Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 165


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 165

General Info

Issue No:
165
On Sale Date:
August 1966
Cover Date:
October 1966
Era:
Silver Age
Story Title:
Perils of the Paper Man!
The Three Fantastic Faces of 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:
The Paper Man, Doctor Pyscho
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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Comments

After last issue’s single story we return to a two feature format. The first tale features probably one of the most preposterous villains since Egg Fu! The second meanwhile, features the return of arch villain Doctor Psycho. Also, the brief experiment in trying to re-create the artistic style of H.G. Peters to enhance the feeling of “a return to the Golden Age” ends in this issue, with the style returning to a more “modern” interpretation.

Synopsis - First Story

Colonel Steve Trevor and Army Nurse Diana Prince are visiting a Chemical Plant so that Steve can check on a new chemical process for making special paper. He asks her why she has come along and she replies that his wounds are still not completely cured and that she has been assigned to look after him.

Just then nearby, two workers purposely trip up one of their colleagues, a wiry looking man called Horace. He hits the ground hard and they joke how he is built like a sheet of paper! Diana rushes over and helps the frail man to his feet, telling him he should not let men like that bully him and for him to be more assertive. Horace thanks her and says he will try. As he watches her catch up to Steve he thinks to himself that she is the only person who has ever been kind to him. Her eyes were so warm and understanding.

But as love comes to Horace, he not only loses his heart but his footing and he falls of the gantry and into a vat of chemicals. Steve and Diana rush over to see what has become of him after coming into contact with the chemicals. They are amazed to see him climb out – but the effects on his body have been dramatic as he has been turned literally into a Paper Man! The other workers laugh and jeer at poor Horace but Diana chastises them. As he watches her and Steve depart, Horace muses that as she is the only one who does not consider him freak, he will shower her with jewels, fur and perfumes. He will win her love!

A few days later Steve and Wonder Woman visit the set of the film “Troy”, who as a publicity stunt have borrowed a priceless perfume bottle from a museum for the filming. The couple watch as the take begins and “Helen” is presented with the perfume as a gift. Even though it is a closed set, the Paper Man arrives and easily slides under the locked door. He swoops across the sound stage and grabs the perfume from the surprised actress’ hands!

Seeing it is Horace, Wonder Woman assumes the accident has somehow unhinged his mind and swiftly deploys her magic lasso to capture him. But he instantly rolls into a tube and her rope fails to snare him. She leaps after him but he again changes his form, this time turning into a paper plate, rolling away at great speed! Unable to grab him, she watches as he next compresses his body into a ball and smashes up and out through the skylight. The Amazon Princess continues her pursuit and sees that the Paper Man has hijacked a jeep and is towing away the full size mock up of the Trojan Horse! She dashes down the road after it and seeing he has still not lost the Amazon, Paper Man decouples the prop, sending it rolling down the hill one way while he drives off in the other.

Paper Man smugly assumes Wonder Woman will have no choice but to stop the Trojan Horse first before it injures members of the public, but she has other ideas! She uses both ends of her lasso to snare both prop and escaping jeep and begins to reel them in. Paper Man however quickly makes his escape by changing into a paper airplane and gliding up and away from the jeep.

A short while later Diana returns to her apartment and swiftly changes back into her civilian identity. But suddenly she realises Horace is waiting for her ands fears he has seen who she really is! However, he has actually come to give the bottle of perfume to Diana Prince as a token of his undying love. Relieved her secret identity is safe, she wonders whether as Diana Prince she can accomplish what Wonder Woman could not. She gently tells Horace that she cannot accept a stolen gift and that she can only love an honest man. The Paper Man thinks she is playing hard to get though.

Just then there is a knock at the door and they hear Steve’s voice asking if his “lovely gal” is in there? Jealous of this rival for her affections, Paper Man slides under the door and up ending Steve, tells him not to try and take Diana away from him or else! As the villain makes his escape he shouts back that he will return with a priceless fur coat for Diana. She rushes out to see if Steve is alright and she explains that Horace had thought Steve was calling her his “lovely gal” as opposed to Wonder Woman.

A little later Diana is watching the TV news and sees a report about the rarest fur coat in the world being exhibited to the Fashion Magazine Editors the following day. She guesses that this is where Paper Man will strike next.

The next day Steve is watching the aforementioned outdoor catwalk show when suddenly Paper Man appears and whips the coat from the model. But as he is about to make his getaway he runs into Wonder Woman who grabs the coat from him. She tells him he is going to jail where he will learn that a girl cannot love a man until she respects his integrity and honesty. He responds by using the sharp edges of his body to lash out at her, forcing her to release the coat and allowing him to turn into a paper airplane and fly away. Wonder Woman swiftly summons her own plane and gives chase. Soon they are over a large lake held back by a dam and turning into a human blow pipe, Horace blasts a hole in the dam. Instantly Wonder Woman commands her plane to spin over the raging waters faster and faster. As the deluge pours through the hole, the vacuum she creates sucks it up into a giant water spout. She guides the spout over a barren desert and releases the water over the land. She knows that by the time she has finished repairing the dam there will be no trace of the Paper Man again! As she plugs the hole with boulders through she suddenly remembers that her foe will be turning up at her apartment with his new gift. This time she will be waiting for him as Wonder Woman!

