Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 188


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 188

General Info

Issue No:
188
On Sale Date:
March 1970
Cover Date:
May-June 1970
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Earth-Quaker! - Part Two

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Mike Sekowsky, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Dennis O'Neil
Penciller:
Mike Sekowsky
Inker:
Dick Giordano
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
N/A
Editor:
Mike Sekowsky

Characters

Main:
Diana Prince, I Ching
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Dr. Cyber
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Patrick McGuire, Lu Shan, Chief Inspector David McLean
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Comments

There is a two page story at the end of this issue entitled “Crime Does Not Pay”, in which Diana takes down a couple of shop lifters. The only purpose to this story as far as I can make out is as filler material.

Synopsis

Diana, Patrick and Inspector McLean study a map of the city as they try to decide on their next move. McLean is still finding the story hard to believe without any tangible proof. Suddenly, as if to answer his doubts, the room begins to shake and they realise Hong Kong is experiencing an earthquake!

Outside, people scream in fear as shock after shock sends tremors through the heaving ground. Terror stricken they run but find there is no where to hide from an earthquake! As McLean tries to contact his men, Patrick suggests to Diana that they get out into the street where it will be safer. As they make their way towards the exit, Patrick holds Diana back and tells her he will check if it is safe first. As he steps outside and indicates that the tremors seem to be easing off Diana shouts a warning as a nearby wall collapses. She swiftly barges him out of harms way as another mighty tremor jolts the city. Fires break out and panic spreads as Patrick thanks Diana for saving his life and suggests they get out of here. But the Amazon Princess asks him where they can go. There is no such thing as a place of safety!

Suddenly a bullet whizzes by, narrowly missing Diana and they see two strange looking cars drive by. On board are Lu Shan and several of her female thugs who open fire with a machine gun on the couple once more. Diana and Patrick duck down behind some cover as the multi-wheeled vehicles advance, driving effortlessly through the rubble filled street. Diana and Patrick clamber up a pile of debris hoping that the vehicles cannot pursue them up the incline.

Thwarted, Lu Shan orders her death squad to pursue on foot and they continue to chase the pair as they run for their lives. Patrick has an idea and tells Diana to pile some debris over themselves to hide. Suitably hidden under the wreckage of a building, they silently watch as their attackers race by. Once they are far enough away, Diana and Patrick emerge from their hiding place just as another tremor strikes. More falling debris buries them and it is some time later before Diana comes to. She finds herself trapped under a heavy beam and calls for help, but Patrick is still out cold.

Meanwhile at a secret radio station outside of Hong Kong, a fully bandaged Dr. Cyber makes an address to the city and the entire world. She announces that what they have just witnessed in Hong Kong can be duplicated anywhere in the world. Indeed, her earthquake machines can level an entire city if necessary. The Governments of Earth have one way out – they must declare her supreme ruler of the planet! Failure to comply will result in her destroying every building on the planet and if they doubt her word, let her demonstrate what she means. With that, she activates her machines again and sends another destructive wave of tremors through the city, killing hundreds more people.

Diana tries to wake Patrick as the ground heaves around them. Suddenly though she finds a gun thrust into her face and finds that several of Lu Shan’s girls have located them. The debris is cleared from around them and Diana is hauled to her feet by one of them. As the girl turns her head though, Diana’s catlike reflexes spring into life and she grabs the arm holding the gun. She throws the girl to the ground and explodes into action, slamming into the startled death squad. She deals out kicks and karate chops until only one member is left standing. As the last girl tries to make a run for it, Diana grabs her foot and brings her down. She twists the foot of the helpless squirming girl, demanding to know where the Earth-Quaker machines are located just as Patrick finally comes to.

He tells Diana that she cannot torture her prisoner and that the girl should be handed over to the authorities. But Diana snaps back that they will waste too many hours and lives doing that. She tells him to look around at the devastation and to guess how many innocent people lie dead beneath the ruins. She then turns her attention back to her captive and twists her foot even more, demanding the girl talks!

Suddenly they hear a terrible roar and see a gigantic tidal wave coming into the harbour, smashing into the waterfront. As they watch the destruction from the safety of high ground, Patrick realises that Diana is right and time is not on their side. Seeing that she has no escape now from Diana’s torment, the girl gives in and says she will show them where one of the machines is located.

Soon the three figures are threading their way through the earthquake ravaged city towards one of the few buildings still standing. Once inside they find themselves standing before one of the giant Earth-Quakers. As Patrick moves to switch the device off though, Diana tells him to let their captive do it. He asks Diana why and she replies that so far every one of Cyber’s girls has been absolutely loyal to their mistress. She simply does not trust the girl.

Instantly the girl leaps into life and tries to chop Diana down, snarling that Dr. Cyber had been right about how the Amazon was too smart for her own good. Diana manages to dodge the attack but this has merely been a distraction to enable the girl to unsheathe her hidden knife. She lunges at the Amazon Princess who falls backwards and uses her legs to kick the advancing girl in the face. Dropping the knife, she then finds herself held in a head lock between Diana’s legs. As Diana applies more and more pressure she demands to know how to turn off the device. The pain becomes too much for the girl and she agrees to reveal the secret.

