Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 240


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 240

General Info

Issue No:
240
On Sale Date:
November 1977
Cover Date:
February 1978
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Wanted: One Amazon - Dead or Alive!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Jose Garcia-Lopez, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Gerry Conway
Penciller:
Jose Delbo
Inker:
Joe Giella
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Jerry Serpe
Editor:
Larry Hama

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor
Heroes:
Flash (Jay Garrick)
Villains:
Duke of Deception, Napoleon Jones
Olympians:
Mars (Ares)
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
General Blankenship, Etta Candy, Colonel Belushi, Lieutenant Pierre Marchand
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During the last few issues there had been a debate raging about whether Wonder Woman’s adventures should remain in the World War II setting or not. This discussion had arisen due to the fact that even after a successful run of the TV series “The New, Original Wonder Woman”, ABC Television had decided for some reason not to produce any more episodes due to the expense of producing a WWII period based drama. However, CBS Television took the opportunity to snap up the rights and immediately decided to change the setting of the series to the modern day 1970’s.

Although DC Comics had always stressed that the comic book was not a ‘TV’ comic (i.e. one that was derived from the series as opposed to the other way round) it had obviously made a lot of sense to cash in on the show’s popularity by making the comic at least reflect the TV setting. In this way, new fans who had been introduced to Wonder Woman through the TV series could comfortably pick up a Wonder Woman comic and not feel alienated.

Now, with the CBS Television show retitled “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman” and moving to a modern day setting once again starring the stunning Lynda Carter, DC were forced to review their position of continuing to publish World War II adventures instead of modern day ones.

The readership was divided on the issue and as mentioned, it became the main topic of discussion in the letter column over the preceding months. However, DC Comics finally made their decision which they chose to announce in this particular issue. They stated that in the next couple of months they were going to move back to modern times and in the process reveal what actually happened to the Earth II Wonder Woman when the war finally ended.

Oh, and this issue sees the continuation of those yellow stripes on Wonder Woman’s boots too!

Synopsis

Wonder Woman turns to find herself surrounded by tanks and troops but from her perspective, she sees German soldiers and German tanks! She assumes that this is also part of the invasion force and immediately engages them.

With a cry, she hurls herself forward against the startled American soldiers, who are left with no alternative but to open fire. Their bullets ricochet off her bracelets as she advances and they realise they must use stronger methods. A tank moves forward and shoots at the Amazon, but she manages to avoid the deadly shell and retaliates by grabbing the tank’s barrel and bending it out of shape so that it can fire no more.

But even an Amazon can be overwhelmed by sheer numbers alone and as the soldiers swarm all over her, one of them delivers a savage blow with his rifle butt, knocking the valiant Wonder Woman unconscious. As they surround the fallen woman with the guns aimed at her, General Belushi orders them to clamp her in irons so that they can take her away to stand trial for treason!

Meanwhile not far away, the Duke of Deception watches in satisfaction as his plan comes to its successful conclusion -Wonder Woman has been branded a traitor and will be imprisoned by the very people she has sworn to serve. The war god will be pleased! With the Amazon’s fall from grace, America will be demoralised and may even lose the war against the Nazis. Just then though, he senses a disturbance and remembers the trap he had set for the Flash…something is wrong!

Out in the Hudson river, Flash struggles against the tentacled grip of the sea beast. He spins at super speed allowing himself to slip free of the creature’s hold. He then proceeds to race around the beast faster and faster, planning to use the resulting wind stream to pull all the air away from the sea creature’s face and leave it starved of oxygen. But as he watches the effects, it simply dissolves and drifts apart like a cloud. He suddenly realises that it has been an illusion all along to keep him from helping Wonder Woman – which means she must be in worse danger than he had thought!

But as he arrives at the Navy yard, he is greeted by the General who informs him that they have already captured Wonder Woman and have no need of his help. Flash demands an explanation and as he looks on at the unconscious form of Wonder Woman who has been chained to a jeep, he hears Belushi describe the events of the past few minutes.

On a nearby rooftop, the Duke of Deception realises that Flash’s speed makes him immune to his illusions and makes a mental note that he will have to use other means to stop his interference in future.

The following morning Wonder Woman begins to regain consciousness and finds herself in a cell being held a prisoner. General Blankenship and Etta Candy have come to see her and she tells them that this must be some sort of nightmare. Has she come all the way from Paradise Island just to be chained – like a slave? Blankenship assures her that she is no-one’s slave but that she is under arrest. He says the situation is very difficult and that with her amazing strength, they had no choice but to manacle her and thus rob her of her powers. He then tells her that she faces charges for crimes of high treason and that Etta will help to find her a lawyer.

With that he leaves and Etta tries to explain that the General feels very bad about what has happened because he always liked and and trusted Wonder Woman. But now he feels betrayed. Wonder Woman tells Etta that she also feels betrayed and asks what the charges are. Etta is puzzled that the Amazon Princess seems to be completely oblivious to what she is being charged with.

After Etta has recounted the previous night’s events Wonder Woman realises that she has been framed. She quickly tells Etta that she must prove her innocence and asks her to contact Steve Trevor. She has a plan.

Meanwhile in a part of Manhattan known as the Bowery, the Duke of Deception wanders through the streets dressed as a businessman. He needs a pawn – someone to protect him from the Flash and act as a distraction. He has a man in mind and arriving at a hotel, enters to find a gangster named Napoleon Jones. He tells Jones that he is here to give him the destiny he deserves!

