Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 79


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 79

General Info

Issue No:
79 (408)
On Sale Date:
August 1993
Cover Date:
October 1993
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Taking the Spear

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Brian Bolland
Writer:
William Messner-Loebs
Penciller:
Steve Carr, Deryl Skelton
Inker:
Andre Parks, Aaron McClellan
Letterer:
Clem Robins
Colourist:
Patricia Mulvihill
Editor:
Brian Augustyn

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Etta Candy, Inspector Indelicato
Heroes:
The Flash (Wally West)
Villains:
Mayfly, Ares Buchanan, Donna Milton
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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Comments

This issue features one of the rare occasions where Wonder Woman is actually shot with a bullet. As was current common during the Messner-Loebs run, while Brian Bolland’s glorious covers depicted Diana in her classic costume, the story has Diana wearing =WW= themed civilian clothes.

Synopsis

As the water from the sprinkler system continues to pour down on them, Mayfly keeps her gun trained on Diana not considering a non-meta human such as Etta a threat. So Etta uses the opportunity to slowly reach down for a plate and hurl it at the assassin. Of course, Mayfly’s lightning speed enables her to dodge the bullet but it also gives Diana a chance to dart past the super-fast assassin as she opens fire.

Diana and Etta duck the erratic spray of bullets and make it outside. Etta is amazed that the assassin had missed them and the Amazon Princess replies that she can miss her target when rattled, which is good to know. As they duck behind some cover Etta asks if they are going for help? But Diana says that them making a run for it will be exactly what Mayfly is expecting and she will cut the down in the exposed expanse of the mall now that it has been evacuated. The authorities will already be on their way so Diana’s first priority now is to rescue The Flash.

Etta wonders whether Mayfly has been so focused on killing them that she has forgotten about the Speedster but is dismayed to see the assassin emerge from the shop doorway holding the unconscious Flash in her arms. She lets him flop to the floor at her feet and goads Diana to “come and get him before he bleeds to death!”.

Diana begins to immediately form a plan however and drawing on the ground talks Etta through her plan. The assassin will be expecting an attack from Diana so she needs Etta to find a weapon that can overcome Mayfly’s speed advantage. A few minutes later Etta creeps unseen along the wall towards the shop entrance carrying a fire extinguisher in her hands. Meanwhile Diana calls out to Mayfly, saying that Flash is not her enemy and she wishes to see how bad his wounds are. But Mayfly invites the Amazon t come and see for herself.

Diana stands up and walks towards the assassin who smiles and raises her weapon. But as she steps out from the doorway preparing to fire Etta fires the extinguisher directly into her face, blinding her. Enraged, Mayfly fires wildly, trying desperately to wipe the foam from her face so she can see Etta, who is already making a run for it. At the same instant Diana grabs Flash who weakly says for her to leave him and save herself but the undeterred Amazon flies into the air carrying him up onto the safety of a balcony. She knows she must be quick as below, Mayfly can now see again and cornering Etta, fires her gun at the ground causing the terrified woman to dance for her amusement.

But suddenly Mayfly finds herself ensnared in Diana’s lasso. Hovering above her, Diana tells the assassin that se has her now and for her to yield and reveal the name of her paymaster. But Mayfly begins to spin at super speed catching Diana off guard and reeling her in like a fish. Landing on the ground the Amazon tells Mayfly it is futile because the golden rope is unbreakable. “But are you?” asks Mayfly before unleashing a powerful volley of kicks delivered at super-speed, which pound the unsuspecting Amazon Princess sending her slamming backwards into a wall.

As Diana tries to regain her sense Mayfly unwinds herself from some of the coils of the lasso and while Diana is still holding onto the other end decides to test just how unbreakable the lasso really is. Still wrapped in it Mayfly runs through the mall at incredible speed and Diana can barely hang on as she is dragged through the mall, slamming into walls as she goes. Wonder Wonder is fast when she runs and even faster when she flies, but nothing like this sort of speed. There is not even time enough to scream! Skin is ripped from her body and the air is torn form her lungs as she tumbles out of control like a leaf on the breeze.

Finally she is whipped through a pane glass window and lying on the floor face down, barely able to clear her head Mayfly steps over her and raising the gun smiles.” I think it’s time to end this. Goodbye Amazon.” But before she can pull the trigger she is suddenly bowled over and carried out of the store by a powerful water jet erupting from a hose that Etta has in her hands.

A short while later holed up in a rest room, Etta is bandaging her wounds after having tended to Flash. Etta explains that she had tried to look for Mayfly but the assassin had vanished as quickly as she had appeared. Diana muses that she probably thought it was too risky, considering Mayfly must try and avoid any cuts or bruises as they are life threatening to her. Besides, the assassin believes she can kill Diana at her leisure. Etta nods and surmises that Mayfly is probably drying out her high-tech weapon.

