned Wonder Woman watches in horror as the ape steps out from the cage and holds Steve up to its face. But instead of savaging him Giganta gently rubs noses with Steve – it seems females are all alike when it comes to falling for the handsome Colonel!

However, the touching moment soon passes as Giganta hurls Steve over her shoulder and advances in a jealous rage towards where Wonder Woman still lies prone. Swiftly, the Amazon Princess unhooks her lasso and loops it around the ape, guiding it back into the cage. Just then the Zoo owner arrives to thank Wonder Woman, followed by an excited white bearded man. The man introduces himself as Professor Zool and he believes Giganta is the perfect  subject for his Evolution Machine. She exhibits such remarkable human traits that she must be one step away from complete evolution. The Zoo owner however tells him that they do not allow experiments on their animals. Unobserved, Psycho decides the ape is the perfect instrument to destroy Wonder Woman!

Later that night Psycho and his henchmen use a sleeping gas to knock out Giganta before carrying the Gorilla to Professor Zool’s laboratory. Psycho orders Zool at gunpoint to start his experiment. Once Giganta is sealed inside a glass chamber Zool activates his machine while at the same time Psycho uses his hypnotic powers to convince the ape that she is a beautiful woman who will capture Steve Trevor. Before their eyes the chamber glows and the Gorilla slowly transforms into a gorgeous blonde woman. She asks where the handsome Steve is and Psycho tells her that an Amazon named Wonder Woman stands in her way but she will be able to crush her with one blow!

A few days later at Military Intelligence General Darnell, Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman enter the office and find a cleaner at work, who is really Psycho in disguise. Darnell orders him to finish his chores later but Steve notices an ear piece in Psycho’s ear and assumes the cleaner is hard of hearing. He shouts louder and Psycho duly leaves. But the villain has bugged the office and proceeds to listen is as Darnell orders Steve to take a top secret document to “Love’s End” beach where he will be met by a sub. The General explains that the document contains defence plans for a mutual ally and must not fall into enemy hands. But no one will suspect anything if Steve and Wonder Woman go together to “hold hands”. Armed with this knowledge, Psycho instructs Giganta to follow him to the rendezvous where she can crush Wonder Woman and win Steve for herself.

Later at Love’s End beach, Steve parks up his jeep and says to Wonder Woman that they should snuggle up as they are supposed to look like sweet hearts. She smiles but before she can reply Giganta jumps into the jeep and punches Wonder Woman, sending the dazed Amazon flying through the air. Watching unseen from his car, Psycho smiles as Giganta then carries Steve and the top secret document he holds up onto an overhead telegraph pole. As she agilely walks along the wire, Wonder Woman comes to and leaps up onto the telegraph wire to confront Giganta. She tells the blonde woman that she does not blame her for falling for Steve but that they had a previous engagement. Giganta replies that she had fallen for Steve the moment she saw him from her cage and Wonder Woman realises that Giganta must be the female Gorilla, now evolutionised into a girl! She attempts to reason with her adversary, saying that although she can understand her feelings of love, has she asked Steve how he feels? In reply, Giganta kicks away one of the wires that Wonder Woman is balancing upon. The Amazon teeters, trying to keep her footing on the remaining wire and in the process drops her lasso. Thinking quickly, she grabs the broken wise and loops it around the startled blonde woman.

A short while later Wonder Woman, holding the captured Giganta, watches as Steve rendezvous with the sub and hands over the secret document. For his part, Psycho decides he had better make his escape while he still can before Wonder Woman can ensure he joins Giganta in prison. But the Amazon Princess has other plans for the blonde woman and instead takes her in the robot plane to Paradise Island for rehabilitation.

Synopsis - Second Story

Paula Von Gunta and her gang burst in on a beauty salon frequented by Millionairess’ and proceed to rob them of their jewellery at gun point. Crowing, Paul holds out her hand which is now bedecked with numerous diamond bracelets but just then spots Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor walking past the salon. For the first time, the ruthless villainess feels searing emotion, envying the Amazon Princess for having the handsome officer on her arm. She decides to win him from Wonder Woman and pointing her gun at him, she instructs the now terrified Beauty Salon owner to make her irresistible. After a an hour he reveals his work to the gang members who tell Paula she is a “knockout!”.

