Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 222


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 222

General Info

Issue No:
222
On Sale Date:
November 1975
Cover Date:
February - March 1976
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Will the Real Wonder Woman Please Drop Dead!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Ernie Chan
Writer:
Martin Pasko
Penciller:
Jose Delbo
Inker:
Tex Blaisdell
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Not Stated
Editor:
Julius Schwartz

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Heroes:
Elongated Man, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Red Tornado, Superman, Black Canary, Hawkman, Flash, Batman, Phantom Stranger
Villains:
Wade Dazzle
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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Comments

This issue sees the end of Wonder Woman’s twelve trials and her re-admittance to the Justice League of America.

Synopsis

Continuing directly from the previous issue, Batman tells the others that they must convene a general meeting of the entire JLA as what he is about to report will represent the Amazon Princess’ 12th and final trial, meaning that they will need to take a vote on her reinstatement to the Justice League.

So, once everyone has assembled, Batman begins his report, telling them that in fact Hawkman had been monitoring the real Wonder Woman in the Catskills while the Atom had been reporting on a perfect duplicate in Manhattan. Batman explains that he had traveled to New York to see Diana who, at the time of his arrival, appeared to be in conference with her boss, Morgan Tracy. Or so it seemed, because he then sees another Diana Prince coming down the corridor…

As she approaches Morgan’s office she sees the other Diana come out and gasps, wondering whether she is having a trick played on her. She decides to play dumb and steps into Morgan’s office to hand over her report on the Catskills. His reaction to her immediately confirms that it is not a prank and she hurries out, leaving a bemused Tracy wondering why she had just walked back in again in the first place! Diana proceeds to catch up with the ‘impostor’ and manages to find her leaving the building. As Diana tries to apprehend her, asking her double why she is impersonating her, the other Diana uses a Judo throw to hurl the real Diana onto the ground. Diana realises that her double not only thinks she is the real Diana Prince, but is as good at Judo as she is too.

Meanwhile, in an unspecified location, a stranger monitors the proceedings and congratulates his rodent like henchman on doing such a good job at the controls…

Back at the UN Building, Diana suddenly notices a nearby light aircraft flying dangerously close to the Empire State Building through the smog. She quickly dives down an alley way in order to transform into her Wonder Woman costume, but instead sees her ‘double’ already doing so.

Seeming to anticipate Diana’s every move, the duplicate Wonder Woman then uses her Golden Lasso to rope around the mast of the Empire State Building. She then lets it contract again, pulling her up onto the wing of the aircraft and using her weight to swerve the plane around the Building.

Not to be outdone by her double, however, the real Wonder Woman also jumps on board, admonishing her double on the reckless nature of her tactics. Concerned for the pilot, Wonder Woman opens the door and finds a dummy in the cockpit and the plane under the influence of remote control. She realises that her double was in on this all along and decides to find out the truth once and for all. Still riding on the wings of the aircraft, she lassos her duplicate and asks her whether she is, in reality, Diana Prince. Her double replies no and that she does not know what Wonder Woman is talking about.

Wonder Woman sees that although she is lying to protect her identity, just as the real Wonder Woman would do, she is doing so under the influence of the Magic Lasso which compels all bound by it, even Wonder Woman herself, to tell the truth no matter what. Therefore, she surmises that the impostor is not human at all…

Her double suddenly leaps into action and lassos Wonder Woman, declaring that ‘two can play the lasso game!’. She tells Wonder Woman that there will be only one winner and the loser will taste death, because although there are two sets of Wonder weapons, there is only one Robot Plane! To Wonder Woman’s horror, she commands the invisible jet to approach.

Thinking quickly, Wonder Woman throws herself over the side, grabbing the edge of the wing as she goes and looping back underneath it, dragging her double with her. The duplicate Wonder Woman manages to land onboard the invisible jet.

Wonder Woman climbs into the cockpit of the other plane and realises that during the scuffle, she has managed to end up with her double’s lasso instead of her own. She wonders whether this one has the same powers as her own and guesses that she will soon find out because whoever is controlling the plane will now kidnap her and take her to wherever the duplicate Wonder Woman has now flown off to.

The watching stranger and his henchman are surprised just how quickly she has seen through the ruse, having thought that she would use the plane she was in to chase after the duplicate Wonder Woman instead. Nevertheless, he commands his rodent henchman, called Jerry 6, to ‘reel her in!’

Batman had taken the opportunity to slip a tiny homing device into Diana’s pocket at the UN allowing him to subsequently track where she is taken to. He therefore follows her back to the Catskills to a famous amusement park called Dazzleland, the multi-million dollar dream of Wade Dazzle, the children’s writer who created such characters as ‘Jerry Gerbil’ and ‘Harriet Hamster’.

When Wonder Woman eventually touches down she finds herself being held at gunpoint by the strangest foe she has ever met – Harriet Hamster with a gun! The bemused Amazon decides she cannot take a talking Hamster with a gun very seriously and disarms her captor, knocking the rodent out. Suddenly, she notices that the medallion around the Hamster’s neck is flashing and guesses that it is some sort of distress signal. She decides to best plan is to get out quickly as Diana Prince before reinforcements arrive.