Etta then checks Diana’s arm and says that she does not like the look of the rope burns she has suffered. She could be in shock. But Diana replies that Flash is worse and that they need to get him to a hospital or else he will bleed to death. But Etta says that the Amazon Princess will never beat Mayfly is she gets torn up again and that she should just keep away from her. Diana smiles and tells her friend that sometimes you must accept damage to win. That is something her mother had once taught her. Hippolyta called it “Taking the Spear.”

The Amazon Princess then recounts how during the war against Hercules his men where all more heavily armoured than the women and more importantly had longer reach with their weapons. many Amazons died at the point of a spear while their opponents stayed out of range. It seemed hopeless…until the Amazon Queen developed a desperate strategy. The Amazon warriors would drop their shields slightly provoking a thrust to their shoulders or leg, or along their ribs. This however would bring their opponents in close enough for one desperate, final lunge. Many Amazons were killed but many survived and ultimately the battle was won.

Etta remarks that has a theory it has merits – assuming you survive it of course. As she finishes dressing Diana’s arm the phone in the Rest Room suddenly rings. Puzzled, the Amazon Princess answers it and hears the voice of Ed Indelicato. She asks amazed how he had found them and he replies through sheer luck, as he has spent the last forty minutes phoning every telephone in the mall in the hope they would be nearby one of them. He continues to explain that although they have the mall surrounded by the police and SWAT teams, he has been instructed by the President himself that Mayfly must be captured alive. Her testimony could put away literally hundreds of bad guys. Diana asks if they were expected to not even protect themselves if the need arose and he replies that worse than that, they had all volunteered to stand down as they recognised the importance of taking Mayfly alive whatever the cost. .

They have sealed off all the entrances and rigged the doors with explosives. They intend to flood the mall with tear gas and drive her out of the front where they are waiting with specialised netting to grab her. He instructs them to stay exactly where they are and this will all be over very soon.

Meanwhile Ares Buchanan and Donna Milton watch the live TV News footage of the besieged shopping mall. An furious Ares announces that the situation has become ridiculous with too much publicity and however this pans out, Mayfly is finished. Donna asks if he wants her to go ahead with her own part of the plan – even though Wonder Woman may actually already be dead? “Yes he replies starkly, because in all probability the Amazon still lives. And he will be able to control things much easier if he has someone on the “inside”. Donna laughs, relishing the opportunity to be a glamorous spy and says that she has been shopping for the right sort of clothes that will help sell herself as exactly the sort of sweet, stupid betrayed innocent that Wonder Woman loves to help. But Ares warns her not to underestimate Wonder Woman, reminding her that the Amazon had brought down an entire galactic empire and that she could snap Donna’s neck like a twig if she wanted to…

Back in the mall Diana fears a massacre, as the police have no appreciation of just how fast Mayfly really is. She will cut them down and laugh about it. As they walk towards a Sporting Goods shop Etta asks what they are doing here and Diana answers “Shopping”. As they dart inside Mayfly watches their movements through her gun sight, smiling that Diana can make all the plans she wants but it will still end the same way for her.

As Diana takes a bow and quiver of arrows Etta cannot believe what she intends to do. Diana reassures her that when she was a child she used to shoot through rings hanging from silken threads. Shooting down the barrel of Mayfly’s gun cannot be much harder. With her equipment set, Diana makes her way towards the stairwell up to the roof, explaining that up there she will have the sun to her back. But Etta places a hand on her shoulder and says that what Diana plans requires the gun barrel to be pointing directly at her. And even though the sun and the distance will cut the odds, Mayfly can fire hundreds of rounds in the time it takes Diana to draw her bow and shoot. But the Amazon Princess replies that she has no choice. This is the only way she has to stop Mayfly without killing her.

“Besides, I’ll be under a beautiful blue sky fighting to save many lives. If it has to be today then..well, it’s a good day to day.”

A fearful Etta watches as Diana makes her way up the stairs as in the distance the sound of explosions can be heard. The reporter Cassie Arnold watches the events unfold overhead in the news chopper as the police blow the doors and fill the mall with tear gas. The front doors open and Mayfly emerges, looking like she is staggering from the effects of the gas. But as the cameraman zooms into her face they can see she is wearing a gas mask! As the assassin races towards the police she raises her gun ready to spray bullets into the vulnerable officers.

But she is suddenly cut short by Diana calling her name. She turns and squinting sees the Amazon Princess up on the rooftop pointing an arrow at her. At blistering speed Mayfly lifts her gun and pulls the trigger as simultaneously Diana releases the arrow. The Amazon’s body jerks as several bullets strike her, sending her tumbling backwards but the ecstatic Mayfly’s joy is short lived as the arrow flies straight down her gun barrel, completely jamming the weapon. The police see their opportunity and swarm over the stunned assassin, ensnaring her in the netting before subduing her with chloroform.

Across town Camille Sly turns off the live news broadcast, complaining about too violence being on TV before tuning her attention to an innocent looking Donna Milton, who says that she is new in town with little money to her name and is looking for a place to stay…

Meanwhile, back on the shopping mall roof, a motionless and prone Diana lies in a pool of her own expanding blood…