This issue sees Diana referred to as “Wonder Woman” by the media for the first time.
This issue sees Diana referred to as “Wonder Woman” by the media for the first time.
As the house comes crashing down around them, Diana swiftly grabs both Vanessa and Julia and in a blur of motion races clear. She asks Julia is she is OK and the Professor replies she is fine but asks what the monster has done to her daughter? In answer, Decay holds Diana’s tiara aloft and says that she has done only that which she shall soon do to both women. Decay then taunts Diana to approach if she dares!
As other residents gather in the street looking on in amazement, Diana tells Julia to keep them back as the monster has come for her only. But a smiling Decay places the Tiara on her head and says that she has come for what she wanted – the symbol of Diana’s power and the Amazon Princess is welcome to try and reclaim it if she has the nerve. With that she cackles with laughter and launches into the sky.
Diana instructs Julia to stay with her daughter and that she will return with a cure for Vanessa’s hideous affliction. She too then leaps into the air and zooms off at high speed to the shock of all onlookers. Then a neighbour helps place Vanessa into his car and with Julia race to the nearest hospital.
High above Diana criss-crosses the city searching for Decay and wondering how the creature could have vanished so quickly. She asks herself why Hermes had left her in such a dark and wicked place and why has he forsaken her now?
On Mount Olympus, the Gods watch Diana and Athena wonders whether their trust in the Amazon was unfounded. Hermes replies that Diana is made of sterner stuff then they have seen and his own confidence in her does not waiver. Artemis asks whether they can help the young Amazon but Athena replies that Diana must defeat Ares unaided. If mortals are to survive, their salvation must come at the hands of a mortal as has been decreed. Hermes however feels guilty having left Diana alone in Man’s World. For her part, Aphrodite feels guilty that Diana may be slain at the hands of the children she bore from her tragic marriage to Ares. Just then Demeter arrives and announces that the Ark that is to take them to oblivion awaits them in Hades…
Meanwhile at Hanscom Air Force Base Etta is searching through a filing cabinet in the darkened office of General Tolliver with her torch. She finds Steve Trevor’s file which references the “Ares Project”. She then retrieves the Project File itself and takes photos of its contents for Steve to review later. It seems the Colonel is right and that something strange really is going on. Once she has finished she locks up and heads as casually as possible to the exit. But as she passes the security desk the watch officer calls to her. Nervously she asks what the matter is and he points to the TV he has on, saying that she might find the news report interesting. She watches as a reporter describes how local foliage has suddenly begun to rot and a nearby newly opened Parking Garage collapsed under its own weight killing two people. Both phenomena have been attributed to a bizarre glowing object observed flying over the city. The reported then holds her earpiece and a few moments later adds that the mysterious decay has begun to spread throughout the city…
Across the city, Decay unleashes her hideous breath spreading death and devastation like a hurricane. The Boston Massacre Monument is sent toppling towards the passers-by below but before they are crushed Diana streaks in and lifts the massive structure out of their way. She then tosses the monument at Decay. But the creature simply turns it into powder and warns Diana that her Amazon strength is no match for the power of the Medusa! The TV and Press begin to gather below them and Decay tells Diana that a suitable audience has now arrived to witness her abject humiliation. The Amazon Princess replies “Or yours Decay…once I get my hands on you!”. Decay taunts her again to try, reminding Diana that she has brought Boston to its knees, stopped the military in its tracks and cut off all forms of access to and from the area, all with barely a thought. Imagine what she can do Diana!
Diana charges at Decay and as the combatants look horns they grapple each other to the ground. But Diana’s rage has clouded her judgement and Decay’s death grip takes hold of the Amazon. She suddenly feels weak and her skin starts to wrinkle. As Decay clutches Diana by the throat, she hisses “For my sake Amazon, suffer! For the sake of my Master – Die!”. Diana gasps that she will not surrender and will never admit defeat, although she chides herself for her rashness in allowing Decay the advantage. As the creature tells her that it is over and soon Diana will be one with the Earth and the dust once more, the Amazon Princess realises the Earth is the key to defeat Decay. She unhooks her Golden Lasso, forged from the Girdle of Gaea herself, and throws it around Decay’s neck. The creature screams with pain as Diana informs her that the Lasso’s gift is to be constantly renewed even as Gaea renews the Earth. It is the one enchantment over which Decay has no power. The creature continues to struggle, trying to fly away but Diana holds on tightly, continuing to use the lasso to pour life into one who is death, until the power consumes Decay and with a scream she explodes from the strain. Her lifeless carcass plummets to the ground and returns once more to the vile dust that spawned her.
