Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 164


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 164

General Info

Issue No:
164
On Sale Date:
June 1966
Cover Date:
August-September 1966
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
Wonder Woman...Traitor!

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:
Angleman
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
General Darnell
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Comments

This issue contains only a single story and sees the return of one of Diana’s Golden age foes – the Angleman!

Synopsis

In her secret identity as Lt. Diana Prince, the Amazon Princess attends to Steve Trevor who is in convalescence as one of her patients. As Wonder Woman though, she visits him as the man she lost her heart to from the first moment.

He tells her how “that Diana Prince is a mother hen clucking over him as if he were an invalid!”. He feels fine and is ready for active duty. As he pulls her towards him in order to kiss her, General Darnell enters the room and Steve introduces him to Wonder Woman. A stern looking Darnell replies that he has heard of her and that she should surely be out battling crime and injustice instead of being here holding Steve’s hand! He continues that the Army and Amazons do not mix! If Steve has a woman on his mind at some crucial moment during a mission, it might cost him his life and fail his country in the process! He should think about that fact!

With that the General exits and Wonder Woman says to Steve that she does not why Darnell dislikes her so much, but if anything ever happened to Steve because of her she would die! He reassures the young Amazon that she is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to him. Nothing unlucky can happen to him unless she were to marry someone else! She replies that there is no one else – there was no one before she met him and there will be no one else as long as she lives.

Still perturbed by Darnel’s reaction to her, she decides to pop by his office to explain herself. She finds the office empty and she decides to wait until her returns. She notices he has been filling an album with newspaper and magazine clippings and wonders why he has not got his secretary to do such a menial task? As she takes a closer look at the album she sees that all the clippings are about her! If General Darnell dislikes her so much why is he secretly collecting anything to do with her in an album? She decides to leave before he returns.

A few days later Wonder Woman arrives at the ward to visit Steve again and finds Darnell standing by an empty bed. She asks if the General has transferred Steve in order to make it difficult for them to see each other so frequently? Darnell passes her a note that Steve has left. The note explains that he has gone out to test a new super rocket plane, which killed the previous test pilot who had taken Steve’s place while he was recovering in hospital. Darnell tells her he was just about to leave for the airfield and Wonder Woman immediately summons her invisible plane and leaps on board, carrying the General with her.

The supersonic plane arrives at the airfield a few moments later and the Control Tower advises them that Colonel Trevor had reported he was going down in flames over the exact same area that Captain Andrews vanished in the day before! Both pilots had reported that they were unable to eject and Wonder Woman swiftly directs her plane to the last reported co-ordinates. With tears in her eyes, she tells Darnell that he had been right and that she is responsible for what has happened to Steve. The General comforts her, adding that accidents like this happen all the time.

Before the other search planes have arrived at the location where Steve’s plane went down, Wonder Woman swoops over the waves and dives into the ocean, leaving Darnell to wait anxiously on board for news of Colonel Trevor. As Wonder Woman cleaves through the turbulent sea there is no sign of Steve or any wreckage on the surface. She wonders if the plane has sunk with Steve still trapped inside the cockpit. If so, he may have enough air to keep him alive until she can find him.

As the Amazon Princess makes her way through the dark waters, she becomes aware of a school of killer sharks circling her. She suddenly fears they have eaten Steve and mad with grief, she charges at them, clouting their snub noses and sending them spiralling out of control. Half out of her mind with despair, Wonder Woman is finally forced to return to her circling plane. Distraught, she tells Darnell that Steve is lost to her, leaving her nothing to remember him by. How can she go on living? The General comforts the sobbing Wonder Woman by saying that she must go on as the world needs her…

The days go by and the grief stricken Amazon is unable to sleep time and time again. Darnell finds her standing on the cliff top under the moonlight. She says that he must think her mad coming here, like a ghost, looking out to sea where Steve disappeared as if he could ever reappear again. He replies that he totally understands what it means to long for someone…hopelessly.

The days continue to roll by and Wonder Woman wastes away with anguish. Taking her to a restaurant, Darnell tells her he will not allow her to starve herself to death before his eyes! She must eat and regain her strength. What is more, she must not forget her mission to help others! She asks him why he is wasting so much time on her? He is a General after all…he has more important things to do. He pauses before responding that he did not have the right to say anything before, but there is nothing more important to him than her! He has kept his feelings secretly looked inside his heart, allowing himself only to look at clippings of her in his lonely hours.

