Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 220


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 220

General Info

Issue No:
220
On Sale Date:
July 1975
Cover Date:
October - November 1975
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
The Man Who Wiped Out Time!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Dick Giordano
Writer:
Martin Pasko
Penciller:
Curt Swan
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Not Stated
Editor:
Julius Schwartz

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Heroes:
Elongated Man, Red Tornado, Green Arrow, Superman, Hawkman, The Atom
Villains:
Chronos
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Morgan Tracy
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Comments

Unusually, in one of the panels depicting Wonder Woman hanging precariously over New York, a black and white photo of the actual city is used.

Synopsis

Once again, our story commences on board the Justice League Satellite in orbit around the Earth. Red Tornado and the Elongated Man are on watch when the Teleporter activates and a carrier pigeon materialises. The Elongated Man tells Red Tornado that this must mean that Hawkman has won the ‘race’. When he sees Red Tornado’s puzzlement, he explains that earlier Superman had tossed a coin in order to decide who would be the next one to monitor Wonder Woman out of Hawkman and the Atom.

Against all odds, the coin had landed upright in a join of the table but as Superman had reached to retrieve it so he could toss it again, Hawkman stopped him, suggesting that as neither he nor the Atom had won or lost they ought to both monitor the Amazon’s next adventure. He then proposed that they hold a contest between the two of them to see who could spot Wonder Woman’ s next crisis first. The Atom agreed to this and so they both set off.

As the Elongated Man tries to retrieve the message from the bird however, he finds it is written on a chewing gum wrapper in tiny writing and Red Tornado suggests that he may have been wrong in his initial assumption and that in fact the Atom has been the one to report on Wonder Woman’s next ‘trial’ first….

The report begins with Diana Prince riding on a train back to New York, not looking forward to debriefing her boss Morgan Tracy on her latest assignment known as ‘Catskill’ (to be seen next issue). When she arrives at the UN, she remembers that she is late for her scheduled annual medical check up (as required of UN personnel) and takes the stairs to the doctor’s office at a sprint.

A few minutes later the doctor pronounces her to be in fine shape confirming that her heart beat is perfectly normal at 70 beats to the minute, much to the surprise of Morgan Tracy who enters the room at that precise moment, declaring that he has just seen her running up two flights of stairs! Diana smiles to herself in the knowledge that an Amazon’s heartbeat is always constant despite physical stress. After she leaves, the doctor prepares to take the pulse of his next patient when he suddenly realises his watch has gone…

Meanwhile Ray Palmer, otherwise known as the Atom, is surfing the TV channels in his hotel room, trying to pick up on news indicating a potential crisis looming, but instead finds a game show called “Race The Clock”. Puzzled, he is sure that the news is normally on this time of day and rechecks his watch, only to find that his too has disappeared. Groaning, he assumes he has already fallen victim to a New York pickpocket but then hears on the TV that the game show has suddenly been canceled due to their game clock having vanished! He then tries to dial the speaking clock but finds that the number is out of order. He realises that he has found his crisis at last – the disappearance of time! With that, he transforms into the tiny figure known as the Atom.

He transports himself to Diana Prince’s office and hides just in time to witness Morgan Tracy informing her that no one had turned up for a meeting scheduled five minutes ago. At least, he thinks it was five minutes ago because no one in the building knows what time it actually is! He asks her to get a security detail organised to check the building and ensure there is not some kind of attack under way.

As soon as he has left her office however, she takes the opportunity to transform into Wonder Woman and begins to check the security monitors herself. She quickly realises that a panic is sweeping the building and has an idea. Using the air currents to glide upon, she dives out of the window and uses her lasso to rope the entire UN Building. Hoping that the magical power of her golden rope will be able to compel the minds of so many people at once, she instructs them to freeze and remain motionless. She knows that she cannot keep the occupants of the UN frozen forever and as she sees panic and riots begin to break out in the streets, she realises that the time crisis has spread throughout the city.

She quickly boards her invisible jet, closely followed by an unseen Atom, and tests a new modification to her mental radio. With it, she is able to telepathically address the whole of New York, asking everyone to remain calm and assuring them that she will restore time as soon as possible. Her soothing words seem to do the trick, at least for now, and she next ponders how she can build a clock for the city until the problem has been solved. Instantly, she has an idea. She only has to concentrate on her own constant heartbeat to tell the time! Counting her own beats up to 70, she knows that one minute of time has passed.

Just then she is surprised to see a clock tower pass by her speeding plane, as she had assumed that every time piece in the city had disappeared. As she ponders this a strange figure inside a transparent flying craft shaped like a sundial flies by. The occupant, a villain named Chronos the Time Thief, realises that she can see him and tells her that ‘her time perception has somehow returned’. He then informs her that she is in for the ‘bad time of her life!’