The watching camera crews stare in amazement at the spectacle and race over to the spot where Decay had fallen and Diana now approaches. The Amazon picks up her Tiara from the ground as she muses that only Ares could have been responsible for setting Decay on her. She places the Tiara on her head and suddenly finds herself surrounded by flash bulbs and TV cameras. As she is bombarded with questions, none of which she can understand, she wonders what they are saying and what they want from her? Confused, she launches into the air to find her mentor Julia…
Elsewhere in the nether region between Hades and the Heavens, Phobos is trying to explain his actions to his brother, Deimos who is furious. Phobos dodges blasts of energy before finding himself hanging off a precipice with his brother standing over him. Deimos tells Phobos that his attempt to impress their father, Ares, could have ruined everything. His pawn, Decay, had never stood a chance against a child of Gaea such as Princess Diana. Such thoughtlessness could well have jeopardized their father’s master plan! He would destroy Phobos for such stupidity, but Ares has need to keep his son alive. With that Deimos kicks Phobos’ hand away, causing him to plummet into a fountain of bile below!
Back in Boston, the City Editor of the Boston Globe-Leader Newspaper, Carole Bennet, stares at the photo of Diana on her desk. She reconfirms with her reporters that the woman had actually flown just like Superman? And when he had first arrived in Metropolis and the Daily Planet had latched onto him their sales rocketed! Carole realises they need a name for their own new superstar. ” “How about Superwoman?” one of them suggests. “How about being serious?” she snaps back. She then points to the symbol on Diana’s chest and remarks that it looks like a cross between a bird and some sort of stylised “Double-W”. Superman has his “S” so why not a “Double-W” for her? But they need something catchy and easy to remember. She smiles as an idea comes to her..
The following morning the issue hits the stands, with Diana’s picture on the front page and the headline “Wonder Woman! Mystery heroine saves city from Deadly Demon of Destruction”. TV news reports pick up on the name and soon the City is buzzing with the story of Boston’s very own Super heroine.
Meanwhile in the woodlands north of Boston Etta drives up to the front of a house having been shopping for groceries. When she enters she finds Steve watching the news reports. He turns to Etta and says that the woman who had saved him when his plane crashed is on the TV right now – in the flesh. Etta looks at the images of Wonder Woman in her costume and remarks “Lot’s of flesh!”. He continues that he was not going crazy and she may know what really happened that night. He has to find her! With that the two of them quickly head out to the car and speed away. They are followed by Colonel Michaelis in his own car…
In Mercy General Hospital meanwhile, the doctors tell Julia that they have no idea what is wrong with Vanessa. The aging process appears to be in remission but as they do not know what caused it they cannot cure it. As the doctors leave, Julia sits in a chair, tears running down her cheeks in despair. Just then she hears a voice calling from the stairwell and opening the door she sees Diana standing there. Julia is overjoyed to see her back and asks whether she has found the cure yet. Diana holds up the Amulet and Julia realises that Diana still cannot speak much English yet. Through the Talisman, Julia tells Diana that something out there hurt her daughter and it has to be stopped. From now on this is her fight too!
Shortly afterwards, the two women arrive at the Kapatelis Winter Home. Julia fetches some clothes for Diana to put on and soon Julia is studying the Amulet, looking for clues. As she works Diana stares out of the window at the snow covered landscape. Just then she sees a shadow in the trees and all of a sudden Julia finds herself alone. As the Professor looks around for the young Amazon a man watches her movements through the window, gun in hand. Without warning it is whisked out of his grip by a golden rope and he turns to see Diana facing him. Instantly they both recognise each other and Steve begs Diana not to run away. In patchy English she asks him what he is doing here? He replies that she saved him once and he needs her help again. As he moves forward she warns him to stay back and Julia tells him to listen to the young Amazon, as she points a shotgun at him. She has recognised Steve from the news and tells him to step away. Steve replies that he knows Diana as she had saved his life when a monster tried to make him crash his aircraft. Although it sounds crazy, Julia finds herself believing the story after all that has happened. Diana says that it is true but that Steve came to Paradise Island as a messenger of death. Why should they believe him now? He tells them that his life depends on it.
Suddenly he hears Etta shout a warning to him and he sprints back to where he had left her with the car. Diana follows from the air as he races through the trees, only to find Colonel Michaelis brandishing a gun and Etta slumped unconscious against the car!