Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 83


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 83

General Info

Issue No:
83 (412)
On Sale Date:
December 1993
Cover Date:
February 1994
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
The Human Maze

Creative Team

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

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Etta Candy
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Ares Buchanan, Donna Milton
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
N/A
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A striking cover image by Brian Bolland, which shows Wonder Woman in a rare “damsel in peril” predicament. Following last month’s issue which featured narration by Ares Buchanan, this issue also begins with narration but this time provided by Donna Milton who recounts how she had lured Diana into their deadly trap.

Synopsis

Donna dwells on how difficult it had been to lure Wonder Woman into the trap and how when she finally had, how hard the Amazon Princess had fought as Buchanan’s men had blasted her with debilitating high-tech weaponry.

She thinks back to the months leading up to these dramatic events, when Donna had ensured she had followed Diana wherever she went – even at times taking personal risks to ensure she gained the Amazon’s trust. For instance, one day Wonder Woman arrived at the scene of an apartment block fire, swooping in to rescue the family trapped inside. For her part, Donna rushed in and helped a child out of the blazing inferno and Wonder Woman warned her not to take such risks as she had no powers. As the grateful child rushes over to be reunited with her parents Wonder Woman places a grateful hand on Donna’s shoulder and tells her she is proud to have her as a friend.

As part of her “role” Donna also had to suffer the company of Diana’s other friends whom she in truth considered as idiots. One day she, Etta and Diana are sitting drinking coffee on the sofa and Etta warns Donna to lay of her junk food cravings or else she will end up as fat as she had once been. Diana chastises Etta, adding that she had never been so big and that besides, a pregnant women like Donna should gain weight for the babies sake. Diana then leans her hard against Donna’s baby bump and when Donna asks what she is doing, a smiling Diana replies that she wants to hear the baby’s heart beat again.

Donna reminds her that even the doctor’s cannot hear it yet but Diana tells her to hush as the baby is speaking before joking “It’s saying can I have fries with that!”. Donna playfully hurls a cushion at the Amazon.

It was easy to trick them into believing she actually enjoyed their company. And perhaps she did…just a little. But her eyes were still fixed firmly on the prize…which was Ares Buchanan’s gratitude. So as Wonder Woman began to close in on him she was always there to warn him of the Amazon’s movements. Wonder Woman first narrowed down the area where Warmaster’s high-tech weaponry was emanating from and believed that they needed to find a connection with S.T.A.R. Labs. Micah had confirmed that three technicians and one manager from the Lab lived in that particular area of the city. Next Wonder Woman asked Indelicato to see if there were any connections to “Ares”, seeing as this is what Mayfly had carved in blood on her arm before she had died. He confirmed that although he could find no trace of any Ares in the city, a small time Fence named Aristotle Buchanan had been making waves amongst the local mobs. Further digging revealed that Buchanan had started climbing to power around the same time that this “Warmaster” had appeared on the scene. And that Buchanan owned some warehouses in that part of the city.

As Wonder Woman prepares to make a night visit to the warehouses she ponders how, just when they were about to get a break, Warmaster always seemed to be one step ahead of them. This time she intended to to go in alone without the police. Donna had suggested she should accompany the Amazon Princess so that at least if something goes wrong she could call the authorities in. Wonder Woman had thanked her for being such a good friend before stealthily entering the premises and right into Buchanan’s clutches!

Donna had done her job well. Working from the inside she had destroyed Wonder Woman!

Buchanan and Donna stand smugly, looking down on Wonder Woman who is bound to a chair with massive chains, blood trickling from the corner of her mouth. The chair itself is also sealed securely into the floor, unmovable. A defiant Amazon looks up at Buchanan and asks if he is the human dog who has let the War God keep bloody domicile in his shell. A grinning Buchanan produces the device that had been used unsuccessfully during the attack on her at Taco Whiz and says that this is what caused the singularity. Wonder Woman eyes open in surprise to hear that he had been responsible for that and Donna could tell the Amazon Princess was badly shaken by the news, though did not show it.

As Buchanan loomed over the helpless Wonder Woman, Donna could literally feel the power emanating from him. This is why she loved him. He can destroy anything or anyone. All weaklings in his way are swept aside. He would become king of this city and she his queen.

She watches as Buchanan then produces a gun and places it against Wonder Woman’s head. He tells the Amazon, who refuses to show any fear, that the weapon fires rocket propelled armour piercing explosive shells. As beads of sweat begin to appear on Diana’s forehead he continues to explain that he had had it made especially to destroy meta human tissue. “Life this” he says, squeezing the trigger! Wonder Woman closes her eyes in anticipation of the end but the chamber is empty and there is just a clicking sound. She realises he is intending to toy with her before the end comes…

Donna thinks back to her time leading up to this point. It had taken Diana a long time to fly again after her wounds and although she could glide down on the air currents, like she had during the apartment fire rescue, if she then tried to fly under her own power she had no control. Helping her learn to fly again had given Donna ample opportunity to get close to her. “To make her indispensable to my life” she thinks to herself, before realising what she has just said and corrects herself. “Her life.”

