Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 228


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 228

General Info

Issue No:
228
On Sale Date:
November 1976
Cover Date:
February 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Retreat to Tomorrow!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Jose Garcia-Lopez, Vince Colletta
Writer:
Martin Pasko
Penciller:
Jose Delbo
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Liz Berube
Editor:
Denny O'Neil

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Heroes:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) - Earth 2 Version
Villains:
Red Panzer (Helmut Streicher)
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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Comments

This issue signifies another change in direction for Wonder Woman, although this time it does not involve a change in the entire creative team, but just the editor.

Firstly, the book became a monthly title from this point onwards and the Amazing Amazon began to appear in the bimonthly”World’s Finest” title too. Secondly, in order to tie in with the soon to be aired TV shows produced by ABC Television, the powers that be at DC Comics decided to re-align the comic book Wonder Woman with her television counterpart. From this issue forwards they would tell World War II based adventures featuring the Earth 2 version of the Amazing Amazon. The Earth 1 version (last seen in issue 227) would however continue to make appearances in Justice League and Super-Friends titles.

This change was due to the fact that “New, Original Wonder Woman” TV series was set during the war and starred the gorgeous Lynda Carter. After a disastrous ‘Made for TV’ movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby a few years before (which bore no resemblance to the comic book character), ABC Television decided to try again and commissioned another movie. This time they remained faithful to the original William Moulton Marston version of the Amazon Princess and pitted her against the Nazis during World War II. After looking for the perfect actress to play the role, they eventually cast the statuesque Carter, who had been crowned Miss World USA in 1973.

The TV movie was a great success (owing much to Carter’s portrayal of the young, innocent Amazon Princess suddenly finding herself in a strange and foreign Man’s World) and ABC Television commissioned a further 11 hours worth of episodes continuing Wonder Woman’s war time exploits.

In order to maximise sales and leverage the good publicity the show was getting this issue explains how the current ‘modern day’ setting of the comic book manages to change to the 1940’s all of a sudden!

We also see the first appearance of Wonder Woman’s famous white stripes on her boots – a change driven by Lynda’s costume on TV – although the boots would strangely remain coloured red for a couple more issues!

Synopsis

The story begins at Kennedy Airport as a routine passenger flight takes off. At the same time, Wonder Woman circles the airport in her invisible jet awaiting clearance to land.

Suddenly, a small, strange shaped aircraft appears out of nowhere and heads straight for the 747 which has now climbed into the air. The crew see the approaching craft and take immediate evasive action in a desperate attempt to avoid a collision. They pull the 747 into a steep climb but as Wonder Woman watches in horror, they stall the engines and the massive airliner begins to fall to the ground.

She instantly climbs out onto the wing of her own jet and using her magic lasso, manages to loop it around the nose of the 747. Using all her might, she successfully pulls the airliner out of its nose dive allowing the pilots enough time to restart the engines.

Next, she races after the strange craft which caused the near disaster, intent on having words with the pilot inside. But as she leaps onto the craft, she notices that there is a Nazi Swastika on the tail fin. She muses that the craft is obviously a very advanced vehicle so it must be the product of some neo-fascist movement – either that or someone’s idea of a sick joke!

Meanwhile inside the craft, the pilot has realised that he has an intruder. The figure is fitted out in a metal suit and mask over which he wears a red, Nazi SS uniform including helmet. He cannot understand why his instruments indicate he is in the 1970’s and yet Wonder Woman is still alive, and still young too?! He climbs out of his cockpit and faces the Amazing Amazon. Raising his gloved hands, he declares that he, the Red Panzer, will not be deceived by this obvious American trick and then unleashes a hail of bullets at her. She manages to deflect the barrage and tells him that she is “no illusion”.

She then throws a punch, sending the surprised Panzer flying. He still cannot understand how she could have survived the war , remaining so young and beautiful, and that his time scanner had foretold nothing of this. As she removes her lasso, preparing to ensnare him, he finally knows for sure that this is the real Wonder Woman. He opens fire on her again before she can lasso him but she once more avoids the blast. However, before she can respond a strange, green ray appears from nowhere and encircles the craft.