Suddenly, the Gnomon of the sundial launches towards her like a missile. Before she can even react, it knocks her invisible jet out from under her, sending a helpless Wonder Woman plummeting towards the ground far below.

Unable to glide on the air currents she realises that she is finished and performs one last heroic feat, managing to lasso her tumbling craft so that it does not crash into innocent people below. But Chronos does not want her to die just yet and throws her a lifeline – in the form of a rope burning at one end!

As she hangs by the rope with one arm, taking the full weight of her invisible plane with the other, he informs her that he has merely postponed her death long enough to tell her that he has wiped out time in New York using an invention which he has hidden inside a time related landmark. However, she will be unable to do anything about it because she is hanging from an ancient rope clock, whose knots mark the minutes until it burns away to nothing – at which point she will plunge to her death!

With the strain on her shoulder almost unbearable under the weight of the plane she holds beneath her, she manages a last gasp effort to ease the craft onto the roof of the nearby UN Building just as the rope burns away. Chronos’ smile soon disappears when instead of falling to her doom she lets her lasso contract and pull her back up onto the roof next to her plane.

At this point in the story, the Atom gives us some background on the villain who he has encountered before. Chronos, under the name of David Clinton, worked as a curator at the Knickerbocker University Museum of Clocks and Watches. One day, with his special protective contact lenses in place, he began his master plan and activated a device called the Time Perception Banisher, which caused everyone in New York to no longer perceive time telling instruments. To everyone affected, they simply became invisible to the naked eye.

Chronos then used the same device to cloak his ship until he discovered that Wonder Woman had overcome his machine’s effect. This protective bubble also enveloped the entire city and not even the army could blast their way through from the outside. The city was completely cut off and without any way to tell the passage of time, everyone’s way of life had been turned topsy turvy just as Chronos had planned.

Returning to Wonder Woman, she has now commenced searching various landmark timepieces in the city to discover the hidden Time Perception Banisher. As she approaches the third clock on her list in Grand Central Station, the hands of the timepiece reach out and wrap around her, trying to crush her to death. She tries to break free from the trap and manages to pull the entire clock face from its mounting. Seeing that innocent bystanders are in the path of the falling clock face, she uses her lasso to whip a blast of air to scatter them out of the way. The clock face then hits the ground and begins rolling down the street with Wonder Woman still bound to it, using her lasso to continue to clear the way. Thinking fast, she uses her lasso to weave a safety net between two street lamps. As the clock face careers into the lasso barrier, the momentum throws Wonder Woman clear.

Before continuing with her search, she returns to Grand Central Station to check on the bystanders she had ‘blasted’ out of the way to ensure they are OK.

That done, she then sets off on a tour of the other clocks in the city, encountering various ‘traps’ at each location and succeeding in avoiding harm until eventually she runs out of clocks to search. It is only then that she understands what Chronos meant when he said he had hidden the device in a ‘time related landmark’.

However, before she gets a chance to prove her deduction, Chronos appears again and using a special ray, causes the light bulbs of the Times Square digital clock to fire out towards the Amazon. But she easily deflects the bulbs with her bracelets and attempts to capture Chronos himself. He has not finished yet though, and throws an Hourglass at her, which shatters on impact sending its sand all over her. He tells her that it is ‘reverse quicksand’ and that instead of its victim sinking into it, it sinks into its victim. As he speaks, she feels her pores closing up, suffocating her.

But using her lasso once more, she spins it around her body causing the sand to fly off her like a spinning top. Some of the grains hit Chronos, damaging his special contact lenses and causing him to fall prey to his own Time Banisher device. Instantly, he finds he is unable to see any of his time weapons, buying Wonder Woman the time she needs. Throwing her Tiara at his craft, she smashes the antigravity disc thus sending Chronos toppling to the ground.

Finally, she chops down a nearby signpost for ‘Times Square’ and, as she had expected, finds the Time Banisher device hidden inside which she quickly crushes. His ‘Landmark’ comment had meant literally that – something that marks the land, just like a signpost!

With the device destroyed, New York and its citizens return to a normal way of life as time is restored. However, as Diana reports to her boss Morgan Tracy a little later to give him a debrief on her Catskill assignment, he remarks that while she always manages to complete her assignments successfully, her reports seem to always involve ‘Wonder Woman’. Sensing his suspiciousness, she replies that he is not entirely correct as her Catskill assignment makes not one mention of the Amazing Amazon at all!

And so, as the Elongated Man finishes reading Atom’s report, the other Leaguers arrive. As they are informed of his success the Atom himself returns, hoping to gloat over his victory to Hawkman. But when Hawkman appears soon afterwards, he informs the Atom that he has been monitoring Wonder Woman’s latest ‘trial’ – in the Catskills! Atom replies that he could not have seen Wonder Woman, as he had just seen her in New York! Hawkman muses that one of these Wonder Women could have been an impostor, but he has no doubt that the Diana he saw was the real Wonder Woman!