As Diana hauls the girl to her feet, keeping her captive’s arms held firmly behind her back, she apologises if Patrick does not approve of her methods. But with time against them and people dying every minute she has no time for niceties. She then shoves the girl over to the control panel and orders her to switch off the machine. The girl obeys, reluctantly explaining that the off switch is also a self destruct button that first must be turned to the left in order to neutralise it. With the machine at last de-activated, Diana, Patrick and the girl then head back to police headquarters where their prisoner is taken into custody.

Inspector McLean thanks Diana for her help and says that the police will take over the questioning now in order to stop this madness. Just as he speaks though yet another tremor strikes, sending everyone in the room tumbling. Diana grabs the girl and holding her fist clenched, suggests that she had better take over the questioning. The terrified girl whimpers that she will reveal the location of the other devices. She points to a map on the wall and indicates the whereabouts of the remaining five machines. Although McLean does not approve of Diana’s methods he reluctantly accepts that under the circumstances, perhaps her way is the only way. He then radios his men to gather at headquarters in preparation for the assault on the five locations. Diana tells McLean that she and Patrick will join the raid on the final device and the Amazon Princess secretly thinks to herself that this is where they will probably find Dr. Cyber!

A short while later Diana and Patrick pick their way through the ruined streets in a jeep. Around them, the heartbreaking task of finding the dead and wounded goes on. Elsewhere the police are already raiding other Earth-Quaker sites and ensuring they deactivate the machines as Diana had instructed, to avoid activating the booby trap. As another tremor jolts the city everyone knows that time is against them.

In an underground room the now masked figure of Dr. Cyber instructs her aides to contact the other Earth-Quaker sites but they receive no reply. She realises that something must have happened to them and orders the machine at their own site to be set to maximum power in order to compensate for the missing machines. Even with just this single device she can still doom Hong Kong island!

Without warning the ground heaves and churns once more and the city’s inhabitants scream in terror. At the same moment Diana and Patrick arrive at the site of the last machine and are fired upon by a guard. They charge towards the girl and Diana chops her down. Leaping from the jeep they then dash inside the specially reinforced building and run down a staircase towards the control room. But they trigger a trap door and both of them fall into blackness!

When Diana comes to she finds that both she and Patrick, who is still unconscious, are in chains hanging by their wrists. Before them stands Dr. Cyber who welcomes Diana and then removes the mask she is wearing to reveal her bandaged face. As she begins to unwrap the bandages she tells Diana that she is going to show the Amazon Princess what she has done to Cyber’s face. When Cyber’s burned, disfigured visage is at last revealed Diana turns her head away in horror. Cyber steps forward and grabs her chin, ordering her to look. Diana replies that the villainess knows full well that she was not responsible for Cyber’s wounds. It had been the Tiger Tong gunmen who had sprayed those hot coals into her face. However, Cyber has done what Diana was hoping she would do – get closer!

Suddenly Diana lashes out with a karate kick sending Cyber flying backwards. As the villainess sprawls unconscious, Diana gathers her muscles together and exerting herself to the utmost, she strains to break free from her bonds. As she grimaces, she thinks to herself that this would be much easier if she still had her super powers. But she uses sheer will power to overcome the challenge and the metal chain finally comes loose from the wall!

As Diana drops to the floor two of Cyber’s personal guards rush her armed with swords. But the Amazon Princess uses her chains as a deadly weapon which soon floors both attackers. She then searches Cyber for the key and turns her attention to Patrick, who has at last come round. As she works to free him though Cyber slowly gets up, her hands reaching for one of the dropped swords. She rushes at the unsuspecting Diana and Patrick yells a warning. Diana’s long hours of training pay off as she evades the thrust just in time, before brining her own improvised chain weapon into the fray. She sends Cyber flying backwards once more, causing the villainess to crash into the Earth-Quaker machine. As Cyber tries to get to her feet she reaches out for something to support and accidentally touches a high voltage cable.

Thousands of volts pour through her but even as Cyber twists and writhes in agony, her pure hatred for Diana spurs her to into a final act of revenge. She pushes the self destruct button and Diana warns the now freed Patrick that they have only moments to get out of the building. Desperately the two of them run for their lives as a huge fireball erupts behind them. When the dust settles they pick themselves up from the rubble and look back at the burning ruins of Cyber’s hideout. Patrick says that not even the villainess could have escaped from that explosion. But not far away in the shadows, a watching Lu Shan eyes Diana with pure hatred. She vows to avenge her mistress no matter what it takes…

Over the next several days the clear up operation begins and Diana and Patrick do what they can to help the authorities with the injured. At last they get a chance to visit I Ching at the hospital but find his bed his empty. They walk over to where Inspector McLean is standing and asks what has happened to I Ching. McLean replies that he has been missing since yesterday. Apparently a visitor came into his room and one of the nurses had overheard him say something about a “Lu Shan” and that she had crossed the border into China the previous night. The next morning I Ching had gone.

Diana realises that her mentor has gone after Lu Shan. He is still recovering from his gunshot wound though and is in no condition to go it alone. She therefore decides that she will follow his footsteps and enter Red China itself!