This is the first issue helmed by new Editor Dennis O’Neil which alleges to take Wonder Woman in a new direction, although it is not immediately clear what exactly has changed from the days of Mike Sekowsky. Diana still wears her now trademark white jumpsuit and beats up the bad guys using her martial arts skills! Still, at least we get an atmospheric cover from Jeff Jones.
This issue also features a back up story in the form of a re-print of an original Golden Age story featuring Wonder Girl. There is a printing error in this issue, as the introduction page for this back up story, whereby Diana wistfully remembers her teen years on Paradise Island as the lead in to the story that should follow actually appears after the story itself! Oooops…
Diana Prince can see that Fellows Dill is in some sort of trance and tells the wounded Jonny to stay exactly where he is. She sneaks around behind Dill and before he can fire on Jonny again, kicks him and uses a Judo throw to hurl him into a nearby tree!
Jonny congratulates her as he gets to his feet and tells her that thankfully the bullet had only nicked him and he will live. He picks up Dill’s weapon and suggests they follow Dill’s footprints in the snow as it probably leads to a shelter of some sorts. With a groggy Dill still in his trance they duly force him at gun point to follow his own trail back to where he had come from.
As they walk though the snow Diana becomes aware of something in front of them and tells the two men to stop. She sees a St. Bernard dog with a Keg around its neck emerge from the nearby trees. Jonny says he could do with a drink and walks towards the animal but Diana notices how unnaturally the dog walks. Suddenly she shouts a warning and pushes Jonny and Dill out of the way as the dog bounds towards them. In an instant the dog is leaping over their heads, carried by its own momentum and as it strikes the ground it explodes in a fire ball!
Jonny gets to his feet and guesses that the Keg must have been full of Nitro! Diana helps Dill up and says that the presence of a dog undoubtedly means there will not be any human guards around here. As they reach the crest of a rise they see a small log cabin and Jonny wonders why such an innocuous looking building would be worth guarding in the first place.
However, as they step inside they find the cabin beautifully furnished and full of artwork and sculptures. The cabin is merely a front as the room extends well into the mountain behind it. As they look around Jonny sees that all of the paintings depicting beautiful women have been defaced for some reason. He tells Diana he has a cold feeling in his gut that they are in the presence of true evil.
Before she can reply they hear the sounds of a helicopter approaching outside and as it touches down, two cloaked and masked cult members disembark armed with guns. The cultists approach the cabin and Diana suggests they hide as it looks like they have come to assassinate Dill. As the two figures step inside the cabin Jonny trains his own gun on them and tells them to freeze. But Dill suddenly lurches forward in fear and pleads with them not to hurt him. Momentarily distracted, Jonny is clobbered over the head by one of the cultists.
Diana leaps from her own hiding place and uses a karate chop to disarm the cultist before executing a perfectly timed judo toss, sending her opponent crashing to the floor! But the Amazon Princess is not quick enough to take down the other cult member before they can train their gun at her head, ordering her not to make a move! She is surprised to hear that the voice of her foe is female. The woman says she has orders to take Diana alive unless she forces her to do otherwise. However, those orders do not apply to Jonny! As the woman points her gun at where Jonny still lies on the floor, Diana kicks a nearby vase sending it flying into the cultist’s arm and knocking the gun from her grip. The lovely Amazon then follows up with a couple of martial arts moves to neutralise her opponent!
Diana asks whether Jonny is OK and he gets groggily to his feet, nodding. She says he needs to get to a doctor and leads Jonny and Dill outside where she suggests she flies the helicopter out of here. They climb aboard and as the two men strap themselves in she familiarises herself with the cockpit controls. As they lift off Jonny tries to use the radio to instruct the authorities to round up the other cult members, but it is not working. Diana says not to worry as they will soon be back in civilisation but suddenly she finds the controls are locked. She tries to regain control but to no avail and they are helplessly flown under remote control to their final destination…
Meanwhile at that very location, Doctor Cyber and her accomplice Doctor Moon listen to their conversation via a microphone hidden in the cockpit. Cyber tells Moon that their guests will be arriving soon and that he should prepare his instruments for the surgery he is to perform on Diana. He replies that no preparation is necessary when the patient in question is not expected to survive the operation! Cyber smiles and says that she will instruct the Cult to disband as it has now served its purpose – to deliver to Cyber her most hated foe in order to exact final revenge!
An hour later the helicopter finally touches down outside a grand looking mansion. Jonny recognises the place as belonging to Fellows Dill. He draws his gun and they disembark, leaving the zombified Dill on the craft. Jonny admits that he is worried what lies in store for them inside the house and smiling, Diana takes his hands saying that whatever lies in store she has enjoyed their adventure together so far.
