Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 237


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 237

General Info

Issue No:
237
On Sale Date:
August 1977
Cover Date:
November 1977
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Rich Buckler, Vince Colletta
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Jose Delbo
Inker:
Vince Colletta
Letterer:
Not Stated
Colourist:
Liz Berube
Editor:
Larry Hama

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince)
Heroes:
Dr. McNider (Doctor Mid-Nite)
Villains:
Kung
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta (Hippolyte)
Other:
General MacArthur, The Real Diana Prince
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Comments

This issue is very much a ‘jump on board’ installment, in so much that the majority of the issue is made up of a retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin. It therefore gives new readers an opportunity to get up to speed on Wonder Woman past without having to refer to back issues.

Synopsis

After her recent confrontation with Armageddon, one of Wonder Woman’s bracelets had become broken. Returning to Paradise Island, she uses an Amazon forge to repair it, vowing that it shall remain whole until the very last breath she draws.

As per Aphrodite’s Law, the Amazon bracelets are a symbol of the enslavery the female race endured at the hand of Hercules and his men, many centuries ago. Without those bracelets, Amazons can turn to berserker rage and lose all control. Luckily for Diana, her mother had managed to replace it with a temporary band until the original had been repaired.

Now, as Diana finishes her task, Hippolyta enters. Her mother says that Diana has seemed so distracted since returning from Man’s World. Diana replies that she misses Steve Trevor who is still recovering from the poisoning he suffered, and that she wants to return home as soon as possible to see him. Hippolyta responds by telling her daughter that Paradise Island is her home. Diana gives her mother a peck on the cheek and tells her that she knows this and will try and return again soon. With that, she leaps onboard her waiting robot plane and departs.

Hippolyta watches her go solemnly, musing to herself that the Diana she had raised becomes more like a memory with each passing day, while this new Wonder Woman seems more and more a stranger. But, despite her daughter’s ‘Americanisation’, she is still very much loved by her mother.

A few hours later the invisible jet is flying over Washington DC. Wonder Woman has less than an hour before she has to attend a special War Production Board Press conference in her Yeoman Prince guise. She returns to her apartment in a hurry, wanting to save as much time as possible to allow her to drop in and see Steve at the hospital.

Having transformed back into Yeoman Prince, she makes her way along the ledge of the building to her room window. However, she sees someone inside, although the darkness makes it difficult to see. As she enters through the window though, the light switch comes on and she finds herself staring face to face with a gun wielding…Yeoman Prince!

Meanwhile at the railroad yard north of Union Station, a patrolman sees a figure onboard one of the train carriages and , thinking them to be a ‘bum’, informs the stranger that they cannot take refuge here or they will face jail. But the unseen figure replies that he has a mission and cannot be imprisoned or deterred. In front of the horrified officer, the stranger transforms into a savage beast and attacks him.

Back at the apartment, Diana tells her intruder that she is owed an explanation. Her double replies that having spent the last year in South America, only to find that her place has been taken by a spy, any explanation had better be good. Left with no choice, Diana twirls around and transforms into Wonder Woman before the shocked eyes of the ‘other’ Diana Prince. Wonder Woman tells her that although she has an appointment to attend in less than an hour, there is time to give a rough outline of how this has happened.

She explains that she is an Amazon, part of a race of women chosen by the Goddess Aphrodite to embody all that is good and strong in femininity. But this was not always so and in the beginning they fought a great battle with the forces of Ares, God of War, lead by Hercules. He defeated the Amazons temporarily but with Aphrodite’s help, they managed to triumph in the end.

Leaving the world of brutality behind them, they were guided by the Goddess of Love to a haven of peace and protection known as Paradise Island. There, they created an ideal world, living together in peace and love. The Queen, Hippolyta, fashioned an infant out of clay as directed by Aphrodite and because the lonely queen of the Amazons had been such a good servant, the Goddess brought the statue to life. Thus, Princess Diana, eventually known to the world as Wonder Woman, was born!

Diana was blessed with speed and strength and made her mother proud. But for Diana, there was something missing from her life. But on one day, only a few months ago, a warplane crashed into the sea off the coast of the Island and her life found new meaning. Acting quickly, Diana managed to rescue the barely alive pilot from the sinking craft and learned later that the airman’s name was Steve Trevor. From that very first moment, she knew she loved him.

