Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 80


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 80

General Info

Issue No:
80 (409)
On Sale Date:
September 1993
Cover Date:
November 1993
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
It's Never a Good Day to Die

Creative Team

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

Characters

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

As Donna Milton puts her schemes into operation we get to find out her back story.

Synopsis

The issue opens with a quote from Donna Milton’s personal journal, which explains how Diana has been lying in the hospital for over a week while Etta visits her every day keeping a vigil at her side. Donna wishes Diana would just die

As Etta fights her own fatigue she remembers how young and confident the Amazon Princess has looked as she walked up to the rooftop to take on Mayfly…and who she had laughed off Etta’s fears with the words “It’s a good day to die.”

“Oh God Diana, don’t you know it’s never a good day to die.”

As she opens her weary eyes she suddenly finds herself alone in the room and calls out for Diana. Suddenly a figure walks towards her out of a blinding light. As they approach Etta sees it is her long departed Uncle Dave. She asks him how he can be here – he died didn’t he? He nods, saying that those damn tractors are heavy when they run over you. She remembers the event, even though she was only eleven at the time. She had cried until she thought her heart would break. Her grieving Aunt Helen had cooked for them all but would not eat anything herself for almost a week.

Uncle Dave replies that he had hated how fat his wide had looked. Etta is stunned by his response and he continues that her weight was one of the reasons he had cheated on his wife. Whey did Etta think he had to kill that young Lucy Monroe when she had got pregnant? the baby had been his. Etta cannot believe the hateful words coming out of his mouth and holding her head, replies that Lucy was only thirteen and had been hit by a car. He smiles and responds that this is what the authorities may have said. he adds that this is the good thing about being dead. You can be as rotten in life as you want because you just end up wandering in fog for all eternity.

An incredulous Etta says that her Aunt had been a strict Baptist and while she had always feared her husband would go to hell for being a Methodist, this is something entirely different! Becoming suspicious, she suddenly asks Dave who had won the 1968 World Series. He is taken aback by this question and etta presses him again to answer, adding that while she may not have known everything about her Uncle, one things she does know for sure was his love for baseball.

Realising his ruse has been rumbled the entity transforms into a huge Dragon, which rears up above a terrified Etta preparing to devour her. But suddenly a golden lasso snakes from nowhere and loops around the beast’s neck, restraining it! Wonder Woman flies into view and warns Etta to stay back, as this creature is one of the Elder slime that the Amazons had kept imprisoned under Themyscira for centuries. She explains that somehow, Etta’s fears and memories have become entwined with hers. As she grapples with the beats she adds that she has some control over her dreams in this place and tells Etta to use her gun. Etta looks down to see that she is magically now wearing a gun holster and drawing the weapon, points it at the creature as Wonder Woman fights to keep the monster’s jaws from slamming shut on her. Etta hesitates but Wonder Woman yells at her to shoot and Etta pulls the trigger!

Her eyes open and she finds herself back in the hospital room. She sits bolt upright and looks at Diana. With relief, she sees her friend is also awake. “You are so melodramatic. You couldn’t wake up like a normal person.” jokes Etta. A woozy Amazon Princess asks what had happened at the Mall and to Mayfly. Etta smiles back that Diana had successfully stopped her and that the assassin is still alive. Mayfly is singing like a caged bird now and Grand Juries all over the country are already being assembled to cope with the number of prosecutions “You did good kid.” she adds.

Meanwhile at the maximum security facility holding Mayfly, the assassin is snarling back at a dark haired woman standing in her cell that she does not want or need a lawyer. The woman smiles back that everyone needs a lawyer but cannot always afford one. She is here to assist Mayfly on behalf of their mutual friend by way of gratitude. She continues to explain to the surprised assassin that he is grateful to Mayfly for not revealing his involvement in the plot to kill Wonder Woman. Mayfly scowls back that perhaps she has simply not got around to doing so yet. The woman nods, adding that while that may be true it is more likely that Mayfly realises what a useful friend he might be to her if his identity was to remain a secret. Mayfly perks up at this and asks if he could get her out of here. “Stranger things have happened” smiles the woman.