The Amazon’s soft womanly heart melts at the General’s confession and day after day, he pleads his cause before her caring soul. He knows he can never take Steve’s place but he would not want her to be unhappy for the rest of her life would he? He asks her to give him a chance to try and make her happy. He asks her to marry him and the Amazon Princess considers his proposal. She thinks to herself that she had made Stave unhappy by delaying marrying him, because she felt marriage would interfere with her mission. It would be cruel of her to hurt the General too and would not be in the spirit of Amazon loving kindness to say no.

And so shortly, Wonder Woman walks up the aisle arm in arm with General Darnell. But underneath her bridal veil Darnell notices that she is crying and realises that far from tears of happiness, she weeps for what might have been with Steve. He tells her that he cannot let her go through with the ceremony. With that, Wonder Woman races sobbing from the church, thanking Darnell for being so understanding and asking for his forgiveness.

Driven by her grief, she flies to the site where Steve and his fellow test Pilot had vanished. She arrives just as a third test plane has struck trouble and is going down in flames! Leaping out onto the wing of her plane, she uses her lasso to whip out the flames and in doing so, manages to loosen the cowling allowing the pilot to escape from the cockpit. She helps him onboard her own craft before jumping onto the rocket plane. The pilot shouts back that she will kill herself “in that jinxed ship” but she is determined to try and find out why disaster struck three times in the same way and in the same place to one of America’s top secret inventions. She is sure this is what Steve would have wanted her to do.

Suddenly, the flames erupt again and the plane nose dives towards the sea. Her Amazon super-sensitivity detects a thermal ray being focused on the plane. The intense heat is causing the craft to burn and at the same time must be fusing the cowling fastening, preventing it from being opened. Trapped inside the cockpit, Wonder Woman crashes into the ocean and hurtles towards the bottom. She sees a group of frogmen obviously waiting for the plane and she decides to feign unconsciousness. They attach ropes and begin to tow the plane behind them. Wonder Woman does not make a move, waiting instead for them to reach their destination.

Soon she spies a giant enemy cargo sub rising out of the mud where it has lain concealed. It must have sent out the thermal rays to bring down the pilots and their planes! She suddenly bursts out of the cockpit and like a human porpoise, the agile Wonder Woman whirls at the enemy with a flashing speed which dazzles the frogmen! Quickly gaining their composure though, the enraged frogmen try to riddle her with a hail of spears but she uses her bracelets to deftly deflect the attack.

The frogmen find themselves having to dodge their own projectiles as they whiz back towards them! But in the midst of her titanic fight against the swarm of frogmen, she suddenly finds herself being beaten with their weighted belts! Blow upon blow lands on the struggling Wonder Woman as their shear weight of numbers prevent her from avoiding final, inevitable unconsciousness!

The felled Amazon is carried onboard the enemy submarine and when she soon recovers consciousness, she is startled to discover that she is bound with her own lasso! Her captor smugly tells her that she is his prisoner and she will make his mission successful. His thermal rays brought the last three experimental aircraft down for his me to recover. But each time the planes were smashed into useless fragments. She, on the other hand, can bring him every defence weapon America tests – completely intact! He can then collect the million dollars per weapon the crime world is prepared to pay him!

Wonder Woman recognises her foe as Angleman but unable to resist, she confirms that as long as he holds her in the magic lasso she is compelled to obey his every command! Suddenly, she is petrified by an accusing and familiar voice which says “Wonder Woman! You can’t betray your country!”. She turns to see her beloved Steve lying immobile on a bunk bed. Angleman explains that Steve is the only pilot to have survived and his frogmen managed to capture him. Angleman had then quick frozen him for future use and intends to brain-wash him into giving him all the data on the inventions that Wonder Woman will now obtain for him!

Steve snaps that if she becomes a traitor he will hate her with his last breath! He adds that she is an Amazon and to take out Angleman immediately! She replies that he knows she cannot resist Angleman while bound with her own lasso and Steve knows that! He has to understand that she is not willingly betraying anybody! Angleman decides to demonstrate to Steve just how helpless she is and orders her to kiss him! Steve cries out for her not to do it but Wonder Woman steps forward and plants a kiss on the villain’s lips! In his torment, Steve reviles her, accusing her of being nothing but a hussy to kiss someone else in front of her! He does not care what the excuse is! If she really loved him she would never do it! As far as he is concerned they are finished as lovers! He does not care what happens to him now just as long as he can forget he ever knew her! A sobbing Amazon pleads for him not to speak to her like that…

Meanwhile at Military Intelligence HQ, a grim meeting is taking place chaired by General Darnell. The pilot that Wonder Woman had saved finishes debriefing his superiors, explaining how she had rescued him from the burning plane before taking his place and crashing into the sea. One of the Generals asks Darnell whether they should call a halt to their testing programme until they can discover whether these accidents were just that, or alternatively acts of sabotage? Darnell replies that they cannot afford to pause while America’s security is at stake. They must continue testing but pending the results of the investigation into the recent incidents, they will only test prototypes that do not require humans at the controls and booby trap them.

