Yet another great cover from Brian Bolland!
Yet another great cover from Brian Bolland!
The story opens as Diana is lying in bed in another meditation trance, travelling once more to the world of myth and metaphor. In this land Diana can influence what she beheld. And she had come seeking death. The desolate ruined landscape around her looks very much like the blasted region around Hades – which would make a lot of sense as she had come here to seek the shade of her dead mother, Hippolyta. Although she had watched her mother die before her eyes there were tools in these lands of myth and metaphor that could help reverse fate.
As she surveys the area around she recognises a few landmarks from the stories her mother had told. In the distance she can see the ruins of the city where had once lived a maiden whom the God Zeus had desired. His jealous wife Hera had in turn destroyed the city in a fit of rage. Zeus had then given the ruler of the city a new people, grown from ants that were stronger and fiercer than humans.
As Wonder Woman ponders her next move it all seems so peaceful. But suddenly the ground beneath her cracks open and an insect-like arm grabs her around the ankle! Hordes of ant people swarm up and she desperately fights off their attack, feeling every slice of their claws in her flesh. But there are simply too many and they are too strong and she is overwhelmed. And then they kill her!
Diana awakes and sits bolt upright in her bed wide eyed. She looks at her thigh which is bleeding from the wound she had received, but knows that thankfully the damage she receives in these visits behind the mystic veil tended to heal faster than physically inflicted ones – unless of course the damage itself actually killed her!
She bandages her leg and removes the blood stained sheet before getting dressed. As she walks down the stairs she is greeted by Camille Sly, her landlady. Camille notes that Diana looks tired and the Amazon Princess casually responds that she had just visited the realm of myth to try and reverse her mother’s fate and had nearly been killed by some giant insects in the process. She adds that it is always risky dealing with myths as you never know where you stand. Taking it all in her stride Camille replies that it sounds like Douglas Fairbanks who was a great dancer but also such a smoothie.
As Diana exits the building wondering who on earth Douglas Fairbanks was Camille similar wonders what on earth the Amazon is talking about when referring to giant ants!!
A short while later Diana is standing in the office of Ed Indelicato together with Micah Rains. She apologises for being late and Ed replies that this will not take long. He then says to both of them that they had very recently got involved in an incident involving the mobster Antonio Sazia. If they recall he had some sort of device on him that turned him into a monster, before Wonder Woman had over-powered him and taken him into custody. But the mob lord’s lawyers have done their job and now he has been released. Micah replies that while that may be so, the detective had been hired by his ex-wife to get her kid back…which he had done. And Diana adds that the mobster had attacked them.Ed nods but warns them to stay away from Sazia. He is a bad guy who kills people…kils their families too…and keeps coming until he’s won. He does not stop.
He then asks if Diana and Micah are now working together and that she has become a private detective? She replies “Not exactly”, adding that she had needed a job and Micah had offered her one. Besides, she believes the city is in great danger. Both Ed and Micah turn to her looking surprised. She continues to tell them how there had been a lot of incidents recently whereby felons had been using ultra hi-tech weaponry. Micah nods in agreement, adding that she is right and that such equipment is not normally available to such low life street thugs, so someone must be supplying them.
But Ed warns them not to stir up a case. There is a war or something going on out there in the streets and all the hi-tech garbage ends up on the black market, possibly left over from the Alien Invasion a few years ago. Diana responds by heading for the door and when he asks where she is going she replies “To find you something you can believe.”
Meanwhile, unknown to the three of them their entire conversation has been bugged and listened to by a villain known as Ares Buchanan. Realising that Diana is on to his scheme he asks his henchmen to bring in one of Ed’s snitches, Oliver Darr. Darr, although feeding information to the inspector, only does so because Ed had busted him and holds it over him. In truth he hates the police officer, so Ares offers him the chance to kill Ed. Ares says that he can give Darr a weapon that will kill him and his friends instantly. Darr takes it eagerly…
A short while later Wonder Woman lands on the lawn of Antonio Sazia who is sunbathing by his pool. His guards leap up from their seats and train their guns on the Amazon Princess but she casually asks Sazia if she can just talk to him. He waves hi guards to put their guns away and invites her to take a seat and offers her a drink. Smiling, he then asks why a super heroine like her would deign to drink with mafia scum like him? She replies that she is no “hero” and that she would never insult a man to whom she has come for information. Sazia raises his eyebrows in surprise at hearing this.
She continues to ask him where he had got hold of the stasis field mask he had used to transform himself during their last encounter. He takes a sip of his drink and sarcastically remarks that she does want much does she? He adds that surely Indelicato has warned her not to get involved with a man like him. She nods but says that she chose to ignore his advice. She then adds that the city is being flooded with high-tech, deadly weapons and that ultimately his own operations will be impacted. He shrugs his shoulders in resignation and tells her that his guys had found the device during a raid on some independent crack boys that were muscling in on his territory. So he kept it.
