Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 81


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 81

General Info

Issue No:
81 (410)
On Sale Date:
October 1993
Cover Date:
December 1993
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
And Then She Fell to Earth

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Brian Bolland
Writer:
William Messner-Loebs
Penciller:
Lee Moder
Inker:
Aaron McClellan
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Patricia Mulvihill
Editor:
Brian Augustyn

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Etta Candy
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Donna Milton, Antonio Sazia
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Hoppy Greene, Ricco Di Blagia, Jerry Greene
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Comments

In this issue we see Donna slowly lure Diana into her web of deceit. William Messner-Loebs does a good job of exploring what many argue is not only Diana’s greatest strength but her greatest weakness – her unconditional love and compassion. The Amazon Princess cares for all – even her enemies – but this generosity of spirit can also be used against her if the circumstances are contrived to do so. Wonder Woman is certainly no innocent fool, yet the reader is almost left to yell at the page “No, Diana” Don’t fall for it!” as Donna presses all the right buttons to evoke Diana’s sympathy and friendship, ready for the moment when it can be used to maximum effect against her. Messner-Loebs Ares arc is a slow builder, but is effective in setting the pieces in place for the inevitable showdown and leaving the reader wondering how Diana can possibly survive such treachery.

Synopsis

While Etta reads a newspaper reporting the latest on Wonder Woman’s condition, Diana is trying to process the information she has just been given by her doctor, who has told the Amazon Princess that she cannot fly due to the wounds she has received. She is told that one of Mayfly’s bullets has damaged her nerves and caused all kinds of problems in her inner ear, throwing off her balance. Quite frankly, the Doctor is amazed that Diana can even stand up and warns her that the damage may even be permanent! The undaunted Amazon stands up and says that the Doctor does not fully understand her powers, as flying is one of the easiest things and comes so naturally to her.

To demonstrate, she spreads her arms and leaps off the floor before unceremoniously crashing back down onto the nearby bed side table and landing on her butt! As a sheepish Diana gets back to her feet, Donna Milton enters the room and chirpily asks if she is Wonder Woman? Diana nods while the Doctor sternly instructs the Amazon like a naughty child to take it easy, rest and to report back to the hospital in three days.

Before leaving with Etta, Diana tidies up the mess she has caused and Donna says that she should just leave it for the orderlies, but the Amazon asks why she should let someone else clean up after her mistake.

Once outside Donna formerly introduces herself, adding that she has just rented the room next door to Diana. She tells her that she has admired the Amazon Princess for so long and wanted to check to see if she was OK. Diana says “That’s very kind of you.” Just then Etta interrupts, saying that she has to get back to the airfield to give a flying lesson at 2pm so they need to step on it in order that she can first take Diana home. But the Amazon replies that she is going to instead walk to work at Taco Whizz, as they will need help during the rush hour. Etta says she is crazy, as she has just been shot and cannot even fly at the moment – plus the Doctor gave her strict instructions to relax. Diana smiles back that she will be relaxed at work and that it is a brief walk.

Donna interjects with a proposal. She says that she is hungry, so why doesn’t she drive Diana to work for a couple of hours and then drive her home afterwards – and the Amazon Princess can repay her with some free tacos. Diana tries to complain again that she is perfectly able to walk, but the scowl from Etta causes her to cede this particular argument! As Etta walks to her car she tells Diana to not wrestle any monsters or tackle any super villains while she’s away. Diana smiles back that she promises.

A few minutes later she and Donna are speeding through the traffic towards Taco Whizz. Diana asks how her new acquaintance had ended up renting a room from Camille Sly. Donna replies that she got stupid and became a lawyer. Seeing Diana’s perplexed expression, she continues to explain that not all lawyers are rich and that she had made the mistake of falling in love. Her Ex hated the fact that she wanted to be a lawyer and that she wanted children. In fact, looking back on it now, he just hated her – period. She had passed the Bar Exam on the same day she found out she was pregnant. A week later he had beaten her up so badly she could barely walk. She had left him as soon as she was able to.

“Good for you!” states Diana. Donna nods, but then adds however that her Ex had ended up with everything because they had only been living together and had not been married. He managed to get her black-balled. And although she got a job as an assistant D.A., her employer had not been able to keep his hands off her. First he was just obnoxious. But later he raped her.

As Diana listens horrified, Donna continues that she had threatened to sue but that was a big mistake and now her professional name is mud in town. She had decided to muster together what little cash she could, have her child and then reassess her career options.

A sympathetic Diana replies that almost every bad thing that can happen to a woman has happened to Donna! Donna smiles to herself, deviously.

