Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 69


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 69

General Info

Issue No:
69 (398)
On Sale Date:
October 1992
Cover Date:
December 1992
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Noble Pyrates All

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Brian Bolland
Writer:
William Messner-Loebs
Penciller:
Paris Cullins
Inker:
Robert Campanella, Andre Parks, Aaron McClellan
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Matt Hollingsworth
Editor:
Brian Augustyn

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana)
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Lord Antar, Chief Advisor A'iir
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Natasha Teranova, Sakritt, Ectreba, H'Geln, (Julia) The Daxamite
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Comments

This cover depicts Diana’s new attire during her space adventures, sporting a yellow hand band with trademark iconic red star emblazoned upon it.

Synopsis

A governor of one of the Sangtee Empire’s sectors listens as one of his commanders gives him a debrief of their most recent mission. Lord Antar hears how an entire squadron has apparently been lost while engaging the freed slaves, who are now operating as pirates in the space lanes.

The commander meekly explains that it had started out as an ordinary run as his squadron of three fighters was escorting two freighters loaded with new slaves. They had been taking all reasonable precautions as the commander was well aware of the reports of pirates in that sector of space. The crews had all heard about the attacks on their fleet – particularly the very first one, during which a scavenger fleet looking for fresh slaves had come across what appeared to be the wreck of the vessel hijacked by the escapees.

The advance boarding party had found the interior littered with the bodies of the female prisoners. Between the explosion that had appeared to disable their ship and the gas that had been pumped into the vessel prior to being boarded it at first appeared they were no match for the Empire. But it had all been a trap and they had found to their cost that the crew now possessed the Empire’s advance toxin resistant armour and had suddenly unleashed an attack taking the troops totally by surprise and overpowering them. The troops had to face the humiliation of surrendering to females!

This fact was therefore at the forefront of the commander and his crew as they too headed deep into the pirate territory. After a short while they had spied the pirate vessel, once again seemingly drifting helpless. The commander at the time could not believe that the women could have been so stupid as to think his men would fall for the same ruse again and immediately opened fire on the vessel. But the hulk must have been booby trapped as to exploded in a blinding fireball and using the distraction to their advantage, the pirates had attacked his squadron!

With all his communications and weapons now dead, he had soon realised that they were being boarded. As the wild mob of pirates had entered the command deck he has seen the look of hatred in their eyes. But suddenly the one named Diana had stepped forward and greeted him. She had then continued that she was here to”save him”. He had snapped back that they were here to steal imperial cargo. She in turn had responded that the vessels were slave running and were therefore outside the law. Anyone who would do such a thing had forfeited their lives. The other pirates had roared their approval, baying for his blood. But the smiling Diana had then hushed them and continued that the commander had “of course” not realised he was carrying slaves and would therefore happily hand them over to them, together with the ships and the treasure to support them. The commander had realised that resistance was future and so he had duly knelt in subjugation and obeyed Diana’s orders, together with a hostage…Chief Advisor A’iir!

Lord Antar listens incredulously, unable to believe that his men had simply handed everything over to the pirates and asked what of the Chief Advisor? The commander replies that Diana had promised he would be returned eventually. He then adds they had done one more thing. He then reveals that his forehead had been tattooed by Diana who had added that Lord Antar would be next. He then shows the =W= logo on his forehead!

Meanwhile hidden deep in the cavern of a rock floating amongst a vast asteroid field, the pirates have made their secret base. Far from being a desperate band of pirates, the women have made a comfortable retreat for themselves and continue to beaver away on weapons and technology to help their cause.

Diana and a small group relax as they watch Natasha entertain them with her magic tricks. As the cosmonaut magically makes a lizard appear one of the watching aliens, named Sakritt shows her displeasure at watching yet another trick and asks Diana why they must continue to sit around and do nothing. The Amazon Princess continually provokes the Emperor but then they just sit back, waiting for him to come and squash them! Diana replies that they are perfectly safe enough here and in fact it would suit her if he did attack them! Another alien agrees with Sakritt though and reminds Diana that they have enough wealth and supplies to get far away. Natasha also reminds her that they need to find Earth again too.

But Diana responds that there are thousands of women dying on prison planets across the Empire. “Nothing is more important then stopping slavery…NOTHING! And if I have to turn this dirty little corner of the Galaxy into a funeral pyre to do it then I will!”.

Diana then leaves them to inspect the base, where newly freed slaves are being trained in survival arts. The comments made by Sakritt play on her mind though and she wonders if the others are perhaps right? After all, Natasha has a daughter back on Earth that misses her mother and Diana’s own friends must be frantic with worry by now. But she also knew that if she did noting to stop the destruction of women in this part of the universe then nobody else would. She is informed that the training is going well but is asked by the puzzled trainer why they are teaching such archaic fighting skills to the new recruits versus the use of blasters etc. Diana replies that using a bow or quarter staff requires skill and patience. They will have to live with themselves after the fighting is over. While they can easily master complex weapons she wants them to master themselves!

H’Elgn then leads Diana to the armoury to show what they have been up to. Diana asks if the laboratories are fully functional and the alien replies that everything is in good order and adds that it was genius of Diana to find a niche for those unable to do the fighting. Each team is working on different aspects of captured technology. As H’Elgn shows her examples of newly improved spacesuits for their raiding parties a group of Sangtee soldiers suddenly burst in and open fire. Diana instinctively hurls H’Elgn to the floor and turns to launches herself at the guards only to find herself sailing through them as they then disappear.