The lawyer then reads Mayfly’s case file out loud. The assassin is charged with over a hundred cases of first degree murder and numerous destruction of property offenses. The assassin is very rich with extensive property holdings in foreign countries, can run at Mach 2 and has a library of aliases and disguises. Oh…and they think she is a flight risk too. The lawyer then turns to the watching guard and asks if she is allowed to shows her client the list of charges in her hand. He agrees but adds that he must be the one to hand it to her in case she tries to slip something to her client. She nods in understanding and hands over the sheet, which he proceeds to slide through the hatchway for Mayfly.

She sits back on her bed and reads the list of charges against her. As she does she begins to smile. Meanwhile the lawyer thanks the officer and turning to leave, says she will be in touch. Mayfly slides the paper back to the officer who grins that if Mayfly thinks her lawyer will be getting her out of here anytime soon then she is sadly mistaken. Just then he notices that the paper has been torn slightly. He asks if that had happened when she had had it in the cell with her and she smiles innocently back that she guesses it must have. She then presses herself right up against the reinforced Perspex wall and asks the guard if he has even wondered what she would do to him if she did ever get out of here? What if she ran fast enough to rip through the walls of her cell. He smiles back that the walls are designed to hold anything. “I’ll see they chisel that on your tombstone” she smiles.

Suddenly she begins to run around and around at an incredible speed. As she creates incredible pressures inside the cell the perspex wall finally gives way and shatters! Mayfly is free!

We then read further extracts from Donna Milton’s journal as she narrates what happened next. As had been truthfully written on the sheet the lawyer had handed to Mayfly, the assassin truly is faster than Flash and at that moment she had become the fastest thing alive. Mayfly bowled past the guard and sprinted down the corridor. However, what Donna had not explained is how with this immense speed, Mayfly would not have the control necessary to use it. Donna had not mentioned to Mayfly that with the incredible surge of adrenaline and massive muscle contractions came convulsions. And she would not be able to stop running. Donna knew that Mayfly would try all sorts of tricks to reduce her momentum, like using corners to try and reduce her velocity while all the time fully aware that any slight bruise or cut could be fatal to her. But as mayfly almost reached the speed of light, Donna muses that the assassin may have become a tad worried that she might never be able to stop. Eventually she would have started panicking and becoming desperate. One slight nervous stumble would be enough to send her tumbling. And at those speeds, when you fall you fall hard!

At the moment Mayfly splatters into a wall killing herself instantly, the lawyer is walking down the sunny street smiling. Mayfly should have known that a lawyer can only have one client and her client is the most terrible and most wondrous man in the world. As the lawyer slips into an alleyway she removes her sunglasses and takes off her dark wig to reveal she is in fact Donna. As she makes her way to the office she muses who there is nothing this man cannot do and nobody he cannot touch. He is the only man who is worthy of her…perhaps even superior to her. She had known from the first time she met him that she would need to be on her game for the rest of her life to keep him interested. She always feels warm and tingly inside when she knows she has pleased him and when she gets those feelings she knows where to take them.

Arriving at his office she greets him and begins to give him a neck massage. He says that he presumes Mayfly is dead as Donna always looks flushed after a killing. She purrs “yes” before kissing him. A while later after they have enjoyed passionate sex together and while Ares slumbers a smiling Donna lies with her arms behind her head staring up at the ceiling, reveling in the way that Ares is so overwhelming to her and that he sees love as a war. She thinks back to her first killing…

She had been in Law School and had had a terrific crush on a Professor named Frank Ludlow. He had contacts with all the big law firms and whoever got to be his research assistant had a guaranteed in. Unfortunately Donna was not his preferred student. Carlie Bloom was smarter, more studious and sexier. Donna would always be second best as long as she was around. Everyday they would take the subway together and Donna used to think if only Carlie would slip and fall in front of the train then life would be much simpler. Then, one day, Donna had given Carlie a little nudge as the student stood on the edge of the platform. It was over in an instant.

