Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 311


Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 311

General Info

Issue No:
311
On Sale Date:
September 1983
Cover Date:
January 1984
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Gremlins!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Ross Andru, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Dan Mishkin
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Don Heck
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Nansi Hoolahan
Editor:
Alan Gold

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, General Darnell
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
N/A
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Glitch, Senator Covington, Lisa Abernathy
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Comments

By this time, sales were continuing to decline and one response to this seemed to be include more humourous, fun based elements to the story lines. This perhaps was an attempt to appeal to a more younger audience than the core, traditionalist readership. This issue also sees Wonder Woman coming the closest yet to revealing her secret identity to Steve.

Synopsis

The scene is Washington DC and Wonder Woman is attempting to summon her invisible plane via a telepathic command. However, she finds herself bemused by the fact that the plane does not arrive in its usual instantaneous manner.

As members of the Public watch the spectacle they suddenly hear the whoosh of the jet’s engines and look up, trying to see the plane. But Wonder Woman is more concerned by the fact that she seems to have no control over its flight! Indeed, as she looks on she realises the plane is about to do a strafing run on the unsuspecting onlookers! She orders them to dive for cover and she joins them as the low flying craft zooms by. She manages to see that there is somebody or some thing onboard at the controls and she resolves to stop them right now, fuming that she will not let her own plane nearly take her head off!

She unfastens her magic lasso from her belt and loops it around the fleeing jet. As it continues to climb she is dragged up and away, holding on tightly to her lasso. She begins to haul herself along the golden rope towards the fuselage but suddenly sees that the small green creature onboard is clambering out of the cockpit. As she watches in amazement, he deftly walks along the outside of the plane towards the tail fin. Before she can get any nearer he removes the lasso from the tail fin sending the Amazon tumbling earthwards!

As she manages to break her fall by catching a ride on an air current, she seethes that the “imp” had not only unceremoniously dumped her off her own plane, but had found the episode an amusing one to boot! Air piracy is no joking matter as far as she is concerned and she again tries to wrestle control over the jet using telepathy, but without any success.

Then she sees a number of air force jets approaching, one of which is flown by Steve Trevor. He is relieved to see that Wonder Woman is flying along on the air currents as it at least confirms that it is not she who has suddenly gone berserk in her robot plane. He orders the other planes to continue their pursuit while he banks towards where the Amazon Princess is gliding. He jokingly asks her if she was the one who had called a cab, and smiling she climbs into the canopy and sits behind him. He tells her that she is probably unaware that her robot plane had also buzzed a secret Air Force Installation a short while ago, and that they had been pursuing the jet ever since. However, it was pretty much a wild goose chase trying to follow a plane they cannot even see that travels faster than their newest fighter craft! He then asks who is responsible and she replies that it is a very happy and mischievous little imp like creature. Steve cries out “You mean a Gremlin? Holy Cow!” and she asks whether such things exist? He responds that the fact that she, a mythical Amazon Princess, exists would suggest that they can!

Just then the radio crackles into life and the squadron leader tells Steve that they have lost the robot plane. He sighs that the Gremlin must be long gone by now together with her plane. But Wonder Woman points upwards and says that she can see it in the distance. He takes her word for it and climbs the jet upwards. As he does he suddenly sees the sun glinting off its tail. Wonder Woman tells him to hurry before it escapes into the clouds. He replies that they are right behind their quarry and that as soon as they pierce this next cloud layer they will have him!

But suddenly he has to swiftly bank the craft as a massive Dirigible looms out of the cloud. Amazed that such an old fashioned airship has suddenly appeared out of nowhere, they find themselves looking down upon the cloud layer on which various air craft of all shapes and sizes rest. Some of the craft have not been in existence for years while others are the latest technology. Wonder Woman says that the place is like Sargasso, the mythical resting place of lost ships.

Just then the plane begins to slow as if the clouds have taken hold of them. They hear a noise outside as if something has struck the engine and Steve says he has a bad feeling about this. As if to confirm this fear, they suddenly see their engine zoom away ridden by several Gremlins! As they watch it go, a mammoth vessel emerges out of the clouds above them – an alien vessel so large that it could house the Pentagon seven times over! Whoever or whatever is behind all of this must be on board that ship and so with a helping hand from Wonder Woman, Steve is thrown up onto the cloud supporting the vessel for a closer look. Steve amusingly thinks to himself that he can always trust Wonder Woman as far as she could throw him!