However, her every move is being monitored by the stranger, who is none other than Wade Dazzle himself. He instructs his ‘Jerry’ Gerbil to activate the duplicate Wonder Woman and send her out as Diana Prince too.

Meanwhile, the real Diana Prince is making her way through the crowds at the amusement park, noting how sweet and sickening the whole place is. Just then she sees her double entering one of the side shows called ‘Disasterland’. As she steps inside she is confronted by various recreations of such tragedies as the Hindenberg and the Chicago fire. She sees her double entering the latter and proceeds to follow.

Although Diana knows the fire is all created by special effects, the audience are instructed to don protective fire suits to add to the authenticity. Diana steps inside with hers when suddenly she finds herself cut off together with another member of the public by falling burning debris. As the smoke gets thicker she watches in horror as the man begins to disintegrate away , to be replaced by an exact replica of himself!

She cannot believe that this is the real horror of Dazzleland and suddenly hears the booming voice of Wade Dazzle himself, inviting her to come and visit him so that he can explain why. As the smoke closes in around her she too disintegrates away and turns to vapour, just as Batman smashes his way into the room to save her. He surmises that her atoms have converted into the vapour and follows it as it disappears up into a nearby vent.

Watching from a nearby hiding place, he watches as Diana eventually reforms, this time in her Wonder Woman guise. She finds herself suspended in some sort of force field in the presence of Wade Dazzle himself. Or at least she assumes it is. In fact, the man before her is also a duplicate and explains that the real Wade Dazzle had been dying years ago of a disease for which no cure had yet been found. He was therefore put in a cryogenic suspension unit until a cure for his deadly disease could be found. However, the suspension unit is powered by the Bio-Energies of living people who are picked at random from the visitors to the park. The Bio-Energy also powers the duplicate manufacturing process which allows them to replace the dead ‘donors’.

As Wonder Woman stealthily attempts to use her ‘duplicate’ lasso, Wade continues to explain that he is linked telepathically with the real Wade, carrying out his orders. As per his instructions therefore, the duplicate Wonder Woman was created to lure her here and she asks why? He explains that with her Amazon immortality, her own Bio-Energy will never be depleted. In other words, she will be an inexhaustible power battery to keep Wade Dazzle alive for ever!

As he laughs maniacally, he engages a lever and Wonder Woman begins to whirl around within the band of energy surrounding her, extracting her Bio-Energy from her. But with super speed, she uses the lasso to break up the energy bands around her, sending them flying across the room. They strike the suspension unit, instantly destroying it and the frozen Wade with it!

Using her spinning momentum, she corkscrews her way up through the roof and onwards to ground level. No sooner has she emerged she sees Dazzle’s midget minions advancing towards her. She effortlessly disposes of them but suddenly hears a cry from behind her. The fake Dazzle instructs his duplicate Wonder Woman to avenge ‘Uncle Wade’s death’ and kill the Amazon!

As the double advances, Wonder Woman administers a punishing double footed kick, sending her opponent’s lasso ( the real lasso) flying into the air and allowing her to grab it! As the two Wonder Women clamber up the side of the nearby Vesuvius ride, Wade sees his chance and activates the eruption, whose lava is actually a highly corrosive acid used to dispose of the remains of the Bio-Energy drained victims.

As the volcano erupts, the fake Wade’s joy at the anticipation of seeing Wonder Woman burned to death turns to panic, as he realises that he will also destroy the duplicate Wonder Woman, the very brainchild of the now deceased Wade Dazzle. As he calls after her to warn her, he also alerts the real Wonder Woman to the true nature of the approaching lava.

She reacts quickly and makes a cat’s cradle of the lasso in her hands. She manages to weave a huge protective screen over which the lava flows, allowing it to continue downwards to envelop both the duplicate Wonder Woman and the false Wade Dazzle.

She then advises Batman that he can come out of hiding now. Batman does so, surprised that she had guessed his presence and they then proceed to search Wades’s underground lab complex. They discover that the duplicates were designed to perfectly simulate human bodily functions but were constructed of inorganic matter, as Wonder Woman had guessed. Although the duplicates created to replace those killed by Wade’s machine were probably harmless, Wonder Woman decides that the UN Crisis Bureau will need to track them down all the same.

Batman then tells her about her duplicate’s battle with Chronos (see issue 220) and she tells that him that as the real Wonder Woman had not actually battled him, then she has only in fact completed 11 of her trials…

But as Batman finishes addressing the rest of the Leaguers, he informs them that the duplicate Wonder Woman was a perfect copy of Diana in every way and had only acted against Diana when ordered by Wade. Therefore, it had been acting against Chronos of its own accord using all the skills and tactics of the real Wonder Woman. Batman therefore puts it to his colleagues that the battle against Chronos is still a valid test of Wonder Woman’s abilities.

They proceed to call the vote and, with a last minute surprise reappearance of the Phantom Stranger, the twelve votes are all in favour of Diana’s re-admittance to the Justice League of America!

And so, laden with welcoming bouquets of flowers, Wonder Woman returns to the JLA Satellite as a fully fledged member again!