Getting back to her feet she is told that they had simply been holograms designed by the group to help in training. She is shown a device strapped to H’Elgn’s wrist which had been used to project the image. She enquires if given more power, it could project even farther a field and is told that it might be possible. H’Elgn’s then shows a prosthetic eye that has been developed for the blinded Daxamite. The trouble is that nobody can get close enough to her to put it on! Diana agrees to try. Finally, the Amazon Princess is shown the latest sample of metal rope that they have strengthened as per her instructions. Diana takes the sample and manages to snap it in two, handing it back to the disappointed H’Elgn’s “Very good. Keep trying” Diana smiles.

Diana leaves the laboratories and muses to herself that she needs to learn more about their enemy. She decides that perhaps a conversation with their Sangtee prisoner, Chief Advisor A’iir will help. She walks to the detention chamber and asks to see the prisoner but is told that he has already been taken for questioning by Ectreba and her crew! Diana sprints out, fearing the worst.

When she arrives unseen, she sees Ectreba and her gang have A’iir hanging upside down over a fiery pit. The Khund is losing her patience as the prisoner has so far failed to talk. She spits that if their leader, Diana, is not up to doing what must be done then it falls to her instead. Diana leaps down taking them by surprise and asks that if torturing and maiming is not enough for Ectreba, then is killing really worth it simply to gain a leadership title? The Khund replies that she meant no disrespect but warns Diana not to interfere – however good a general she may be. She adds that she had taken it easy on the Amazon Princess during their imprisonment because she had respected her – but that Diana should not give her cause to now crush her. For a few moments there is silence in the chamber as the two women stare eye to eye. Then she suddenly slams her fist into Ectreba’s mid rift causing the agonised Khund to collapse on the floor in agony.

She then orders the stunned others to cut A’iir down and tend to his wounds – and that she and Ectreba will interrogate him together. Natasha wonders if this is a wise move considering has just humiliated the powerful Khund, but Diana replies that for all her faults Ectreba is a strong woman and people listen to her even if they do not always listen to Diana. Natasha responds that Ectreba and Sakritt are undoubtedly plotting against the Amazon Princess – had she forgotten how the Khund had once attempted to invade Earth? But Diana is resolute and replies that she will not reject her best fighters just because their races had been enemies. And besides, it is Sakritt’s planning that has made their raids so successful. She is an excellent tactician. Natasha remains unconvinced and warns “They’ll poison your water” to which Diana smiles and says “Perhaps. Or they may topple an Empire.”

As they reach the chamber in which the Daxamite is being kept Natasha enquires if this is why Diana has kept the Daxamite around? “She’s insane you know” she again warns. Diana replies that the alien had been tortured and blinded by the Sangtee Empire. And she has now had a chance to think on that fact too.

The Daxamite instinctively lashes out in pain at Diana!The Amazon Princess then orders the chamber door to be opened and Natasha asks if it is wise and that they should wait for reinforcements. Diana calmly replies that the Daxamite is more powerful than Superman and that one hundred guards could not stop her, before adding “I’ll be fine”.

Diana steps inside the chamber as the door is quickly closed behind her. She makes her way deeper inside the cavern and can see numerous impacts where the Daxamite has smashed her fist into the rock hard cavern walls. Diana knows the alien could snap her spine without breaking a sweat. But why has the Daxamite not just smashed her way out to freedom? As sweat drips from her brow the Amazon Princess advances cautiously further inside. Finally she sees the Daxamite ahead, quietly sitting there.

Diana approaches and says that she thinks she now understands why the alien has not escaped. Her tantrums have all been simply acts of frustration because deep down the Daxamite knows she no longer has a home to return to.

Diana kneels down in front of the alien and says that she does not know if the Daxamite can understand her or not. She asks if she can name the Daxamite “Julia”, after a friend of hers back on Earth. She then adds that she too is cut off from friends and family like the Daxamite is, but that she can at least help the alien to see again. She then removes the prosthetic eye and continues that once placed into the alien’s eye socket the device will attach itself to the optic nerve – and that no human would be able to withstand the pain. Slowly she pushes the eye into the still motionless Daxamite’s empty eye socket. As the connection is made “Julia” screams in agony and instinctively lashes out at Diana…

Outside the chamber, Natasha and the guard hear the terrible screams and commotion and fearing the worst, open the chamber door. But they are amazed to see Diana walking towards them followed by Julia, now with her sight returned in one eye. “She is going to be joining us” smiles the Amazon. “It is time we let the Emperor know just what we are doing.”

A few hours later Lord Antar is hurriedly woken from his hang-over addled sleep by a flustered aid, who urges him to get dressed and come at once. A grumbling Governor shuffles to the balcony and is astounded to see a massive holographic projection of Diana looming over the city, smiling down at them. His aid advises that this has been happening over every provincial Sangtee capital in the sector too.

Diana bellows across the watching city “To the coward who calls himself Emperor of the Sangtee…release all the slaves you hold or be destroyed! I will come into your viper’s court and brand you with my signet of freedom. I am Diana of the free Sisterhood!