The issue opens with Wonder Woman flying across the deserts of Egypt in search of her quarry. However, this is all in fact an elaborate dream being implanted into the mind of Vanessa Kapatelis, who is imagining herself as Diana. The instigator of this, Dr. Psycho, uses familiar themes of Wonder Woman’s mission to Man’s World as he orchestrates his “nightmare”.
In the dream Wonder Woman is suddenly caught in a ferocious sandstorm through which she has to battle through, barely able to see where she is going. As the sand begins to at last settle around her she finds herself confronted by The Cheetah! Disappointed that a fellow “sister” has strayed from the path of goodness, she tells Cheetah that this land is a testament to the ages and the achievements of Mankind – and is not her personal shopping mall! A smiling Cheetah darts inside a nearby pyramid though and Wonder Woman gives chase.
As she follows Cheetah into a burial chamber Cheetah tells the Amazon Princess that these artifacts should be liberated instead of gathering dust in a museum. She will give them a better home. Hers!
Cheetah reaches for a particular artifact she has long sort – the mirror of Hatshepsut. She admires her reflection momentarily before suddenly reaching for the numerous knives and swords lying nearby and throwing them at Wonder Woman, who has to use her bracelets to protect herself! The Amazon then launches herself at Cheetah, grappling her to the ground, causing Cheetah to drop the mirror on the floor. Momentarily Diana sees her own reflection in it – but instead of Wonder Woman’s face staring back she sees that of Vanessa Kapatelis. Using Wonder Woman’s puzzlement to her advantage, Cheetah scratches the Amazon Princess across the face before making off again with the mirror.
Psycho comments to himself that letting Vanessa catch a glimpse of herself should be considered as a slight imperfection that reinforces the rest of the piece…
Wonder Woman sees Cheetah leap down into a hole in the chamber floor and quickly jumps in after her.
Psycho again muses that Cheetah pursues obscure object of desire…and Wonder Woman pursues Cheetah..A classic theme!…
Cheetah, having disappeared into the inky blackness, warns Wonder Woman not to get lost. As the Amazon Princess crawls through an ever narrowing passageway she wonders of she has taken a wrong turn. Suddenly she hears a rumble and feels the already oppressive ceiling pressing down on top of her, crushing her. She manages to burst out of the pyramid to free herself from the deadly trap.
As she acclimatizes to the bright sunshine again, a nearby Cheetah lifts the mirror aloft and as the suns rays strike it the artifact emits rays of magic, which she deflects towards a couple of cats. They transform into two burly Egyptian men as Wonder Woman moves towards them. Cheetah again holds up the mirror and the Amazon is momentarily blinded by the suns rays. Instantly the men pounce upon the Amazon and while she is defenseless, they wrap her tightly in wrapping until she is bound up like a Mummy! They drag her squirming form towards a hilltop where a helicopter is hovering overhead.
Cheetah cackles manically as she climbs up a rope ladder into the chopper, closely followed by the men carrying the struggling form of Wonder Woman with them.
Psycho muses that the best way to strike at Wonder Woman is to strike at her friends. Let Vanessa believe that she is really Wonder Woman in this tale. Toy with her. Run dreams and images in her mind to that effect, all in vivid detail. “And I’ll own her mind.” he smiles. “I’ll have an agent close to the real Wonder Woman whom she trusts implicitly. And the best part is I don’t even have to be anywhere near them while this is all going on!” He then reveals he is using a dream time bomb he set up months ago – activated of its own accord.
The dream suddenly changes to the study of Julia Kapatelis, as a disguised Barbara Minerva and her two aides wheel an Egyptian burial casket into the room, inside which the paralysed Wonder Woman has been sealed. Minerva tells Julia that this is the rare artifact she had requested. Inside the casket, Vanessa can hear her mother’s voice as she unknowingly converses with Minerva about signing the necessary paperwork.
Once completed Minerva and the men leave and Julia stands admiring the casket, unaware that Wonder Woman (Vanessa) is trapped inside it. Julia remarks that the workmanship is incredible and it will be such a shame when she has to cut it up tomorrow to get at what is inside! She then goes upstairs to bed.
Left alone in the study, Wonder Woman ponders what Cheetah has done to her body and why she cannot move. She tries to moves her muscles but nothing works – although she does succeed in accidentally unbalancing the casket so that it tips over onto the floor. She discovers that she can suddenly see through the casket exterior and finds herself lying face to face with a photo fame, containing a photograph of Vanessa and Julia posing happily together. Suddenly it dawns on her that she is not Wonder Woman at all – but is in fact Vanessa! She sits up, the casket now having completely disappeared from around her, and she holds the photo frame in her hands before getting to her feet.
She muses that someone is trying to make her believe she is Wonder Woman, as she suddenly finds herself in her own bedroom…
Psycho curses himself that in his pursuit of convincing perfection he had left behind a telling detail…
Wonder Woman looks at herself in a mirror and sees Vanessa staring back. “This must be some kind of nightmare” she says. She sits cross legged on her bed and decides that if this is a dream, she can use the techniques of lucid dreaming and take control of her own dream…and can change herself back.
She concentrates for a few moments and then cautiously picks up a hand mirror, relieved to see that it has worked and that she is herself again. Suddenly though Dr Psycho materialises in the air above her and snarls that her nightmares are far from over! She may well have discovered his presence in her dreams, but he will retaliate by bringing fear to her waking hours too! The dream bomb he had planted in her was the first -but not necessarily the last. Another may strike at any time! Every time she goes to sleep she will be taking a chance that the next one will go off! “Sooner or later I will come for you…in reality!”.
She cries that if this is still a nightmare then it is her nightmare and she can therefore control it. “Get out of my head!” she yells. “GET OUT!”.
Her mother bursts in to find her sitting up wide eyed on the bed, alerted by her daughter ‘s screams. Realising that the nightmare is over at last, Vanessa reassures her mother that she is OK and that it was just a bad dream. Julia gives the young girl a warm hug and tells her to try and get back to sleep, adding “After all, dreams are only in your head.”
Vanessa fears however that she has no real way of knowing if the dream had just been a creation of her own mind – or some kind of mind poison as Psycho had implied. As Julia kisses her good night and Vanessa settles back into her bed, she ponders that it is the risk that everybody takes each night…facing their worst nightmares.
But as she closes her eyes a horrible thought crosses her mind. “What if it’s not me that gets the next dream bomb? What is it’s my mom?”