Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 207


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 207

General Info

Issue No:
207
On Sale Date:
May 1973
Cover Date:
August-September 1973
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
The Riddle of the Chinese Mummy Case
The Four Dooms

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Rick Estrada, Vince Colletta
Writer:
William Moulton Marston
Penciller:
Rick Estrada
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Not Stated
Editor:
Robert Kanigher

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Chang, Inventa
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta (Hippolyte), Paula (von Gunther), Mala
Other:
Princess Mei
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Comments

This issue marks another change of direction and sees a shift of emphasis from the modern day stories and art style back to re-telling Golden Age Wonder Woman stories. Featuring two stories per issue, these tales revert back to the more ‘fantastical’ approach and are represented with new artwork, although in a style which tries to remain reasonably faithful to the original artwork of H.G. Peters.

Synopsis

The story begins with Diana Prince descending in an elevator within the United Nations Building. Suddenly, the lift cable snaps and as the elevator begins to plummet downwards Diana surmises that it is the work of saboteurs. Quickly, she transforms into Wonder Woman and climbs through the ceiling hatch just in time before the elevator hits the bottom.

However, she is surprised to see it crash through into a secret shaft and when it finally hits the ground she discovers that a cylinder which has been buried in the foundations of the building has been loosened. Intrigued, she opens it and finds to her amazement that it contains ancient Amazon scrolls telling the story of an Amazon known as Wonder Woman!

The tale shifts to an archaeological dig at the base of the Great Wall of China. A Professor Morane unearths an ancient Mummy case at least 2000 years old but as the crane lifts the casket upwards the cables snap and it plummets to the ground, shattering into a million pieces.

Wonder Woman opens the casket to discover two statues – one a chinese mummy and one of her!The Professor despairs, realising no man can ever reassemble the fragments but in a desperate bid to save the day, he sends out a radio broadcast, asking for the help of Wonder Woman. Now patrolling in her invisible plane, she picks up the transmission and quickly responds.

After the Professor explains the problem, the Amazing Amazon moves at lightning speed and puts the casket back together in just under twenty seconds! When the casket lid is removed she finds two statues which cause great surprise. The first is of an ancient Chinese warrior princess wearing Amazon dress, sandals and holding the crescent shield of the Amazons. Even more strangely, the other statue is of Wonder Woman!

Puzzled by the discovery, she boards her waiting invisible jet and flies home to Paradise Island where she recounts her find to Paula, the top Amazon scientist. Wonder Woman asks Paula to send her 2000 years back through time so that she can discover the truth about the Mummy case, which Paula duly does using a device called the Space Transformer.

After traveling through the time dimension, Wonder Woman appears in the sky above a a ferocious battle between barbarians and a female army led by the Chinese warrior princess whose statue she had found in the casket. The Amazon Princess can see that the barbarians are annihilating them and she swiftly joins the battle. In no time the Amazon has the barbarians on the run and the Princess, whose name is Mei, expresses her gratitude.

Wonder Woman asks her where she had obtained her Amazon dress and the crescent shield from and Mei explains that they had been handed down from her ancestors, a group of ancient Amazons who had conquered Asia Minor. For centuries the women had ruled in peace but now the barbarians wished to destroy their kingdom because they resented women acting as if they were an equal.

Wonder Woman introduces herself as an Amazon Princess and Mei asks her to help rally her scattered army. But unknown to the two women, the barbarians are waiting in ambush and on the orders of Chang, their commander, quickly surround the remaining female warriors. Princess Mei tells Wonder Woman that death is better than capture at the hands of Chang, but the Amazon has a better idea. She steps forward and addresses the Barbarian, challenging him to single combat as per barbarian customs; the winner remaining with full rights and the loser retiring peacefully.

Chang accepts, but as the two face each other he treacherously produces an axe and attacks the unarmed Amazon. Only her Tiara saves her head from being split in two, but the blow is enough to topple her to the ground in a daze. Chang sees his opportunity and throws the deadly axe at Wonder Woman but she deflects the weapon with her bracelets. Chang is so surprised he has missed his target that he is unprepared for the kick to the stomach she delivers and he crumples to the floor, unable to continue the fight.

Wonder Woman is knocked to the ground by a blow from Changs axe, but she repels his subsequent attack and kicks him in the stomach!As Wonder Woman declares herself the winner and asks the watching barbarians to lay down their arms and return home, they charge at her in a rage. She uses her Tiara to knock them down and they and Chang flee from this ‘invincible witch’.

Later, Wonder Woman is treated to a celebration in her honour at the royal palace but for some reason Mei herself does not appear. Suddenly, one of her guards rushes in, yelling that Princess Mei has vanished and that ambassadors from Chang have asked for the city gates to be opened so they can deliver a gift to the Amazon Princess. Sensing a connection between the two events, Wonder Woman orders the gates to be opened and she rushes to the palace walls.

A group of barbarians enter the courtyard with a Mummy case which contains a statue of Princess Mei. They explain that the princess is being held captive and that the cast of her has been taken as proof. They demand that Wonder Woman be handed over or else Mei will be killed, but the Amazon Princess has other ideas and swoops down on the men, knocking them out. She realises that at least one part of the mystery has been solved – as in how Mei’s statue came to be found in the casket – but what of her own?

Putting that aside for the moment, she races to Chang’s camp where she finds Princess Mei bound to a post. But as she approaches she is clubbed over the head from behind by Chang and drops to the ground unconscious.