Hiding in a closet, she waits for an hours or so but there is no sign of the Paper Man. Eventually she has to give up and start her Hospital Duty shift as Nurse Diana Prince. As she is about to type a report though Paper Man emerges from the typewriter! he tells her he has brought her the sable and placed it in her filing cabinet under “L” for love! She gets it out and again explains that he must stop this thievery! he must realise a woman cannot love a man until she respects his integrity and honesty! He recognises these words as being the exact same ones used by Wonder Woman and assumes the Amazon has been trying to turn her against him. He leaps out through the window, shouting back that Diana should not listen to that interfering busybody and he will tonight bring her back a jewelled crown that will make Diana the queen of love and beauty. Unable to leave her nursing duties, she lets him escape and realises that he intends to steal the same crown she, as Wonder Woman, is scheduled to present to the Charity Ball later that evening.

Meanwhile in his hideout, Paper Man reads in the paper that Colonel Steve Trevor will be escorting Wonder Woman to the Charity Ball. he sees his chance to not only steal the crown but to also destroy both Wonder Woman and his rival to Diana’s affections, Steve Trevor!

And so, later that night at the Charity Ball, Steve and Wonder Woman arrive for the presentation ceremony. The Amazon Princess is on alert, watching for any signs of Paper Man. All is quiet until the highlight of the evening, when the Amazon Princess gets up on the stage to offer the Amazon Crown for charity auction. Suddenly Paper Man swoops down from the balcony above and snatches the crown. He then detaches the giant globe that is hanging above the stage, intending to crush Wonder Woman and Steve below. But the Amazon quickly uses another prop, a nearby giant cent coin, to deflect the falling globe. Steve points to the window above where Paper Man is making good his escape with the priceless crown, but Wonder Woman tells him to relax as she has taken the precaution of switching it for a paper maché one!

She leaps up to the window and leaning out, blows a mighty blast of air at Paper Man, sending him wafting into an open window of the printing press next door. She and Steve race outside and into the building next door, just in time to see Paper Man spiral down onto the conveyor belt. Wonder Woman races to save Horace but is too late. He becomes part of the paper already in the rollers and they realise that it will be all but impossible to find him now that he is part of the newspaper itself!

The next day she and Steve and walking down the street past a news paper boy selling copies of the latest issue, whose headlines pronounce that the Paper Man has fallen to his doom. But the Amazon Princess is not so sure he is really gone and wonders whether someday he may leap out of the headlines again?

Synopsis - Second Story

Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are attending a ceremony to honour the Amazon’s achievements. Children from across the nation have contributed pennies so that they can be melted down to form a copper statue of the mighty Amazon Princess. But as the cover is removed from the statue the crowd are aghast to see not a copper statue of Wonder Woman but a clay one of Doctor Psycho! He must have stolen the original to revenge himself against her and Steve assures her that they will get it back. She is distraught that Psycho could be so mean to the children who had saved all those pennies. Does he not have any conscience at all?

Later, as Wonder Woman assumes her identity of Lt. Diana Prince, Army Nurse, she receives a telephone call from Psycho himself! The villain explains that he knows she is a friend of Wonder Woman and wants her to pass on a message. He is ashamed of himself and wants to return the stolen statue. He has already mailed her the instructions where to find him.

A surprised Diana swiftly summons her invisible jet and wonders whether Psycho really has had a change of heart? With the instructions in hand, she flies like a streaking comet to his hideout which is an abandoned Amusement Park on a secluded island. She is wary of being lured into a trap but as she enters the main building she finds not only the statue but a humbled Dr. Psycho waiting for her. He tells her he cannot go on being petty and nasty this way. he has decided to change but he cannot do it alone and needs her help.

He shows her a chamber which he explains is his Personality Scrambler machine. It will bombard his brain with rays that will alter his character and turn him into a decent human being. While he is inside he will need someone to throw the switch from the outside. He feels it only fitting that she, the one he has wronged most and cared for most – should help him become an honest citizen.

She agrees to help and her suspicions melt away before such a heart-rending plea. But once Psycho is inside and she throws the switch, she finds that it is she who is bombarded with rays while Psycho smiles from inside the safety of the chamber. The Amazon undergoes an incredible transformation as every molecule and atom becomes separated by the relentless ray. Finally, two other forms move out from her body and Wonder Woman finds that she has been split into three!

The left hand version says she is glad to be free at last from being cooped up inside that “noble” heroine and from now on she will be running the show! The right hand version replies that as she is the most beautiful every one will naturally bow down before her! Doctor Psycho explains to the stunned Amazon that every person has many different traits. Even she has tyranny and vanity in her subconscious and his device has simply released them and given them independent life! Wonder Woman realises that a tyrannical and vain version of herself could cause harm to others and she decides she must stop them.