As she stands up to leave he slyly smiles and says that if she does not believe him she can wrap him up in her golden lasso. She declines the offer and departs for the hospital. there she visits Brian Elliot who is recovering from his recent near death experience. He snarls that she has probably come here to gloat at him but she replies that she is here as she wanted to see how he was doing. He snaps back that he realises he was stupid, evil and messed up his life and that she had “saved” him! “Isn’t that what you want to hear?”. She ignores his venom and says that she is also here to ask him a question. She wonders if he can use his computer to trace the organic super-conductor that had almost killed him back to its source. when he asks why he should, she tells him that aside from saving the city from chaos it would make them even – and she knows how he hates feeling indebted to a woman. She promises that by doing this one thing for her the scales will be balanced forever.
As Wonder Woman heads for the door asking him to think about it he tells her that he had already managed to trace it back to the source when he had first got it. It was rejected technology from S.T.A.R. Labs. Too dangerous to use. As he had ably proven…
Later Diana is flying through the skies in her Taco Whizz uniform heading to work for her shift. She mulls over why S.T.A.R. labs, who has some of the most respected researchers in the field would allow such technology to fall into the hands of criminals? As she touches down outside the restaurant she is greeted by Micah, who tells her that he had visited jail to question Moot about her robot pal, Geoff. But before he had got going with the interview he had received Diana’s message to meet here. Puzzled, the Amazon Princess replies that she never sent a message and wonders who might have done so?
As they enter the restaurant Diana is delighted to be met by the super heroines Fire and Dr. Light. They tell her they had come to see how she is doing and as Diana surveys the room she sees numerous Justice League members enjoying the food. They tell Diana that there are not that many places where they can come for a snack” in uniform” and not get pestered by autograph hunters or by people looking for them to endorse products!
Diana sees that even Martian Man Hunter is partaking in s pot of lunch and one of the regular customers, an old lady, remarks that he seems like such a swashbuckler, just like Douglas Fairbanks. Recognising this name again from her conversation earlier, Diana says that coincidently she had spoken to someone this morning who said she knew Fairbanks and used to dance with him. The old lady raises an eye brow and and asks dismissively who the person thought she was, Camille Sly or somebody? Diana then asks who “Camille Sly” used to be and the old lady says that Sly had been the one and only Queen of the Swashbucklers – “the dueling countess”. She then adds though that Sly would have to be almost a hundred years old by now.
A puzzled Diana responds “but she’s not…” before she is interrupted by Ed who enters the restaurant. He asks what the big deal is and what this “evidence” is that she had wanted him to come over here to see? Again, a bemused Diana tells him that she never sent such a message and Micah adds that he too had also been brought here under false pretences. Someone is obviouSly giving them the run around.
Ed says that perhaps it’s not such a bad thing they are all here as one of his snitchers, Oliver Darr, is meeting him here as if anybody can sniff out information it’s him. They then see a car pull up outside and Ed says that this is probably Darr now. As they step outside and walk to towards the car however, Darr primes his weapon – the “doom-killer”. He had been instructed to wait until Ed and the others were right on top of him but the elation at finally being able to kill the inspector gets the better of him and he pulls the trigger too early.
Darr dies instantly as a compressed wave of gravity crushes him to a pin-point – along with a square mile of soil, concrete and tress etc as a mini-black hole is formed. Nothing can escape it’s crushing pull – not even light itself. Nothing. Except magic! In the void of blackness, a tumbling Wonder Woman manages to use her lasso to desperately loop her lasso around anything to gain purchase, while Ed and Micah clutch onto her for grim death. She luckily ensnares a street sign that is still standing and holds on as the never-ending gravity pulls her down. The howling wind drowns out the screams of the two men as the lasso begins to cut through her palms and down to the bone. She cannot even feel the pain but can feel her hand slipping slowly down the lasso! And then suddenly – as quickly as it started – it stops. It’s over. And they are still alive!
A short while later Ares Buchanan listens to the radio reports of the incident and how the Justice League are assisting in the efforts to clean the area up and fill in the crater. The report adds that Wonder Woman herself had made no comment but she and the two others had been taken to Boston Memorial Hospital for further treatment.
He switches off the radio – annoyed that Darr had activated the singularity too soon, that it had burned out too quickly – and of course that Wonder Woman still lives. He then turns his attention to the man who is sitting opposite him, blindfolded. Ares men remove the blindfold and Antonio Sazia blinks his eyes, trying to acclimatize to the light. He tells a nervous Sazia that since they are going to become business partners it seems only fair the mobster knows who he will be working with.
Ares introduces himself by name, adding..”You may think of me as a…God of War“