When she comes to she finds herself bound to a huge bronze shield surrounded by jeering men. They amuse themselves by throwing daggers at the helpless Amazon, missing her by inches. As she hears their taunts that ‘women really are puny’ she becomes enraged and shifting her weight, she turns the shield she is tied to into a lethal cartwheel, bowling down towards the shocked mob. Once again, they flee in terror at her powers but having freed herself, Wonder Woman ensnares them in her magic lasso and orders them to reveal the whereabouts of the missing Chang and the Princess Mei. They reveal that he is marching on the city in order to destroy it!

In no time at all, Wonder Woman reaches the city’s walls where she finds Chang and his men advancing behind a large dragon. As Wonder Woman engages the beast Chang confidently tells the captive Mei that there is no such thing as a ‘Wonder’ woman but is soon forced to eat his words as the Amazon grabs the dragon by the tail and hurls it, revealing that in fact it is nothing more than a fake full of Chang’s men. Realising that they cannot hope to defeat the Amazon, Chang and his men flee once more but not before Wonder Woman manages to rescue Mei.

Shortly afterwards in the palace studio, Wonder Woman watches a new statue of herself being carved and Mei announces that it will rest alongside her own so that people will never forget the Amazon’s great feats. Wonder Woman now knew how the statues had come to be, but what about those mysterious Amazon scrolls she had found in the cylinder?

As the two princess say their good-byes, Mei thanks her once again but voices concern that the barbarians will return again someday. The Amazon Princess responds by building a wall to protect Mei’s kingdom before being pulled back to her own time.

And so it came to pass that the Great Wall of China was constructed by none other than Wonder Woman herself!

Second Story Synopsis:
The story opens on Transformation Island, where Amazons transform, through discipline and love, the harmful traits of prisoners.

Mala, who is in charge of the island, greets a new prisoner from the Island of Cadmea by the name of Inventa. She tells Inventa that now she is wearing the Venus Girdle around her waist, she will submit to her training and learn to serve people in peace instead of harming them. Only Mala’s key can unlock the girdle.

Inventa begins to plot her escape over the next few weeks and one day asks permission to use the workshop facilities to make a gift for her warden. Mala sees no reason not to trust the subdued prisoner and leaves her to it. Inventa then uses all her genius to fashion a key which she promptly uses to unlock the girdle, thus freeing herself.

She decides to go to Paradise Island to discover what magic the Amazons possess and how it makes them invincible. She plots to turn their own power against them – and then the world!

Inventa recruits some willing accomplices from amongst the other prisoners and using a glider she has built, they escape from the Island. Although Inventa has no idea where to find Paradise Island itself, she surmises it must be close by and formulates a plan accordingly.

Meanwhile, on the very same Paradise Island, Wonder Woman is is taking part in a sporting contest involving dueling while astride Kangas (large, Wallaby-like creatures used by the Amazons instead of horses). She is battling an Amazon called Hercula when suddenly her opponent manages to shatter her sword. As Hercula sees her chance to win and launches blow after blow at Wonder Woman, the Amazon Princess simply deflects each attempt with her bracelets. Then the Amazing Amazon grabs Hercula’s sword and throws her off her mount, winning the contest.

Back out to sea, Inventa’s glider crashes into the ocean and she launches a distress flare. As the others watch it climb into the sky, she assures them that the Amazon patrols will see it and rescue them – just as she has planned.

Returning to the contest, Wonder Woman continues to beat her fellow Amazons in every event. Suddenly, she spies the flare in the far distance and like a human torpedo, dives into the sea and races towards the downed glider. As she approaches the stranded women, Inventa recognises the Amazon Princess and explains that they are actresses on location who have suffered an accident while filming. Using her magic lasso, Wonder Woman tows the glider and its occupants back to Paradise Island and she tells the women that it is fortunate that there are no men on board, because the Amazons would lose their eternal youth if a Man set foot on their island.

As Wonder Woman hauls the glider ashore her legs become entangled in her own lasso!As Queen Hippolyta and the other Amazons arrive on the beach to greet the rescued women, Wonder Woman begins to haul the glider ashore. As she does so however, her own lasso gets entangled around her feet and she loses her balance. Seeing their chance, Inventa and her gang storm ashore, firing gas grenades at the shocked Amazons.

As the queen staggers towards her daughter to assist her in untangling herself, Inventa seizes the opportunity to grab Hippolyta’s girdle. Wonder Woman and her mother realise that without the girdle, the Amazons are no longer invincible and even though her feet are still ensnared, the Amazon Princess lays in to the invaders as her mother succumbs to the gas. But even she cannot last long against the effects of the sleeping gas and finally collapses, leaving Inventa and her gang victorious!

Later, when they have recovered, Wonder Woman and her mother are presented in bondage to Inventa, who now sits on the queen’s throne. Inventa demands that they hand over the magical devices that allow the Amazons to perform their incredible feats of strength and agility. When Wonder Woman replies that there is no magic and that the real secret is the power of love, Inventa becomes enraged. The Amazon Princess suggests that their ways of love and discipline are put to the test.

Inventa agrees to allow Wonder Woman and her mother to address the other prisoners to see whether they can be persuaded by this ‘power’. However, she treacherously gags the two Amazons so that they are unable to speak on their own behalf. She then declares that their own silence condemns them and asks the others what punishment should befall the bound and gagged mother and daughter. They demand that the pair are flown to the Island of Cadmea and put to death by way of the four dooms.

Inventa accepts their judgement and tells Wonder Woman that she will be the first to face the four dooms; the doom of the rolling stone, the doom of the blinding mirrors, the doom of the labyrinth and the doom of the dragon’s teeth!