Over the next few days she laboured long and hard to create a healing ray that would save his life. Finally she succeeded and he came to, staring into the lovely Amazon’s face and telling her that he must have died and gone to heaven because she surely was an angel…

As Wonder Woman continues her story however, elsewhere in the city another policemen spots a figure making off with some stolen clothes from a store. He orders the stranger to halt or he will open fire, but when the figure turns and begins to transform in front of his very eyes, he becomes frozen with fear. A man sized insect like creature then attacks…

Diana asks Wonder Woman if Major Trevor is the same man as the pilot. The Amazon Princess replies that he is, because she wanted to be near him and protect him whenever he was in trouble. Suddenly the phone rings. It is Etta, asking where Diana has got to? Etta also tells her that General Blankenship is beginning to get angry because Yeoman Prince always seems to disappear whenever Steve is in hospital. If she misses the War Production Board Meeting she will be in a lot of trouble!

Wonder Woman therefore transforms back into her Yeoman guise and asks the real Diana if she can continue her story on the way. And so, as they get in a jeep parked outside, the Amazon relates the next set of events…

The Princess had pleaded with her mother to allow her to take Steve back to America, but Hippolyta forbade her, saying that anyone else but her would be going. This is because by leaving Paradise Island, an Amazon may lose her immortality and that was was a risk she was not prepared for her daughter to take. The queen instead arranged a tournament to choose the most suitable Amazon, which her daughter was not allowed to enter.

But the Princess did enter, hiding her identity behind a mask. The Young Amazon proved more than a match for her opponents in each event and it eventually came down to the Bullets and Bracelets test, as Diana faced her best friend Mala, who was the best shot on Paradise Island. But the Amazon Princess showed no fear and deflected every single bullet.

As she presented herself to the queen as the winner, she revealed her true identity. Although Hippolyta wished it was someone other than Diana, she nevertheless felt proud of her daughter…

Meanwhile as Wonder Woman continues her tale, elsewhere in Washington the press are gathering outside the Acme Corporation factory, whose claim to fame is the fact that it produces munitions for the war using a completely female workforce. However, one of the women is not what they appear. They are in fact the stranger responsible for the recent deaths, wearing a clever disguise. He has infiltrated the workforce to fulfill his mission of death. Soon, his target arrives in a motorcade and as flash bulbs go off, the commander of the US Army in the Pacific, General Douglas A. MacArthur himself, steps out of the car.

Less than a block away, the two Dianas are driving towards the factory as the Amazon Princess concludes her story…

Having said good-bye to her mother and her Amazon sisters, the Princess in her new Wonder Woman costume sets forth to Man’s World to not only return Steve to his native America but to join in the struggle against Hitler, who posed a threat against the whole world, including Paradise Island. After delivering Steve to the Walter Reed Hospital, Wonder Woman realised the army would keep the two of them apart unless she came up with a way to be with him officially.

Just as she was leaving the hospital however, she saw a young nurse crying on the steps outside. When asked what was the matter, the sad girl replied that her fiancé had just got a job in South America but was not making enough money to send for her. She would probably never see him again. The clever Amazon sees an opportunity to help both her and the nurse. She promises to supply the needed funds, if she in turn gives Wonder Woman her credentials so that the Amazon too can be near the man she loves. The nurse eagerly agrees and replies that her name is Diana Prince and that the name now belongs to Wonder Woman…

With the story complete, it all comes flooding back to the real Diana Prince. But just then they hear a commotion coming from the factory. A man sized insect beast is charging towards the General and his guards are opening fire with little success. Quickly, the two women dart down a nearby alley way and once again the real Diana Prince is treated to the spectacle of the false Diana Prince’s transformation into Wonder Woman. Quickly, the Amazon uses her lasso to wipe the real Diana’s mind so that she forgets everything that has gone on before, ensuring her secret identity is safe once more.

She then races to the battle scene and leaps into action, delivering a kick to the insect creature as it makes its way towards MacArthur. But the General yells that he does not need a female to fight his battles! She replies that like it or not, that is exactly what he has got and, punching the creature, she sends it toppling backwards. But to her amazement, the creature morphs before her into a young Japanese man.

He introduces himself as Kung, the Assassin. He is a master of the martial arts and blessed with the ability to assume the posture of certain animals simply by concentrating. His mission to kill MacArthur has come from the Emperor himself but Wonder Woman tells him that she will not let him fulfill that mission.

In turn, he replies that she will be dead in seconds and transforming into a massive Tiger, leaps at the startled Amazon, catching her off balance.

“Hera Help Me!” she cries, “I can’t stop him!”