Donna then adds that there is one other little thing that she should have mentioned before. She has been paying Diana’s rent. She has been happy and honoured to do so while Diana has been in the hospital, but she really needs some money herself now. Diana says “Of course” and while Donna protests that there is no rush, the Amazon Princess directs her to the nearest ATM. Taking some cash out she hands it to Donna and says that she knows herself what it is like to be without money. The lawyer then asks how the Amazon had ended up in such dire financial straits. She assumed all the members of the Justice League earned a big salary?

Diana smiles back that thankfully while they do pay her health insurance, since she had returned from being lost in space the Justice League computer is still convinced she is officially dead and will not release any of her checks. Nobody seems able to rectify the issue. Donna is surprised she is taking it so well and the Amazon smiles “It’s only money.”

As they approach Taco Whizz they see Hoppy is sitting on the doorstep, crying. A concerned Diana asks her boss what is wrong and Hoppy tries to wave it off as nothing. Pressing the matter, Hoppy finally relents and hands her a piece of paper to read. Her daughter Rachel has qualified for an academic scholarship at the Philmost Academy. Both Diana and Donna are confused as to how this could possibly be bad news and Hoppy explains that even though there is a scholarship, it does not pay for everything and places like that suck money up. Even if Rachel works two jobs – when will she have time to study? This is her daughter’s chance and she has been racking her brains for a way to help Rachel. Diana asks if her father had left a pension and Hoppy replies that he is not in fact dead. Jerry Greene was just a worthless low life who had done a runner when Rachel was only four years of age.

Donna suggest hiring a detective to track the guy down and take him to court. Hoppy says that she does not have the money for that. Just then however, Diana suggests that perhaps she can help. Hoppy replies that this is not the same as fighting aliens and Donna adds that a hundred thousand men run out on their families every year. The Amazon Princess replies firmly that it is time that somebody made one of them pay. She adds that she cannot promise this will work – but that she will everything she can to find Jerry and make him pay up.

As Hoppy warns her to look after herself as he had always associated with some pretty bad company, Donna continues to plot. She does not believe for one minute that Diana will be able to track down this guy, but she can use the several hours they spend driving around Boston searching fruitlessly to her own advantage – building upon her “friendship” with the Amazon Princess…

A short while later the two women are in Ed Indelicato’s office. The detective tells Diana that he cannot help them, as the only way they would have a current record on Jerry is if he committed a crime and was still in the city and was using his real name! Diana asks him to at least try and reluctantly he scans the computer files, grumbling that this is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are probably hundreds of Jerry Greene’s’ living in the city and they do not even have any up to date physical description of the guy, let alone a photograph! As names flicker past however Diana suddenly points at the screen and says “What about that one? He’s black and about the right age and height?”. Ed replies that they had better hope it is not “Jerry “The Jumper” Greene, because that guy is a minor “knee breaker” who works for the Sazia Family.

Diana thanks him and heads for the door with Donna as Ed starts to protest. Outside, the lawyer asks what she intends to do now? Diana replies that they are going to visit the Sazia Estate and see what develops. A surprised Donna asks what about her promise to Etta – and the Amazon replies that she is not fighting aliens or super villians and besides – this will be fun!

A short while later they pull up outside the Sazia Mansion and Diana puts on her Wonder Woman costume. Donna points out that the perimeter fence is electrified and that as the Amazon Princess cannot fly, how will she get inside? “I can still leap!” she replies, before launching herself over the fence. However she lands rather ungainly on her butt again. Undaunted, she walks over to the sentry hut and opens the gate for Donna. As they head across the lawns towards the house they can see several cars parked outside. “Looks like Mr. Sazia has company” says Wonder Woman.

Inside meanwhile, Sazia is explaining to his fellow crime bosses of his deal with Ares, who wishes to be known as “Warmaster” – and who has committed to provide them with as much high-tech weaponry as they want. Ricco Di Blagia is unconvinced however, stating that every time they make a deal with one of these super villains they end up having some of their best men whacked or busted. Sazia reassures him that Warmaster is different as he simply wants five percent of the take. He does not even care what the crime lords do, as long as they make lots of money and become strong.

Just then Wonder Woman and Donna barge through the door and the Amazon remarks how it sounds like their client wants to destabilize the city. As the numerous guards in the room draw their weapons a calm Sazia replies that he was not aware his activities were big enough to attract the attention of the Justice League and that anything she has heard or recorded is inadmissible in court. With her arms folded she glowers back that she is not here for him and is simply here on a personal matter. One of her friends used to be married to one of his employees and left two small children to raise without ever paying anything towards their upbringing. Stunned that she is actually here for child support, he asks who this man is and she replies “Gerald Greene”.

