Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 242


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 242

General Info

Issue No:
242
On Sale Date:
January 1978
Cover Date:
April 1978
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Tomorrow's Gods and Demons

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Rich Buckler, Vince Colletta
Writer:
Jack C. Harris
Penciller:
Jose Delbo
Inker:
Joe Giella
Letterer:
Milt Snapinn
Colourist:
Adrienne Roy
Editor:
Larry Hama

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Steve Trevor
Heroes:
Doctor Fate
Villains:
The Cerebrons, Angleman
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta (Hippolyte)
Other:
General Blankenship, Etta Candy
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Comments

Due to his other work commitments on his two new creations “Firestorm” and “Steel”, Gerry Conway handed over his “Wonder Woman” writing duties to Jack C Harris. Jack had for a time been editing Gerry’s Wonder Woman adventures, as told in “World’s Finest”.

For his first assignment, Jack was given the task of telling the previously untold story of what happened to the Earth II Wonder Woman after the war had finally ended.

This issue also sees the debut of the modernised version of Diana’s classic foe, Angleman.

Synopsis

It is VJ Day and the war has finally ended! Joyful crowds cheer a motorcade as it crawls along the streets. In one of the cars sits Major Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman.

She waves at the crowds, remarking to Steve how wonderful this all is. He tells her that he feels sure they could not have won the war without her. However, Steve wonders to himself exactly what will happen now? A peaceful world does not need heroes like him…or heroines like her. She too can sense his apprehension and fears that she will be recalled back to Paradise Island.

Their thoughts are interrupted by a squadron of war planes roaring overhead in a formation and the crowd cheers even more. Just then they see General Blankenship and Etta waiting for them across the street. They quickly scramble through the adoring crowds and meet up. General Blankenship greets the two of them and asks where Yeoman Prince is? Steve replies that she is probably lost in the huge crowd somewhere and then asks the General what it was he had asked them to meet him for. He replies that he is retiring and he wanted them all to be there for it.

Etta also has some news and when Wonder Woman asks her whether she is also retiring, she responds that she is – at least from the the army anyway. She intends to return to Holliday college and get her degree. Then she asks Wonder Woman what she and Steve plan to do?

But before the Amazon Princess can reply, a blinding beam of light descends from the sky and surrounds Steve! As the crowds move back in shock and fear they look up to behold an awe inspiring sight – a huge flying saucer shaped craft hovers over the city and is the source of the strange beam of light. Before their very eyes, Steve begins to ascend towards a hatchway in the belly of the saucer!

Wonder Woman quickly summons her invisible plane and climbs up towards the mammoth craft. She muses that the ship is too big to have been manufactured here on Earth and she knows that if she does not stop it, Steve will be inside and destined for who knows where. She opens the canopy of her cockpit and stands up, removing her magic lasso.

She tries to snare Steve in her golden rope but she is too late and Steve disappears inside. As the lasso makes contact with the strange beam however a massive shockwave of energy feeds back along the rope and stuns Wonder Woman into unconsciousness. But as her plane begins to tumble earthwards though, the Amazing Amazon thinks only of the crowds below and as she blacks out manages to command her plane to land safely.

The crowds below can hear a plane approaching at speed and begin to scatter, fearing that Wonder Woman is about to crash into the street. But the remarkable plane touches down and stops dead. Although they can barely make out its shape, they can see Wonder Woman is unconscious inside. General Blankenship and Etta race over to check on the Amazon who is beginning to come round. Etta asks her what has happened to Steve and the disorientated Amazon thinks back to when Steve first crashed off the shores of Paradise Island and how she helped him back to health, returning with him to America to fight against the nazis.

She wakes up with a start asking where Steve is and Etta points to the sky – but the craft has disappeared! Wonder Woman remembers the events of the last few minutes and tells them that if Steve has been kidnapped by a spaceship then there is only one place to find an answer – Paradise Island!

With that she leaps back into her plane and speeds off. As the General and Etta watch her go, they wonder when all the trouble is ever going to end?

At super speed, Wonder Woman flies home and touching down, is greeted by her fellow Amazons. They congratulate her on dethroning the god of war but she tells them she has no time for celebrations. She races to the palace to speak with her mother, Queen Hippolyta.

Diana tells her mother that she realises her mission to Man’s World has been successfully completed but that she cannot return home for good just yet. Hippolyta replies that she has viewed what has recently occurred using the Magic Sphere and assures her daughter that Steve is in no danger. Seeing the confusion in Diana’s eyes, the queen explains that she knows her daughter has fallen in love with Steve and that she cannot condemn that emotion, for love is the very ideal the Amazons live by. However, Diana must not forget her commitment to the other goals of the Amazon nation – peace and tranquility.

Hippolyta then shows Diana the Magic Sphere and reveals an image of Steve who is dressed in a strange costume and is surrounded with a luminous glow. The queen says that Steve has been taken and somehow recreated into something better. He seems to be more than a man – more than a human. Diana asks her mother if she knows where the ship comes from, but the queen cannot provide an answer. She does know however that Steve is aware of the metamorphosis he has undergone and that it is now the concern of Man’s World.

