This issue sees an appearance by a character from the Batman books as well as the return of the Huntress back-up feature.
This issue sees an appearance by a character from the Batman books as well as the return of the Huntress back-up feature.
Wonder Woman’s sleek robot plane swoops silently through the rain filled skies over Washington DC. The Amazon Princess contemplates her beloved Steve, whom she has not seen for several days. She still finds it strange that although they have only known each other for a few months she feels that she has been in love with him for an eternity.
Suddenly she sees down below a lorry which has lost control in the wet and is skidding all over the road. Before it can cause an accident she clambers out onto the wing and removes her golden lasso. She throws it down and ensnares the huge truck, using every ounce of her strength to lift the tons of steel into the air. But as she tries to set it down safely on the side of the road the cab snaps off and plunges towards the busy highway beneath. Refusing to panic, she swiftly hooks the lasso onto the wing of her plane to hold the trailer in place while she dives down to the ground. Moving faster than Mercury himself, she has only seconds to touch down and brace herself before the full weight of the cab lands on her back. She realises that she cannot just catch the cab as the impact would snap the drivers neck. Instead she slows the fall just enough and hopes he has buckled his seat belt! She then eases the cab down to the ground.
She thinks to herself that her back will be cursing her for days but at least the driver is OK, if a little dazed. She asks him what happened and he groggily replies that he cannot remember, adding hastily that he has not done anything wrong. Wonder Woman feels that he looks a little guilty but as she looks at the trailer which still dangles in the air above she can see nothing suspicious about it. She muses that the bosses at “Commander Video”, the name of the company on the side of the truck, may perhaps fire him which is why the driver looks edgy.
As she tells him to rest while the police make their way to the scene she spies a hand held video game lying on the seat in the cab. Noticing that the game is still on she asks him if he had been playing it while driving? He nervously replies ‘yes’, adding that he could not help himself. She despairs at the stupidity of the man, especially when it is pouring with rain and the visibility is almost zero! As the police arrive she suggests he tries to explain his actions to the police while she finishes lowering his trailer to the ground. A few moments later she completes the task and leaves the driver with the two bemused policemen.
As she continues on her way, she wonders why she stays in Man’s World sometimes. She longs for peace and above all sanity and yet a man can happily play a video game whilst driving – it is beyond belief!!
Soon she arrives at her apartment and touches her plane down gently on the roof. Due to the awful weather she is confident that no-one is out and about tonight to see her – and she does not fancy leaping out of the plane! She quickly steps out, orders her plane to take off again and using her lasso transforms into her Diana Prince guise. As she makes her way down to the front door she reflects on the hectic events of the last few weeks. But they have also been happy times which she would not have traded for all the tournaments on Paradise Island. She opens the door to find the lights out, meaning that Etta is out and will not know that she has come home late. Pleased with this fact she steps inside but begins to sense something is wrong. Suddenly the lights come on and to her surprise finds Etta, Mr. Abernathy, General Darnell and Steve waiting for her with a unexpected Birthday Party!
Meanwhile several hundred miles away inside a bleak wood framed house in West Virginia, the Macon Family is about to settle down for a meal. As Martha Macon serves up dinner, Willie Macon and his daughter Carrie watch fascinated as Mark Desmond, their adopted son, plays on another one of the hand held computer games. They are amazed at the skill with which he plays as he can barely speak and and is little more than a full grown baby. Yet he has beaten all of their scores and continues to excel. Willie says that he keeps remembering what Batman had told him about Mark – the fact that he had once been a real scientist before the accident that had turned him into the hulking simpleton referred to by the press as ‘The Blockbuster’. He muses that perhaps some of the ‘science stuff’ is still there deep inside that ‘mushy head of his’.
As Mark breaks the machine’s top score it bleeps and Willie reaches over, saying that it is time to put it down and have something to eat. Suddenly though, Mark reacts violently as Willie tries to take the game away and slaps him across the room. Martha Macon rushes over to her dazed husband in concern but he assures her he is OK as he gets to his feet. He cannot understand Mark’s reaction as his is the first time since he came here that he has reverted back to being the savage that Batman said he once was. Their daughter, Carrie, pounds her tiny fists on the chest of the hulking Mark in rage at him hurting her father. He in turn stares at her, confused as to her anger. It appears however that he no longer cares what they think of him and turning his back he smashes his way out of the house through the nearest wall.
He is little more than a beast now, mindless and angry and these folks who had befriended him and taken him into their home can certainly mean nothing to the raging savage he has become. And yet his eyes are moist as he stares back at them for so very long before angrily growling and stomping off into the distance.
Back in the Georgetown apartment of Diana Prince, the Amazon Princess is enjoying the happy surprise party. Steve asks her how old she is and she coyly replies that she stopped counting after twenty one. She muses secretly to herself about the fact that today is not her realbirthday, as she reserves that day for returning to Paradise Island. However, she had to give the Pentagon a date of some sort and Etta must have looked it up in her files.
Mr. Abernathy then interrupts her train of thought, telling her and Etta that his finances have taken a turn for the better and that he will not have to raise their rent now. Etta is overjoyed as this means they will not have to find another roommate and Diana gives the Landlord a thank you kiss. General Darnell then steps up and offers his own present to Diana which he hopes she will react to just as favourably!
He says “Happy Birthday to the prettiest Captain on my Staff” and hands her the box with a bow around it. She replies that she is sure she will love the gift and undoes the package. She finds one of the hand held computer games inside and Darnell tells her that she seems to have a great ability to concentrate, together with great reflexes which means she should be an expert on the game. Etta gasps excitedly that it is a “Commander Video” game which she has been dying to play herself. Steve adds that he has seen dozens of them down at the Pentagon. Just about everybody is playing them. Diana fakes delight, thinking that she barely watches television let alone care about playing video games!