Completely surrounded, the craft is pulled to a sudden stop by the grapple ray, sending both Panzer and Amazon flying. Before she can regain her senses, she feels the craft dragged back towards a rift in the very sky itself.

As the craft disappears through the hole, it instantly appears over the skies of Washington DC! She deduces that they have just traveled through some sort of worm hole as that is the only explanation for how they have managed to journey from New York to the nation’s capital in mere seconds!

She knows she has to get some answers from the Red Panzer and once more prepares to lasso him. He, meanwhile, leans back into the cockpit and disengages a lever which immediately turns off the grapple ray. As she moves towards him he tells her that she may be the Wonder Woman from 1976, but that she also exists here in his time period! But that cannot be possible, he continues, because just as no one can exists in two places at one time, neither can a person coexist with herself in the past! And that must mean, just as he had first suspected, that she must be a trick after all.

As Wonder Woman tries to fathom out what he is talking about, he uses the opportunity to yank the flight controls violently, throwing the Amazon Princess off the craft and sending her plummeting down towards the ground some distance below.

He watches, satisfied, as she crashes down onto a newsstand in a street beneath him. He bids her farewell as he flies off…

Thankfully, Wonder Woman survives the fall and dazed, manages to get up. She picks up one of the newspapers strewn around her and gasps as she sees that it is dated 1943 and has a cover story, showing a photo of her meeting President Roosevelt! She is completely baffled, as she knows that she had not even been born back in 1943! Also, she spots another photo depicting the Green Lantern – but it is not the same one she knows from the Justice League. Instead, this one is Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of the Justice Society! And then she understand – she is now on Earth Two!

Earth Two is a parallel world similar to our own, but occupying another dimensional plane. On Earth Two, history followed that of Earth One’s with some subtle and remarkable differences. For instance, super heroes did not appear on Earth One for twenty to thirty years after they appeared on Earth Two! However, the super heroes of both worlds know of each other’s existence and at times have teamed up together, hence the reason for Wonder Woman recognising Alan Scott.

She realises that the first thing to do is to contact the Wonder Woman of this era. Just then a passing member of the public greets her as “Wonder Woman” and she soon realises that she will have to be discreet. The man tells her that he has just heard her giving a speech on the radio so how can she also be here? She replies that she had taped the speech earlier and then remembers that tape recording did not come into wide usage until the 1960’s! She quickly corrects herself and clarifies that she means its been recorded on a transcription disc…

She next ducks into a nearby clothing shop and starts to select some period outfits so that she can get out of her Wonder Woman garb and stop attracting attention. She presents her chosen outfit to the cashier and produces some coins from a concealed pocket. She discreetly uses her nails to scratch the dates from them and then hands them over…

Meanwhile, in a secret, underground laboratory in Alexandria, Virginia, the Red Panzer muses over his recent encounter with the Amazon Princess. As he strokes his cat, surveying his time traveling craft which is now docked in the lab, he still finds himself troubled by Wonder Woman’s presence in 1976. However, he decides to focus on the task at hand, which is to correct the flaw in his ship. As he stares up at a large painting of the Führer, he vows that he will not rest until he is successful, for the sake of the Fatherland.

The High Command back in Berlin think he is just a scientist sent to America to design advanced espionage tools for the Nazi’s Washington spies. But the Red Panzer, whose real name is Helmut Streicher, is actually a genius and has invented a technology far surpassing that currently used by the Third Reich – a device called the Time Scanner. Using it to peer into the future, he has seen that Germany will eventually lose the war, beginning with the D-Day invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Knowing this, he has decided to do something about it and donning his metal suit of indestructible armour, has named himself the Red Panzer. He has constructed his Panzer ship, an aircraft capable of flying through the time barrier and into the future.

He had planned to leap into the future to June 6, 1944 to allow him to prevent the D Day landings, setting his grapple ray to automatically claw him back to his own time after one hour. However, his craft had malfunctioned and he had over shot his date target. What’s more, it had also pulled the American Wonder Woman back with him!

