Wonder Woman – Volume 1 – 312

General Info

Issue No:
312
On Sale Date:
October 1983
Cover Date:
February 1984
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Escape!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Ed Hannigan
Writer:
Dan Mishkin
Penciller:
Don Heck
Inker:
Don Heck
Letterer:
Phil Felix
Colourist:
Nansi Hoolahan
Editor:
Alan Gold

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, General Darnell
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Circe
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
Hippolyta, Antiope
Other:
Glitch, Major Keith Griggs, Lisa Abernathy, McCurtin, Sofia Constantinas
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Synopsis

As the deadly laser beams of the incinerator inch ever closer, Wonder Woman tells Steve that there are just too many beams for her to deflect using her bracelets alone. However, unhooking her magic lasso she begins to twirl the golden rope at an incredible speed. This serves as a temporary protective shield while Steve tries to find a way out.

He spots some sort of control panel across the other side of the chamber and wonders if they can possibly knock it out. Wonder Woman tells him that she could use her tiara but she needs both hands to maintain their shield. He suggests she let him give it a try and she agrees. He removes it from her head and jokingly asks her if him saying “Artemis guide my aim” would help in any way! She tells him to just do it and he tosses the tiara across the room as if he was pitching horse shoes again like when he was a kid. His aim is sure and true and the tiara smashes the console, shutting down the incinerator.

As they exit the chamber they come across another room filled with Gremlins scurrying around. They are disassembling what looks like an old Russian Space lab and as they look around they see that in fact the whole room is filled with aerospace parts of every kind.

They wonder whether parts of their own plane may be lying around and Steve decides that the only way to find out is to get hold of one of the Gremlins. As he approaches they quickly scatter but he manages to grab one of the slower ones. The little creature jibbers that it is all his fault and that he did not know that the invisible plane had an owner. He just had to have the craft though and had buzzed the airstrip for a little fun. But then they had started chasing him and managed to get themselves caught in the process. Now he will be exposed for his exploits and will be in big trouble.

Steve tells the Gremlin to slow down a little but just then Wonder Woman spots trouble. The other Gremlins must have sounded an alarm because one of their giant masters has entered the room. The Amazing Amazon swiftly unhooks her lasso once more and loops it around the approaching alien. With a mighty tug she brings him crashing to the ground. Just then two Gremlins scurry out of the bottom of his feet and Steve sees that in fact the alien has wheels and is nothing more than a big stuffed toy!

Their captive explains that the alien is real enough but that he has been devoid of life support for many decades. The Gremlins put him to good use as a sort of “scarecrow”. He then goes on to relate the rest of the story behind the alien craft and its occupants….

For as long as he can remember the Gremlins have been working for a race called the Ytirflirks. They help their masters to fix things because the Ytirflirks are so big and clumsy that they are constantly breaking things that they subsequently cannot put back together! The Gremlins therefore keep the ships in top condition so that the Ytirflirks can go on conquering planets and making everyone their slaves. The Gremlins themselves were driven mercilessly by their masters and so every opportunity they got to go AWOL they took it. And so three quarters of a century ago the Gremlins got their chance and stole the mother ship, while being pursued in small surveillance craft by the Ytirflirks. But while the Gremlins were great mechanics they were not the greatest pilots. They managed to crash land in the frozen wastes of Siberia on Earth. They had never meant any harm and since then they had simply been trying to gather old aircraft parts to repair their own ship.

On hearing this, Steve says that the stories he has heard talk of planes being taken apart in mid flight! Wonder Woman then asks where her own plane has got to and the Gremlin sheepishly points across the room, where the Amazon is shocked to see the tail fin of her robot plane lying on the floor!

Meanwhile, far below in Washington DC, Lisa Abernathy and her cameraman race after General Darnell who is just leaving the Capitol Building. He tells her he is not able to make a comment and she pauses before asking her cameraman to take a quick stroll around the block for a couple of minutes. Once he has gone she asks Darnell off the record about Keith Griggs, the man who helped save her own father’s life. She had heard Darnell mention his name and wants to know if Griggs is in some sort of danger? Darnell grimly replies that the danger may already be over – because Griggs may already be dead!

Elsewhere, on a remote Caribbean island, Griggs and another man named McCurtin are running for their lives from a pack of ravenous Wolves. McCurtin desperately tells Griggs that they cannot run forever but his colleague replies that the beasts are gaining on them and that they have no choice but to keep going. The Wolves do not seem to be tiring though and they begin to see other animals joining the pursuit, including Gorillas and Tigers. Griggs cannot understand how such creatures can exist on a Caribbean Island and as he passes a plant he spots something even more shocking – a Scorpion with a human face!

As they reach the top of a rise they see a Temple down below. Griggs points towards it and says to McCurtin that perhaps the answer to all this lies inside. But McCurtin stops short and calmly replies that Griggs will get his answer right now!  Suddenly, he mutates into a Panther and leaps onto a horrified Griggs. And watching from the Temple, a woman smiles and congratulates her “pet” for adding another piece to her collection…another man who will have the animal in his soul brought forth by the magic ministrations of Circe!