Meanwhile Buchanan moves the gun away and says that he is not going to kill Wonder Woman yet. Donna then says that now he has her there is no need to keep torturing the Amazon. He replies that on the contrary there is every need. If Wonder Woman is broken and writhes and begs under torture then all his enemies will fear him. Wonder Woman in turn snarls that the need is his – or rather the thing that holds his chain because does he really think he can do all this on his own. Ares must have destruction, pain and death. Hers, his..it does not matter. He will drive Buchanan until the Earth is a flaming husk and the universe itself shatters under the screams of the dying. She adds that Buchanan deep down knows this is true. Nothing human drives him anymore accept the utter destruction of everything living.

“You are a hollow puppet.” Enraged at her words, Buchanan slaps her hard across the face sending blood flying from her mouth and raises his hands again to hit her again…

Meanwhile Donna’s mind is still lingering on the last few weeks she has spent with the woman in front of her and who is now completely at Buchanan’s mercy. After the latest unsuccessful attempt to help Diana fly they had walked back to the apartment and Camille had greeted them, saying that Donna had received a letter care of Wonder Woman. Donna had asked Diana read it out but deep down was nervous that perhaps she had been outed. Wonder Woman read the letter out loud, which had been written by the mother of the young girl Donna had saved from the fire. The mother had written about the things that her three year old daughter loved to do in life and that she now could continue to do all those things – and have a future – because of Donna’s bravery. Even Donna had found it hard not to tear up at the lovely words written about her…words she had never imagined she would ever hear.

And although Donna did not like the company of other women and that friendship just slowed her down, she was still amazed that Diana and the others organised a surprise party in honour of her heroism. She remembered how Diana had explained to the stunned Donna that on Themyscira they would always celebrate the victories of their sisters. She had added that Donna once told her that lawyers had no sense of morality but that Diana knew that Donna was being too hard on herself. Diana had then warmly hugged Donna adding “Today you are a true Amazon and my sister.” And Donna had to admit to herself that she had deep down enjoyed the warmth and friendship of that moment.

Donna suddenly grabs Buchanan’s arm as he prepares to strike Wonder Woman again and says enough is enough. Standing between him and the chained Amazon she tells him that he is not going to touch Wonder Woman any more or else he will have to touch her first…and they both know he is not going to do that. “Do we?” Buchanan stares back coldly. Undeterred by this response, the confident Donna continues that she knows what his dreams of an empire are and that he needs an heir to found a dynasty. Seeing his continued bemusement she gestures to her belly and says that she is carrying her child. Surprised, he replies that she had told him she had faked the pregnancy as part of the ruse.

She smiles back that she knew he would have been reluctant to give that much power of him if he had known the truth and so she had wanted to wait until the right moment when there was nothing he could do about it. “We’re full partners now Ares, and full partner’s don’t ignore each others advice.” He looks back at her for a moment, saying simply “Intersting…” before suddenly lifting the weapon and blasting her point blank in the stomach!

As she flies backwards, crashing to the floor he fires several times more as a horrified Wonder Woman looks on helpless. She scowls in fury and struggles to free herself and bemused, he watches her attempts, explaining that the chains binding her were developed b S.T.A.R. Labs to restrain Superman should the need ever arise. He very much doubts she can break them.

He then gestures to a TV Monitor and tells her to pay attention as her time is running out. The screen reveals watery tunnels underneath their location and a dockside piled high with crates of weapons. Buchanan smugly explains how he has been using the ancient network of tunnels to smuggle his arms in and out of the city and that their is enough fire power stored to turn Boston into ashes. Once the city falls it will be only a mater of time before the chaos of battle spreads further afield until the whole world is on fire.

As he enjoys gloating to Wonder Woman the bloody hand of Donna reaches up unseen to the table where he has placed the singularity device. Unable to listen to his vision of a world at war Wonder Woman strains with all her might and actually manages to break the seal holding the chair in place. Buchanan is impressed by the Amazon’s incredible strength and realises there is a real danger she may actually break free of the chains. He quickly lifts the gun and pointing it at her head says “I think it’s time to end this..”

But before he can pull the trigger he hears Donna call his name. He turns stunned to see a blood covered Donna still alive and holding the device in her hands. He cries out that it will kill them all if she activates it but she simply stares with hate filled eyes before triggering the singularity.

The gravity well erupts around them and Wonder Woman finds herself in a maelstrom. Her chair is ripped from the floor as blackness engulfs her and she finds herself plummeting for seeming eternity into a void. She hits the icy cold waters below the warehouse head first, still bound to the chair. The force of the impact takes almost all of the air from her lungs and as she sinks ever deeper into the freezing water she struggles vainly to free herself but the chains hold. But mercifully as the chair crunches down onto the river bed it breaks allowing Wonder Woman to at last wiggle free of her bonds and swim quickly for the surface before her lungs burst. Finally her head bursts above the surface and she gulps in the air gratefully.

As her eyes begin to adjust to the gloom and she surveys her whereabouts she hears a feeble voice call her name. She recognises Donna and swims towards the sound, asking her friend to keep talking so she can locate her in the inky darkness. Finally she reaches Donna who is floating on her back, bleeding.

Amazed that the woman has survived everything that has happened to her, Diana tells Donna that they she will get them out of here. But taking the Amazon’s hand she murmurs that the baby is coming and she cannot hold it back. She adds that it is so cold and dark with so much water around them that the baby will drown for sure – along with them soon afterwards.

As Wonder Woman looks around them unable to make out anything in the pitch blackness, she tries to remain calm and replies “It’s alright..we’ll handle this…somehow…”