He proceeds to gingerly walk on the cloud surface towards an open doorway in the ship. Suddenly though he plummets through a hole and Wonder Woman has to swiftly ensnare him in her magic lasso to halt his fall. She uses the air currents to pull him up and back towards the cloud layer. He muses that the Aliens must only harden the clouds in certain spots. He tries to recall the phrase from Aristophanes and Wonder Woman replies that he is thinking of “cloud cuckoo land”.

Cautiously they make their way inside the huge and strangely silent vessel. Just when they think that perhaps they are the only ones onboard they reach a control room where three huge Aliens stand. Wonder Woman whispers that they do not seem to be moving and that perhaps their metabolism is slower and they get the Gremlins to do all their running around for them. She decides to try and communicate with them and steps forward, gesturing with open arms that they come in peace. But one of the Aliens responds that they are intruders and that they should lay down their weapons and surrender. The Amazon Princess tries to reason with them, saying that they have no wish to do battle but have simply come to retrieve her plane.

Meanwhile unseen, a couple of Gremlins watch from the shadows, giggling with glee as the Alien says that she and Steve are their prisoners. In turn, Steve draws his gun and tells Wonder Woman that while he is all for peace and friendship, these Aliens do not seem to be buying it! She replies that he should put down his gun as it will be perceived as a threat and it will probably not even hurt them anyway. She again pleads to the Aliens that they mean no harm but a strange looking device suddenly flies towards them and she finally gives in to “Plan B”!

Steve dives for cover and she kicks the drone across the room, sending it crashing against the far wall. But the drone simply gets up again and opens fire. Wonder Woman manages to deflect the beams with her bracelets while Steve can only keep his head down to avoid the ricochets! One blast puts a hole in the wall and he sees an escape route. He uses his boot to widen the hole and indicates for Wonder Woman to follow his lead. He then crawls through into the dark opening and suddenly finds himself falling. He hits his head on something metal below and passes out…

Meanwhile back in Washington DC, General Darnell is giving evidence at a closed hearing in Congress. He tells the committee led by Senator Covington that he reiterates his support for continued diversification among the Intelligence branches. As the hearing adjourns he steps outside to be met by the press. One of the reporters is Lisa Abernathy who asks him to shed some light on these hearings. As he starts to answer her question one of his aides suddenly whispers in his ear that there is an emergency. To the frustration of the press, Darnell instead has to make his excuses and leave…

Back on board the Alien Spacecraft, Steve has at last regained consciousness and as his eyes become accustomed to the gloom he realises he is on top of a pile of junk scrap metal. On closer inspection he sees that it is all used and useless aircraft parts. Not only that, but the pile is getting bigger and bigger as more junk is dropped in from above. Just then he hears Wonder Woman call his name and makes out the Amazon a little way away.

As she makes her way towards him though another piece of scrap metal drops in and unsettles the pile, sending her sprawling. A concerned Steve asks if she is OK and she replies that she is fine, although her leg seems to be stuck. He clambers over to give her a hand and together they try to ease her leg free.

But she suddenly slips down further and realises that there is some sort of working machinery under the pile, churning at her leg! Steve desperately tries to clear away some of the surrounding junk and soon reveals two pieces of metal clamped around her calf. She tries to pull them apart but is not sure she has the strength to keep them there. A quick thinking Steve picks up a piece of tubing and wedges it in between the clamps. Wonder Woman is then able to pull her leg free and she thanks him. He modestly replies that by the looks of things she had already burnt out the machine’s motor anyway. She in turn responds that he does not give himself enough credit – and perhaps nor does she either.

She then turns to look him in the eyes and says that there is something she has to tell him – something she should have told him a long time ago. And especially in the light of the fact that they may not get out of this place alive. He reassures her that of course they will escape, but she asks him to let her finish. She then says that she wants to reveal to him her secret identity. She takes a deep breath and says “I’m really…” but before she can finish the sentence, a deafening clanging sound fills the chamber. As they wonder what on earth is happening, they suddenly feel the mountain of scrap metal they are standing on give way underneath them. The two of them helplessly tumble with it as the whole chamber tilts over. Wonder Woman cries out to Steve to roll with the fall as she attempts to shield him from the debris. He replies that he does not think it will help much, as they both realise they are heading towards some sort of incinerator!