In the meantime, high up in the atmosphere inside the alien ship, the Gremlin is assisting Wonder Woman and Steve to locate the robot plane. As they enter the hangar Wonder Woman, who is carrying the tail fin they had found earlier, asks the little creature why her plane is rigged up to what looks like giant jet propulsion engines. The Gremlin explains that they believed the plane would provide enough boost to the primary thrusters of the vessel to enable them to break free of Earth’s orbit. The Amazon Princess strolls across to her craft saying that she much rather keep her plane earthbound. But as she touches her craft the plane suddenly cries out “Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!”. A surprised Wonder Woman demands to know what has happened and her plane replies that it has been altered.

As she and Steve take in this news they suddenly hear the pitter patter of tiny feet in the distance. The other Gremlins have been alerted! Quickly, Wonder Woman orders her plane to fly away but it replies that it cannot because the alien vessel’s launch sequence has already started. She turns to the Gremlin and asks him whether he can disconnect the plane from the propulsion system. He eagerly replies “You bet!” and as he begins his task, Wonder Woman instructs her plane to obey orders given by Steve Trevor from now on. She explains to a surprised Steve that she wants him to fly the plane out of here while she diverts the advancing Gremlins.

She gives him a kiss on the cheek before racing down the corridor, luring the Gremlins to follow her. She comes face to face with another group armed with sticks and in one bound leaps over their heads. As they turn to give chase she leaps out of an open hatchway.

Meanwhile, Steve asks the Gremlin to hurry up and the little creature replies that some things take time. Steve worriedly asks the robot plane how much longer they have before the alien vessel blasts off. It replies that they only have two minutes before the main engines start.

Back outside, The chasing Gremlins race out of their ship riding sky bikes, searching for Wonder Woman. She calls out and they turn to see her crouched on the hull of the vessel above them. As they come about she dives down and knocks one of the unsuspecting Gremlins off his sky bike. As the others prepare to give chase after her, they suddenly realise their vessel is about to depart. Quickly, they race back on board while inside, the friendly Gremlin manages to disconnect the invisible plane just in time. As Steve climbs inside the cockpit, he reminds the Gremlin that they have not managed to fix the tail fin back on! The little creature replies that he thinks he can get it done in time…

Outside, Wonder Woman races after the accelerating vessel, wondering where Steve has got to. Suddenly, the invisible plane zooms out of the open hangar bay. However, the craft becomes unstable as the tail fin has still not been secured properly. As they plummet earthwards the little Gremlin frantically works to attach it fully and just at the last moment before they are about to crash into the ground, Steve regains control and levels the plane off. However, the sudden movement dislodges the precarious Gremlin who falls towards the ground. But he is saved by Wonder Woman who races to catch up with him on the sky bike.

A few minutes later they land safely and Steve says to Wonder Woman that by helping them, the little Gremlin missed his chance to return to the stars. As they watch him zoom around like a playful child on the sky bike, Steve adds that he feels they are now responsible for the little creature now and that he is actually growing rather fond of him. Wonder Woman agrees but as Steve prepares to call out to the Gremlin to come back down, Wonder Woman places a gentle hand on his shoulder. He asks her what the matter is and she replies they still have one piece of unfinished business to attend to. She continues that before things had got out of hand on the spaceship, she had been about to tell him her secret identity. He raises his hand and says “whoa…stop right there!”. She asks him what the problem is and he responds that while he feels really happy that she wants to share her secret with him, knowing what it must take her to do so and all the love and trust that it represents, but he does not want to know her secret identity. Surprised, she asks him why not and he tells her that to him, she is his “Angel” and that is how he wants her to stay. He likes the air of mystery her secret ID represents and does not want to find out that she is in fact a cleaner at the Pentagon or something equally mundane! She grabs his hand and starts to say “Oh Steve, it’s hardly…” but he cuts her short, saying he does not want to hear another word about it. All he wants is for her to be his “Angel”…his friend…his love….always.

Elsewhere on Wonder Woman’s home of Paradise Island, Sofia Constantinas, the recently ‘adopted’ Amazon, sneaks into the records library hoping not to be seen. She has been waiting for this opportunity ever since she had over heard Queen Hippolyta talking to the Goddesses Athena and Aphrodite. She had found out that they have robbed Princess Diana of her memories. She had then discovered that these stolen memories had been placed in storage here in the records library. Now, as she rifles through the tapes she finds the one she is looking for. But as she removes it from the drawer she hears someone approaching. It is Queen Hippolyta and her aide Antiope and as they walk past the library the queen thinks she hears someone. The two Amazons pause and peer inside the darkened room but it appears to be empty. Hippolyta decides that it is her mind playing tricks on her and they continue on their way.

But as Sofia watches them leave from her hiding place in the shadows, she wonders whether it is not simple mind tricks but more a case of a troubled conscience on the queen’s part. Either way, now she has the tape in her possession at last she will finally discover the truth!