However, he believes that because the ‘future’ Wonder Woman and her present self cannot exist simultaneously they will therefore cancel each other out – meaning that she will cease to exist and he will be free to finish his mission uninterrupted. Unfortunately for the Red Panzer, he does not realise that the two Wonder Women are in fact different versions and they can therefore co exist…

Back in Washington, Wonder Woman has ducked into a nearby alley in order to change into her newly purchased civilian clothes. Suddenly though, she hears a cry and racing back out onto the street, sees a young girl lying in the middle of the road, having tripped while trying to retrieve her ball. A car now races towards her and instantly, the fearless Amazon puts herself in between, allowing the car to ride up onto her own back. The little girl thanks her and races off to her mum while the Amazon lowers the car back to the ground.

Her heroics have not gone unnoticed though, as the 1940’s Wonder Woman races over. She believes our Amazon to be an impostor and demands an explanation, reaching towards her. The 1970’s Wonder Woman reads this as an aggressive move and responds by grabbing her counterpart’s arm and throwing her against a nearby mailbox with terrific force.

The Earth Two Amazon does not understand why her unprovoked foe has attacked and presumes her to be a Nazi spy. She therefore lifts the mailbox over her head and throws it at our Wonder Woman, who in turn cannot understand why her Earth Two counterpart does not recognise her as being the Earth One Wonder Woman.

Suddenly, she realises why. The first contact between them is still at least 20 years in the future! As far as the Earth Two Wonder Woman is concerned, they have never met each other before! She knows that she must explain herself but as she tries to appeal to the other Amazon, she is sent flying into the alley by a powerful blow. As she sees the 1940’s Wonder Woman approach, she silently thanks Hera as she sees the Earth Two Amazon remove her lasso intent on questioning this ‘impostor’.

Ensnared by the lasso however, Wonder Woman explains what has really happened and her Earth Two version knows that compelled by the golden lasso, only the truth can be spoken. She apologises for the misunderstanding and our Wonder Woman tells her to forget it, as it was she who had thrown the first punch!

She then asks if the Earth Two Amazon Princess can help her return to her own time. The 1940’s Wonder Woman replies that she has been tracking the Red Panzer for weeks and has just located his hideout. Together they set off…

An hour later, the two Wonder Women arrive at the lab and find that it is deserted. The 1970’s Wonder Woman uses the opportunity to climb onboard the docked time ship and working together, they soon master the controls. The Earth One Amazon tells her wartime version that she does not feel good about leaving her to face the Panzer alone, but the other Amazon replies that she had been preparing to move against him today anyway, whether her future version had showed up or not. So, as the craft launches into the air, the 1940’s Wonder Woman waves good-bye to her ‘future’ counterpart.

Suddenly, a blast just misses her head and she turns to see that the Red Panzer has returned to his hideout. He cannot understand how she can still exist and cries out that she must be dead! She replies with a swift kick to the head, demonstrating that she is clearly alive and well!

He soon recovers though and clouts her with his metal hand, warning her that there is only one thing more hateful than a woman who attempts to be clever – and that is a woman who fails to show the proper respect for her betters!

She replies “I’ll have to remember that – if I ever meet a ‘Better’!” and uses a double footed kick to send him sprawling. As she prepares to use her lasso on him, he gets back up and throws a large piece of equipment at her, bragging about the superior strength his suit gives him. She manages to absorb the impact with her bracelets and as he stares in shock that she still stands, uses the lasso to ensnare him.

Under the control of the golden rope, he is powerless to resist her commands and she instructs him to come along quietly to Washington in order to face the authorities.

However, unbeknown to both of them, one of the Panzer’s blasts has jarred the delicate timing mechanism on the grapple ray, inadvertently activating it sooner than programmed.

Back on Earth One, the 1970’s version of Wonder Woman has re-materialised nest to her invisible jet. She jumps onboard just in time before the grapple ray suddenly encircles the Nazi craft, pulling it back to Earth Two.

And so, back on Earth Two, Wonder Woman is just about to lead her captive out of the lab when the time ship suddenly enters behind her. With tremendous force, one of the wings slams into the small of her back, sending the lasso flying from her grasp and knocking her unconscious. The fallen Amazon Princess is now at the mercy of her freed opponent!