Steve then asks whether she minds him giving it a try as it comes with a special connector that allows it to be played on the TV. She tells him to go right ahead and muses to herself that while Steve is enjoying himself she can tell he would rather be with Wonder Woman right now instead of plain old Diana Prince. As Steve switches on the set ready to plug the game in though a news flash stops him in his tracks. The announcer says that missile silos in the Appalachian Mountains are under attack by a creature the media once dubbed as The Blockbuster! Diana remembers the name having heard about him from Batman, who had had a run in with him a few months ago. However she was sure he had told her that the Blockbuster had changed his savage ways though.
Steve and General Darnell make their apologies as they rush back to the Pentagon and within a few minutes the party has broken up, allowing Diana to make a costume change and leap outside onto a ladder dangling from her waiting robot plane. She knows that Blockbuster is powerful and it may take Wonder Woman to stop him for sure. As she sets course for the missile site, she recalls how Batman had told her about this Mark Desmond, known as the Blockbuster, who was not a criminal but a man sadly transformed into a brooding behemoth. She therefore does not understand why on earth he would suddenly just attack a missile base. She knows that his strength may rival her own but where she has spent most of her life holding back her full power, fearing the damage she could cause if left unrestrained, the Blockbuster on the other hand is pure bestial rage! Whatever gets in his way he tries to destroy it!
As she approaches the base she can see this fact in evidence. Below, the Blockbuster hurls a jeep over like a toy, tossing out its occupants. A frightened soldier runs for cover explaining to his superior that his bullets only make the creature madder! As they try to open fire again they find the creature is moving in on them too fast to hit but they know they must stop him from getting to the missiles and stand their ground. The Blockbuster simply smashes them out of the way with a swipe of his powerful hand.
The hulking creature is intent on destroying the missile silos but before he can get any closer a golden rope suddenly has him ensnared. A woman’s voice orders him to leave the soldiers alone and the amazed and thankful GI’s turn to see Wonder Woman leaping from her plane. She tells everyone to stay back while she handles the Blockbuster. She slowly walks up to him, removing her lasso and explaining to the watching soldiers that something must have happened to Mark otherwise he would not have gone insane like this. She then gently holds out her hand and pleads with him to listen to her voice. Addressing him as ‘Mark’, she asks him to take her hand and come with her as she can help him. She remembers what Batman had told her about the fact that Mark does not understand words but can understand her tone. She must keep him calm and assured. She tells him she does not want to hurt him and he pauses, his eyes softening momentarily as if he almost understands what she says.
But instantly he lashes out and smashes her out of the way, sending her flying and taking her by surprise. She is stunned by the swiftness of the attack, as one instant he was so calm and the next he had become a mindless beast once more. She crashes into a nearby parked jeep and gathers herself , determined not to hurt him as she is sure there is a reason for this outburst. She decides to use her strength instead to pin him down and subdue him without harming him. She charges at the behemoth and ploughs into his chest in an attempt to floor him while continuing to plead with him to stop the violence. But he remains standing and he hits her face with blow after punishing blow of his huge fists. As she staggers under the onslaught she catches a brief glimpse of his glazed eyes which she recognises, before another devastating punch sends her toppling to the ground.
A soldier moves to help her to her feet as she nurses her battered face. He tells her they have missile guns that can stop the creature in his tracks but she begs him to give her another chance. If it takes force to stop him then that is what she must do. She launches herself at Blockbuster and delivers punch upon powerful punch into his face and stomach. He staggers under the attack but stands his ground and she begins to wonder what it will take to stop him. As she doggedly continues with the mighty barrage of blows he at last staggers back looking dazed and almost losing his balance. She at first thinks she has won. But then she sees his expression become more determined than ever and she despairs.
As he raises his fist once more to strike though another voice stops him in his tracks. Carrie Macon steps forward holding the hand held video game as Wonder Woman tries to prevent her from getting any closer. But the little girl tells her that Mark will not harm her as she has brought him his game. Fists stronger than steel flash downward toward the fragile girl but they suddenly freeze in mid air and Carrie smiles. She says to him that her father is sorry that he tried to take his game away and the Blockbuster holds his head in shame as Carrie hands him the device.
Willie Macon himself then steps forward and explains to a bemused Wonder Woman that they had been given the game by a truck driver the previous day, whose trailer Mark had helped get out of the mud it had been stuck in. Mark had played with it all day and had broken the top score, which had triggered a funny sound after which Mark had gone wild. Although Mr. Macon has now taken the batteries out of the machine, a happy and calm Mark does not seem to notice as he continues to ‘play’ with it.
With the situation seemingly under control, Wonder Woman makes her way back to her waiting plane. As she takes off she suddenly remembers where she had seen the same glazed look that Mark had worn when he had been raging – it had been in the face of the truck driver she had rescued earlier! She realises that there is something sinister about the video game they had both been playing with and she decides to look into the matter the first chance she gets.
First though she makes a brief stopover at the Pentagon where she is welcomed by an adoring Steve who holds her in his arms. He tells her that he had heard about the events at the base and jokingly asks whether or not she gets tired of saving the day? She smiles and replies ‘no’, adding that she has missed him these last few days. He tells her he has missed her too and can tell there is something else on her mind. She responds that she is concerned about this new “Commander Video” game as she feels there is something not right about it. She decides to check on General Darnell while she is here, as he had recently bought one of the games for her as a present and leaves Steve alone in his office.
When he is sure she has gone he opens his desk draw and takes out another video game. And as his eyes begin to glaze over he starts to play…