With Carlie’s death life did indeed become much simpler and Donna became Frank’s research assistant. She got a scholarship and graduated to the head of her class. She even got her man when Frank left his wife for Donna. But then, after a while he became boring to her. He insisted they leave the university and join a Public Defenders office to “help the under classes” and gain “redemption”. They mostly defended losers and almost always they would lose their cases. But just occasionally they defended individuals who were connected either with the Mob or “Big Money”. And guess what? They won!

But when they were offered the chance to work for the “boys” full time, Frank would hear none of it saying that they needed to keep their integrity. He then tried to run against a corrupt District Attorney but not surprisingly lost. Nobody gave them the time of day so Donna left Frank – who apparently later accidently shot himself while cleaning his gun – and started working for the corrupt D.A. But it appeared the Attorney was not quite corrupt enough unfortunately and they were constantly taking on cases they could not win. And there was no money in it.

Then the Attorney heard about the Rico Laws which – as part of the war on drugs – allowed them to seize anything purchased illegally with drug money and use it to fight crime. It was like Christmas! They went out of their way to find any kind of bust – big or small – and accumulated riches very fast. But their successes attracted attention from “upstairs”, who said that the pair were busting too many ordinary citizens. They needed to deliver a real, low down criminal to placate them. A Public hanging.

Donna knew about a Fence called Aristotle Buchanan and word on the street said he was involved in gun running and possibly dope dealing too. They could build him up as some kind of mafia middle man and hand him to the authorities on a platter. He was weak and useless and nobody would care if they took him down.

But the pawnbroker had changed. When they visited his shop accompanied by officers he had smiled back in a menacing way and introduced himself as Ares Buchanan. When the Attorney had explained that they were charging him he had simply held up a crystal and asked them to perhaps take a look at this first. There was a blinding light. And something had happened. Everyone in the room froze in a trance like state. Everyone that is except Donna. She asked Ares how he had managed to do that and surprised, he had been impressed that she has somehow not been affected by the mind grapple he had lifted from S.T.A.R. Labs.

He had then explained that he intended to peel their minds back and make them become his best friends. Then he would use a little post hypnotic suggestion and they would simply leave the shop unaware of what had just happened to them. Unless of course, Donna thought that somehow she could stop him? “Maybe later” she had calmly replied, adding that right now he needed a good lawyer and that he could be running this city…with a little good advice from her…

Sitting up in bed she smiles at the impulsiveness and boldness she had shown back at that moment. Over the following year they had built a criminal organisation together just under the skin of the city. And when they finally break through they will become the city. In the meantime she will continue to play the poor homeless waif waiting to be befriended by Wonder Woman. Force has not worked on the Amazon. Maybe guilt will.

As she gets dressed she muses that she had not much liked the way Ares had ordered her to play this role. He considers her just another one of this tools. But he will learn. Unknown to Ares she is pregnant with his child. And whatever power he possesses is also in the child. She best he will pay plenty when he finds out. For whomever controls the child controls Ares.

Meanwhile back in the hospital Etta is trying to force Diana to drink something when the phone rings. Etta answers it and Diana hears her greet Isabelle Modini on the other end. Etta says that Diana is comfortable and resting. Etta then listens wide eyed as Isabelle explains what has happened to Mayfly…

At the scene of the crime the coroner pronounces the assassin dead as Officer Modini surveys the bloody scene. She is told that Mayfly was dead before she even had time to hemorrhage. Isabelle is certain that the assassin did not know she was going to die and genuinely thought she was escaping. She must have really believed the promises that the phoney lawyer had made to her. Isabelle is sure that Mayfly probably knew who ordered her dead.

As the remains are flipped over however they are all surprised to see that the assassin had managed to carve something into her arm with broken glass before she had finally expired.

In dripping blood they read the word “Ares”.