She leaps up to where the real scrambler device is located, intending to reverse its power so that her other selves will merge together with her again. Psycho orders the other version to stop her and the Tyrannical version barges Diana out of the way. She in turn responds by sending this version flying across the room with a powerful punch. But her foe reminds her that she is every bit as strong as the real Wonder Woman. She then grabs Diana and yells for the vain version, who is admiring herself in a hand mirror, to come and lend her a hand. As the tyrannical version is struck by another mighty blow from Diana, she reminds her vain counterpart that if they don’t stop the real Wonder Woman they will end up back from where they came from!

Now, the combined strength of the two Wonder Woman versions begins to relentlessly hammer the noble Amazon Princess. Inevitably, she falls to the onslaught and Doctor Psycho is delighted! The tyrannical version has an idea for finishing Wonder Woman for good and points out of the window to where a Sperm Whale has just surfaced off the coast. She asks Psycho whether he has any thick chain and he replies that he has recently invented a super strong steel chain. And so, as one version of Wonder Woman carries the hefty chain, the other carries the still unconscious form of Diana out to sea towards the whale.

When the Amazon Princess finally wakes up she finds to her horror that she has been chained to the creature’s back! Back on dry land, Psycho and his two Wonder Woman watch with glee as the whale dives underwater taking Wonder Woman to a watery grave…

Back at the Military Hospital meanwhile, Steve Trevor has arrived at Diana’s office and found the note from Doctor Psycho with the instructions on how to get to his hideout. He fears the villain may well be trying a double cross on Wonder Woman and decides to go there straight away in case she needs help!

It seems that the Amazon Princess is indeed in dire need of help as the huge whale carries her into the deep, cruising along the ocean floor. She spies an outcrop of rock and as the whale turns over so it can swim through an underwater gorge, Wonder Woman drives her heels into the rock using all her strength. The Amazing Amazon’s mighty shove is enough to send the great whale hurtling upwards through the water and eventually up into the open sky! At last able to breathe again, Wonder Woman guides the arc of the flying whale towards the shore. whale and Amazon crash down onto the beach. The force drives the air out of the whale’s lungs and with its belly deflated, the chains become loose enough for her to free herself! She tosses the whale back into the water…

Meanwhile, Steve has arrived at the Island and sees Wonder Woman standing at the dock, admiring herself in a mirror. He is pleased to see she is safe but of course this is really the vain version of the Amazon, who thinks to herself how boring Steve is. What the real Wonder Woman sees in that fool she cannot understand! She waves him away, saying that a woman of her great beauty has no time for any one man. Especially when she has countless admirers fawning over her. As far as she is concerned, she and him are through!

As the vain version of Wonder Woman assists in the capture the tyrannical version, the real Wonder Woman uses the opportunity to capture both of them!As the vain Amazon departs, the heart broken Steve turns away but a few moments later he hears footsteps and turns back to see Wonder Woman coming towards him again. Except this time he is unaware that this is the tyrannical version! He tells her he is glad she came back so he could tell her that she is right and he will give her up and find another woman to take her place. Her ears prick up at the words “another woman” and she clouts him, raging that he had better not even think about looking at another female as he is hers. And not to forget that fact!!! She turns her back on Steve who lies dazed on the floor, thinking to herself that with the real Wonder Woman dead, all she has to do is destroy the vain version and she will reign supreme as the one true Amazon!

Shortly, the real Wonder Woman races by and she sees Steve still lying bemused on the ground. She asks what has happened to him and he angrily responds that the bigger question is what has happened to her? First she does not want him and then she does! Can she please make up her mind!!! Realising he must have met her “split” counterparts, she says she will explain later and dashes off!

Soon she comes across her vain version, sitting on a box and still admiring her own looks. She tells her counterpart that she is certainly the most beautiful woman on earth and that it is a shame the world will never get to see her. The vain version asks why not? Wonder Woman replies that the tyrannical version is so jealous of her she is plotting to dispose of her so that the world will only admire her! The vain Amazon asks how they can stop her and Diana tells her she will help her conquer the tyrannical version and then retire from crime fighting, because she can never compete with beauty such as hers.

Having suitably appealed to her counterpart’s vanity, the two Wonder Woman lie in wait for the tyrannical Amazon to walk by. As she passes, Diana bowls her over, instructing her “ally” to bind their captive in her lasso. But as the vain version is doing this, Wonder Woman uses her own golden rope to bind her!

As Wonder Woman carries the two bound versions of herself back to the building where Psycho’s Device is located, Steve sees her walk past and assumes he must be cracking up. Three Wonder Woman?!

Soon, after she has reversed the settings on the machine, she stands underneath the ray with the other two versions while Steve grabs Psycho. As the ray strikes her again, her three forms slowly merge into one again. Grateful to have the real Wonder Woman in his arms again, Steve passionately kisses her on the lips while the captured Psycho looks on in disgust!