Once the meeting adjourns and Darnell retires to the privacy of his own office, he thinks to himself that he will never stop loving Wonder Woman and that he wishes he had been in her place…

Over the next few days, Military Intelligence Investigators tirelessly comb the sea floor at the site of the crashes. But as soon as the frogmen have moved on the enemy sub emerges from its muddy lair. On board, Angleman advises Wonder Woman that as soon as his agents on the mainland inform him of any new weapons due for test, he will use her to retrieve and bring the prototype back here intact. She replies that she will do as he instructs while the powerless Steve spits “Traitor!”.

Soon an American robot sub glides into the vicinity and its course is plotted by the enemy sub. Angleman confirms that it is the new robot submersible out on a test run just as his agents had informed him. He orders Wonder Woman to exit via the torpedo tube and retrieve it like a “good little girl!”. Unable to disobey, she makes her way to the launch compartment and as she goes, Steve yells “Traitor! Traitor! TRAITOR!” as loud as he can.

Deeply hurt by his words, the Amazon Princess launches herself out into the ocean with the lasso still attached to her body. Its ability to stretch to indefinite lengths allows Angleman to keep hold of her as she swims across to the American robot sub. As Wonder Woman touches the sub’s prow though she is zapped by an electric current. She prays that it will be enough to finish her so that she does not have to carry out an act of treachery, but her Amazon stamina simply means that far from killing her, the current is simply giving her a massage! Sadly, Wonder Woman continues with her task and tows the sub towards the waiting enemy craft, which opens its prow doors so that she can guide the American sub inside.

Soon another new weapon is launched for testing – this time a missile. Once again, powerless to disobey, the Amazon Princess leaps out of the water and prepares to grab the nose cone. Yet again she finds the weapon has been booby trapped and the tip explodes at her touch. But the explosion which would have shattered any other human simply leaves her a little stunned, meaning she is forced to continue her task and bring the missile back down to the waiting Angleman. She wonders how she will ever be able to face Steve again?

Once inside she is congratulated by a smiling Angleman. He tells her that no one else could have done what she has accomplished and that soon America’s efforts to defend itself will have come to a complete halt, leaving the country ripe for attack! How does the Colonel feel about that? An enraged Steve replies that he cannot believe he once loved the Amazon Princess and that is he could free himself from his frozen state he would stop Angleman himself! Angleman laughs at Steve’s tirade and responds that Steve is a helpless as a frozen herring and he can writhe all he likes while his sweetheart turns against his own country!

In agony, the broken hearted Wonder Woman pleads with her former lover not to turn away from her. He tells her to get away but she soothingly says that he knows she is a prisoner of her own lasso and is helpless to disobey anyone who keeps her bound in it. He replies that she is not only a traitor but she had also kissed that grinning rat Angleman while he was forced to watch! She leans forward and tenderly kisses Steve as tears run down her cheeks.

Suddenly, to the consternation of the startled Angleman, Steve leaps up from the bunk bed and punches him in the jaw, making him drop the lasso. The Air force Colonel then ploughs into the rest of Angleman’s men and Wonder Woman watches in wonder as he valiantly takes them all down. But Angleman is not finished and activates a trap door, sending Steve and Wonder Woman plummeting into a shark infested tank! Swiftly, Wonder Woman tells Steve to take a deep breath as she uses her tiara to cut a hole in the sub’s hull. With the other hand she punches the advancing sharks, until the hole is large enough for them to swim to safety. As she swims towards the surface though she realises that Steve will be dead before they can reach air. She shares her own breath by “buddy breathing” but even though she is trying to keep him alive he continues to squirm, not wanting anything to do with her.

Just then the enemy sub fires a torpedo at the escaping couple but Wonder Woman kicks it back to where it came from and it detonates, taking the enemy sub with it! With the enemy’s destruction, the stolen secrets of America’s defence weapons are also lost and can no longer fall into the underworld’s hands. But will Steve forgive her now that he knows America is safe?

As they break surface he gaspingly asks her why she had to kiss that brute, Angleman? She replies that the lasso had compelled her, just as she is compelled to kiss him without a magic lasso! She plants a tender kiss on a flabbergasted Steve’s lips, preventing him from making any further comment on the subject!