She instructs them to pull off any kind of caper that will separate Wonder Woman from Steve so that Paula can be alone with him. Once he sees her beauty he will forget the Amazon ever existed! They pile into their car and easily outrace the strolling sweethearts. They spy a building site up ahead where a massive steel girder hangs over the street. The gang take the lift up to the top of the building and prepare to drop the girder on the approaching Wonder Woman and Steve.

Once she sees her men are ready, Paula calls over to Steve to help her start her car. He duly obliges and tells Wonder Woman he will be right back. With the Amazon standing on her own below the henchmen release the beam and it hurtles down towards the unsuspecting Wonder Woman! Steve sees the impending danger and shouts a warning to Wonder Woman. In desperate haste he flings himself at her to push her out of the way, but in doing so trips himself up, leaving him lying in the path of the deadly girder! But the mighty Amazon catches the beam on her feet and whirls it put of the way. Steve thanks her, kissing her on the lips and the henchmen see their opportunity to try again. This time they tip red hot rivets out of a container over where the couple stand. The Amazon’s amazing hearing hears them sizzle through the air and uses her bracelets to deflect them back up at the watching gang members. Desperately trying to dodge the scolding rivets, they topple from the top of the building and are caught by Wonder Woman. A frustrated Paula uses the opportunity to make her getaway in her car, vowing to take Steve away from Wonder Woman.

The next day at a Charity Bazaar Wonder Woman is performing some feats to raise funds and asks Steve to make himself busy until she has finished. He decides to have a look around the various booths and comes across a “Kisses for Charity” booth run by the devious Paula. She asks him if would like a free kiss but he declines, saying that surely the whole point is to raise money. He then makes his excuses and wanders off to find Wonder Woman.

The frustrated villainess realises that she must kill Wonder Woman if she is to have Steve to herself. She uses her radio transmitter to instruct her gang to open fire on the nearby Ferris Wheel. It bursts into flame and seeing this, Wonder Woman leaps into action. She lassos the wheel and spins it above her head, putting out the fire. Suddenly she hears the Box Office burglar alarm go off and in the distance spies Paula’s gang climbing into a waiting helicopter to make their getaway with the takings. Instantly she begins to spin at an astonishing speed, causing massive downdrafts which bring the helicopter down to earth with a crash. Unable to fight against the tornado like winds the gang is soon captured. Again, Paula has been thwarted but she does not give up.

Later at her hideout, she inserts hypnotiser beam contact lenses into her eyes and uses it on the local informer to find the whereabouts of Steve Trevor. She learns that he is going to guard a million dollar shipment of gold in an armoured train car. Armed with this information, she arrives at the train station in time to see Steve kissing Wonder Woman goodbye before boarding the train. Paula uses the distraction to sneakily remove the Amazon’s lasso.

As soon as Steve has left she swiftly binds the surprised Amazon’s hands and orders Wonder Woman to carry her out to the tracks beyond the city. Forced to obey, the Amazon Princess carries Paula at super speed along the railway line until the villainess tells her to stop. Using her hypnotic contact lenses, she then mesmerises Wonder Woman into thinking that her bracelets are really barbed wire. Thinking her wrists are being ripped to shreds, Wonder Woman hurriedly removes them. Without her bracelets of submission she becomes an unleashed force and Paula orders her to ram the approaching train carrying Steve and the gold.

Wonder Woman slams head first into the locomotive, derailing the cars. As the engine’s momentum hurtles it forward towards where Paula stands she quickly throws the bracelets onto Wonder Woman’s wrists who moves to catch the train before it crushes the villainess. Paula smiles and tells her that she bet the Amazon had hoped the train would flatten her so that there would be no competition for her boyfriend. Wonder Woman realises this has all been about Steve.

Just then Steve leaps out of the armoured wagon to check that Wonder Woman is all right. Holding Paula by the arm, the Amazon tells her foe that she must pay her debt to society for flouting the law. However, is there anything she can do to make it easier for her? Paula hugs Steve and replies “Yes – just put me on probation to handsome here for the next 99 years!”. The Amazon Princess wonders whether the fact that Steve is such a good influence on Paula means she herself should step out of the picture so he can help her reform?