Later that day around noon, Wonder Woman arrives under guard at the Federal Court. The newspapers have had a field day with the story and fueled an ever growing resentment of the Amazon. As she steps out of the police van, she hears the roar of a hostile crowd thankfully kept behind the police barriers. She walks towards the courthouse ignoring the jeers, taunts and debris being thrown at her.

Etta watches the scene with tears in her eyes and tells her boyfriend, Pierre that this is terrible. But secretly, the Frenchman is very glad that this has happened and that it will now make his mission that much easier…

Soon, inside the courtroom, the judge tells a manacled Wonder Woman that because of the unusual nature of this case, today’s arraignment hearing will also serve for indictment, as agreed by the Defense and Prosecution. Steve, standing beside her, whispers that everything will be all right. She asks him whether he had prepared everything Etta had told him to and he reassures her that he has.

For almost an hour the hearing drones on when suddenly the judge is cut short by someone speaking in German. Everyone turns to see a masked figure rush into the courtroom declaring that “The Wonder Woman must die! She is an enemy of the Reich!”.

The Duke of Deception meanwhile has been sitting watching the proceedings and curses when he sees the unknown Nazi villain arrive to potentially ruin everything. The nazi introduces himself as Siegfried, the speedster hero of the Fatherland. He announces that for her crimes against the Nazi Party, he has come to execute the Wonder Woman!

The watching onlookers stare in confusion, unsure how Wonder Woman can be an enemy of America if the Germans hate her so? Quickly, the Amazing Amazon asks Steve to free her from her bindings and as he does so, she feels her strength return. With one powerful blow she sends the advancing Siegfried flying across the room.

The watching Duke can already hear the doubt creeping into the watching crowd’s minds and realises that he must act now before all is lost. He races over to a nearby window that looks down onto the street and sends out an illusion targeted at the waiting Napoleon Jones. His image appears in front of the gangster and tells him that Wonder Woman is battling a Nazi assassin. He and his men must see to it that she dies not survive! He then tells Jones to use the device that he has given the gangster to create and army if he has to – but just make sure he destroys Wonder Woman!

Upstairs, the Amazing Amazon continues her fight with the nazi. Throwing herself at her foe, she sends them both tumbling through the window. As they plummet down towards the street below, she uses her lasso and loops it around a protruding flag pole, catching the nazi villain in her arms as she goes.

Steve joins the other people watching from the window and hearing their reactions, is pleased to hear that Wonder Woman s reputation appears to have been cleared but what now?

Suddenly, as Wonder Woman and her prisoner touch down on the ground safely, German troops appear from nowhere in the street and begin to open fire. As she instinctively deflects the bullets zinging towards her, she knows that this has to be another illusion. She realises that she must fight her own senses. As she lays into the attackers she tries to keep telling herself that this cannot be real.

Steve, General Blankenship and Etta race downstairs to witness the battle. The odds seem to be stacked against the Amazon Princess due to the sheer numbers of German troops.

Not far away, Napoleon Jones watches the battle, disappointed that she has not been overwhelmed yet and tries another tack. Using the device given to him by the Duke of Deception, he conjures up a huge creature made from the very ground itself.

As Wonder Woman disposes of another batch of Germans, she hears a roar behind her and turns to see the sidewalk move, as though some massive shape were shouldering its way to the surface. Earth and concrete slip together, fusing into one giant form that towers over her.

Swiftly, it throws a powerful punch which she only just manages to avoid. Her instincts kick in once more and she attacks this new foe. Siegfried, who in reality was the Flash all along, sees the Amazon engaging in battle against an ordinary sidewalk. He realises that she must be seeing yet another illusion. He is about to step in to help her but then has second thoughts. He interfered in her battles once before and was wrong to do so. He must have faith that she will overcome the real threat.

Meanwhile, she is sent flying by another powerful punch from the creature and cannot understand why her best blows are having no effect. As she struggles to her feet the creature looms over her and she thinks to herself that if this is an illusion – it is a very good one. But since every other menace she has faced recently have all been illusions, she has to believe in her convictions that this one is too.

Steeling herself, she prepares to fight back – by not fighting back! The creature once more delivers a devastatingly powerful punch at the kneeling Amazon who does nothing to avoid it. As the blow connects, the result is dramatic. Without resistance, the concrete giant seems to crumble with every blow it lands on her, until it begins to collapse like a building shored up by sand. Unbelieved, the illusion loses its force and dissolves to a mound of rubble. As Wonder Woman stands up and surveys the pile, she at last sees that in reality she had been literally pounding herself to death against the concrete.

Quickly, she spies Napoleon Jones hiding in a nearby car and surmises that he is responsible. She snares him in her lasso and forces him to reveal everything…

Later, as Jones is locked up in a cell, Wonder Woman tells Steve, Etta and General Blankenship that he has confessed to working for a “Duke” who had given him the illusion lens, but he does not know who this Duke really is. However, she at least now knew that there had been a plan to discredit her which would have succeeded if it had not been for the Flash.

Meanwhile, in another place far away, the Duke of Deception is facing the wrath of Mars, the God of War! The furious God tells him that he has failed and that he must be punished. With that, he uses his powers to strip away the Duke’s good looks, revealing how he really looks – deep in his soul.

The withered, balding man that is now the Duke, swears that he will make Wonder Woman pay and even if it takes him forever – he will make her suffer!