But Diana turns and races towards the door, replying that the concern is hers. The war may be finished but Wonder Woman is not! Her mother shouts after her that the career of Wonder Woman can be ended by her command. The threat of world wide slavery under the evil nazis is over and Mars licks his wounds. But Diana replies that she is not defying her mother and that her mission was to help men fight war and evil. War may have ended but evil still runs rampant and what has been done to Steve against his wishes is such an evil. It is her duty as Wonder Woman to end that evil!

As Hippolyta watches her daughter take off she sadly muses to herself that her fears have been well founded. The world has gained a heroine but she has lost a Princess – and a daughter.

As Wonder Woman arrives back in New York, Steve has rematerialised and announces that the Cerberons, whose craft had taken him, are right and that mankind is unfit to exist in its present form. The Cerberons have watched as Man entered the atomic age and watched as they destroyed fellow men with this new found power. They know that someday Mankind will evolve into a higher being and will become civilised. But the wait will be disastrous as Man’s aggressive tendencies will spread to the stars before this happens – and that must not be allowed to happen. This is why the Cerberons have chosen him and have evolved him past these savage ages to become the ultimate man who will end the age of death.

Wonder Woman hears his speech and asks him what he plans to do. He tells her that he has been chosen to protect us from ourselves. She replies that he has just fought a war over the right of free will! He responds that the wills of man lead to their destruction and he will therefore save them from their fates, for this is his mission.

With that he unleashes a wave of energy at two passing revelers and transforms them into higher beings just like himself. She tells him that he is destroying what she has spent the last five years fighting for by turning them into mindless copies of one individual. Speaking as one, the three beings reply that they are not mindless but are a single individual mind!

They turn and walk off down the street, telling her that they must increase their numbers until the entire population has been transformed. She charges after them, yelling that their mission is inhuman but they turn and fire their energy wave at her. She manages to deflect the beams with her bracelets but they reflect away to create more beings! She realises that she cannot stop them and that if they keep expanding at this rate they will consume the entire population within a week.

Meanwhile, Hippolyta watches these events through the Magic Sphere and wonders why Diana is trying to stop what must be. Although it may be premature, the eventual linking of human minds is the evolutionary fate of mankind as predicted by Amazon scientists. She decides her daughter must return home at once because once the process is complete there will be no more evil in the world to worry about.

Suddenly, she hears a voice through the Magic Sphere and turns to see Dr. Fate and The Spectre. They tell her that the transformation taking place in Man’s World is a malignant one. Earth’s fate must take its own course and must not be altered by outside hands. She must not stop her daughter. Hippolyta sheds a tear as she senses the wisdom spoken by the supernatural pair and decides. Her daughter is now – and forever will be – Wonder Woman!

In New York, the Amazon Princess boards her plane and sees that there are now eighty one beings. She notices that they seem to stand close together in order to absorb others. She therefore quickly turns her plane so that the wingtip slices through the concrete. Flying in a circle around them she cuts out a disc of roadway underneath the beings and snares it in her lasso. They retaliate with a combined beam of energy but she does not make the same mistake twice and instead of deflecting it, merely avoids it.

She orders her plane to fly away from New York and tows the chunk of roadway with the beings still standing on it behind her. She plans to leave them in a deserted area giving her time to figure out a way to stop them. But suddenly the huge spacecraft appears in the skies in front of her and she assumes it has come to stop her.

Not knowing if anybody is actually inside the craft, she nevertheless decides to address it. She cries out that they are fools! They claim to protect but what they propose is gross interference. They claim that these soulless creatures are mankind’s future but there are many futures. By creating these ultimate beings now they have altered the course of the future and that the future the Cerberons had foreseen is now false! The future can only be predicted and not even the gods truly know what lies in store. She asks them to let fate run its course. If they really want to protect the Earth then protect the essence that makes its people what they are – individuals!

In answer, there is a blinding light and the beings revert back to their original selves. Wonder Woman races over to Steve who has no idea what has just happened. She tells him that it does not matter and that all he needs to know is that she is still needed. The war is over…but evil still lies in the pit of Man’s fears…and the world will always need a Wonder Woman!

Epilogue

One week later in the Pentagon, General Blankenship is saying his good-byes to Major Trevor and Yeoman Prince. Steve and Diana have decide to stay on in the service but the General is off to write his memoirs. Etta joins them dressed in her Holliday Girls uniform and Diana asks her what career she is studying for. “What else?” she replies, “I’m going to be a Dietitian!”.

Diana smiles and thinks to herself that now the war is over, everyone is happy, everything is working out and all the troubles are ending.

Or are they? For across the city, a figure appears out of nowhere in an alley way. Having used his device to travel across dimensions he smiles to himself that he now has a new world to conquer. What new angle will this one offer him? What opportunities lie in store for – The Angleman?!