As they approach the house several women on motorised gyro-bikes charge towards them with lances. Jonny uses his gun and manages to take down a couple but they soon find themselves outnumbered and surrounded. With Jonny’s gun out of ammunition, they are forced to fight their attackers in hand hand to combat. As Diana uses her formidable skills to tackle the women she realises that she cannot beat them all off. Jonny goes down and she decides it will do him no good if she allows herself to be beaten too. She agilely vaults over her attackers and bounds onto the verandah of the house before letting her momentum roll her through the door and inside.
She looks around at the luxurious surroundings and feels uneasy, as if she has walked right into a trap. Sure enough a trap door suddenly opens beneath her feet and she plummets into a dark dungeon. She manages to land safely and looks around. She sees a dozen beautiful women manacled to the walls and seemingly in the same sort of trance as Fellows Dill. She approaches one of them and asks if they can speak but she receives no response. Diana recognised the insignia on the Gyro-Bike riders’ uniforms as belonging to her arch enemy, Doctor Cyber and wonders to herself how the villainess had survived their last encounter and what plans she has in store for the Amazon Princess.
She sees that the exit door from the dungeon is wide open and assumes Cyber wants her to go that way, but she decides she is sick of playing her enemy’s game and that Cyber can come to her. She sits down on the floor cross legged and prepares to use her yoga training to meditate, which will allow her to sit for days if necessary without food or water. But as she makes herself comfortable a blast of electricity erupts from an overhead rod and strikes Diana. Again and again she is jolted by the electricity and her body twitches like a rag doll. Finally it overwhelms her and she slips into unconsciousness! Cyber enters the dungeon and stares down at her fallen foe, saying that much greater agony awaits the Amazon!
A short while later Diana awakes to find herself manacled to the wall alongside Jonny. He is glad to see she is still alive but Cyber assures him that the Amazon Princess will soon be dead. Diana looks on as Cyber explains that she had used another route to escape the explosion that destroyed her undersea headquarters. She had fled and rebuilt the organisation that Diana had shattered and for a time she admits she had been overtaken by madness. She had established the Cult to destroy all who trafficked in feminine beauty. Then she had discovered a serum that could bend human minds to her will and lured Fellows Dill, using the serum on him. However one of her aides had inadvertently permitted him to escape and had been punished accordingly.
Jonny says that he assumes she has now got over her “anti-beauty” crusade. Cyber nods, explaining that she had despised loveliness because she herself had once been beautiful. She had therefore sort to eliminate what she could never have again. But she had been shown another path.
Just then Doctor Moon enters the chamber and says that he had shown Cyber that she could regain her former comeliness. He tells Diana and Jonny that he is a surgeon who has perfected the technique of transferring brains from one body to another. Cyber continues that Moon has the ability to place her brain – her very identity – into a beautiful body. She gestures to the other women in the dungeon and says that she had sought out these lovely creatures to house her mind, but when Diana had blundered into her trap she had decided it would be fitting revenge to use the Amazon’s body!
Moon then wheels over the operating table and clutches Diana’s beautiful face in his hands as Cyber instructs him to begin the procedure. He instructs two guards to bring in the gas but Cyber says that she wants the Amazon Princess conscious when his knife inches into her skull! She wants Diana to feel the same anguish as she had felt, imprisoned in this mask of steel she wears. Jonny stares in horror at Cyber and snaps that she is inhuman. Is it not enough that she is going to murder Diana without torturing her during the process? He offers himself as a torture candidate but Cyber ignores him.
Doctor Moon however tells her that Jonny is right and that Diana must be unconscious during the operation, or else his scalpel may slip and damage her lovely features. Begrudgingly Cyber agrees and Moon places the gas mask over the struggling Diana. As the gas hisses the Amazon slowly succumbs to its effects and finally slumps unconscious. The guards unshackle her from the wall and drag her over to the table on which she is placed.
With his surgical gown duly donned Doctor Moon is ready to begin! He asks Cyber to hand him the scalpel while Jonny turns his head away, unable to watch Diana about to be carved up. However, as Moon leans down towards her face, Diana’s eyes suddenly snap open and she uses a karate chop to send him flying! A stunned Cyber cannot understand how she has recovered from the effects of the gas so quickly and Diana tells her that she had used her yoga skills to suspend her breathing while the gas was being administered.
Cyber orders the two guards to shoot her but as they step forward Jonny lashes out with his feet and floors them. Diana thanks him and tells Cyber that it just remains for the two of them to settle this once and for all. Cyber draws a knife and races at the Amazon. As the two women grapple with each other Diana tells Cyber she is evil, utterly insane and must be stopped. She then uses her judo skills to throw her opponent across the room. Cyber lands head first on the operating table and crumples on top of her own knife!
A distraught Diana frees Jonny and says that she had not meant to kill Doctor Cyber. He replies that it had not been Diana’s fault and she had done only what was necessary. As Diana begins to cry he continues that she had done Cyber a favour. “She was in torment – a pitiful creature driven to deeds she surely loathed. But now she was finally at peace”. Jonny then hugs Diana and says that she should try and forget about it.
The Amazon replies “I’ll try Jonny…and I pray I’ll be able…”