Ricco Di Blagia then pipes up that Greene now works for him and indicates the black man standing behind him. He adds that Jerry is loyal and smart and he does not care how many kids he has not paid support for – nobody messes with him. Wonder Woman assures him that however loyal Jerry may be, he is still going to pay. Ricco instructs security to throw Wonder Woman out of the house, but as they grab her arms they cannot even budge her an inch!

Jerry pulls out his gun and tells Ricco that he does not need anyone else to fight his battles for him. When Wonder Woman tries to reason that Hoppy just wants what she is entitled too, he opens fire adding “Give this to my lousy wife!”. Wonder Woman effortlessly deflects the bullets with her bracelets which ricochet around the room and Sazia warns Jerry to stop or else someone is going to get killed.

Wonder Woman tells the men in the room that she and Donna are staying put until Greene lives up to his responsibilities. A menacing Sazia asks what would happen if they all fired at her simultaneously? Would she be able to stop every bullet? She calmly replies that she doubts they would want to kill a member of the Justice League and attract all the heat that would inevitably bring down upon them.

As she confidently sits on his desk he acknowledges she has a point, but replies that she must also understand that he cannot simply give Greene up as that would lower morale amongst the men. Just then the phone rings and to Sazia’s horror she answers it! She introduces herself as Wonder Woman and the caller instantly hangs up. He slowly sits at his desk and warns her that he could call the police and have her ejected from the premises for trespassing. She responds that the police may take such an opportunity while they were here to take a few pictures and take a look around. She picks up a ledger on his desk and reads out a number of dubious transactions with city officials.

Sazia, fuming, warns her not to confuse his good manners for weakness. The phone rings once again and once again Wonder Woman answers it, intimating that she and the Justice League are spending a lot of quality time with Mr. Sazia and that they like him “a lot”. The Amazon listens to the individual on the other end before putting the phone down and telling a scowling Sazia that the caller had passed on a message that if Sazia thinks he is going to sell out to the Justice League then he has another thing coming!

Donna sarcastically asks Diana if the man had perhaps misunderstood what she had said and Diana shrugs her shoulders before asking if they should order a pizza. As she reaches for the phone she adds that they should also invite the TV reporter Cassie Arnold over too for a photo op.

But before Wonder Woman’s hand reaches the phone Sazia blocks her and reluctantly says “Let’s talk.”

He suggests they avoid him having to lose face in handing over Greene by reaching some sort of a compromise. He gets out a calculator and asks Wonder Woman how much Greene owes. She replies that for the fifteen years Jerry has been absent, the two children and Hoppy are owed over $100,000! Sazia suggests half that amount but Wonder Woman warns that this is her friend’s life and she will not compromise. As Sazia reluctantly hands over a check she reminds him that this is Jerry Greene’s debt to pay – not his. But glowering at the nervous bodyguard, he murmurs that Greene will defenintly be paying him the debt back…

Sometime later an ecstatic Hoppy cannot believe her eyes as she holds the check in her hands. She says that Wonder Woman should take some of it in repayment to clear off her many debts, but the Amazon tells Hoppy that she would rather see her daughter get the education she deserves. She adds that anyway she is sure that the Justice League will eventually sort out the salary check issue.

Hearing this, a frustrated Donna picks up the phone and calls the private office of Maxwell Lord, the Justice League’s benefactor, while the others watch. She pretends she is is calling on behalf of attornies “Milton and Greene”, who are acting on behalf of Princess Diana of Themyscira in her lawsuit against the Justice League. She states that as he is a codefendant in the lawsuit, she will be summoning him to appear too.

As Wonder Woman and Hoppy listen incredulously she continues to spin her yarn, as the shocked Maxwell Lord splutters that he was not even aware of such a lawsuit. Donna states that a ten million dollar action is hard to ignore. She tells him that they are suing him for breach of contract, fraud and the pain and suffering endured by Wonder Woman’s current hardships. They will be suing for all the Princess’ back salary together with punitive damages too.

Lord suggests they reach a settlement before it goes all the way to court and offers all of Diana’s back salary to be paid today – out of his own pocket. Donna pretends to play hard ball, saying she may be able to persuade her client to drop the lawsuit but only if he can guarantee to have the money couriered over by close of play today. Maxwell Lord agrees!

As Donna hangs up, a grateful and smiling Diana hugs her and says “That was amazing!”. As the unsuspecting Wonder Woman suggests to Hoppy they all order pizza, a smirking Donna thinks to herself “Yes, be happy Diana, my friend. It’ll make it so much easier to destroy you!”