Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 86


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 86

General Info

Issue No:
86 (415)
On Sale Date:
March 1994
Cover Date:
May 1994
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Turning Point

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Brian Bolland
Writer:
William Messner-Loebs
Penciller:
Jeff Parker
Inker:
Aaron McClellan, Kevin Conrad
Letterer:
John Costanza
Colourist:
Patricia Mulvihill
Editor:
Paul Kupperberg

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Etta Candy, Inspector Ed Indelicato, Julia Kapatelis, Vanessa Kapatelis, Steve Trevor
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Dreadnought, Paulie Longo
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Quinn Thomas
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Comments

Jeff Parker takes over art duties this issue and his more cartoon like style is quite a jarring change from the previous issue’s Deodato artwork!! It has to be said that while the Messner-Loebs run benefited from consistent, quality covers by Brian Bolland, the constant fluctuation in both style and quality in the interior art was a great shame and did not always do his story lines and writing prowess any justice in my view.

Synopsis

Diana looks down sadly on her dearest friend Julia lying battered and bruised on a hospital bed wired up to a monitor. The Amazon Princess reflects how she seems to have been holding bedside vigils for her friends far too much lately. It has been almost fifteen hours now since Vanessa had been violently abducted by parties unknown while her mother had valiantly tried to resist them.

Just then Julia calls out and Diana gently places a reassuring hand on her friend, smiling down comfortingly. Julia murmurs that Diana has to find her daughter. She does not know why the man had taken her but he had said his name was Dreadnought. She remembers how she had heard him coming…how he had ripped open the front door as she ran to get her old revolver out of a drawer. But he had been too quick, shrugging the bullets off before hurling her against a wall and slamming her to the ground, bragging how “broads always think they’re so tough”. As she had tried to crawl away to get help he had demanded to know where Vanessa was.

She refused to tell him even when he started kicking her but somehow he knew when the young girl was due home from school and was waiting for her. Julia had tried to warn her daughter but could barely speak as Vanessa had tried to get away by climbing out of the window, before Dreadnought hauled her back inside the house. As he had stomped away with the struggling Vanessa under his arm like a rag doll, he had screamed how it was time that Wonder Woman was taught a lesson and understood who has boss.

Diana listens grimly, knowing that her brave friend has had almost every bone in her body broken, has massive internal bleeding and a ruptured spinal cord. In fact, the doctors do not even know how she is still alive. Julia manages to add that if they ask for a ransom not to listen to their demands but to find Vanessa. Diana nods.

As Julia slips into a fitful sleep Diana sits on chair contemplating the situation. Just then Quinn arrives with some flowers and asks how Julia is. Diana replies that she is sleeping after just having told her who had taken Nessie and not to pay any ransom demanded. She cannot understand why though? Quinn replies that when Julia was a child her own mother had been kidnapped by thugs. They had tortured her to death while extorting more and more money from her husband.

Diana curses herself for not having been there to save Nessie and is frustrated that not even she can be everywhere. Quinn replies that just because Julia had taken Diana into her home and treated her like a daughter she would not have expected any favouritism from the Amazon Princess. As they leave the hospital together Diana explains to Quinn that Julia had given her a codename to work from. “Dreadnought”. But she has never heard of such a villain. And it is odd that nearly everyone she knows was attacked yesterday and it can only have been something Ares Buchanan had planned before his death.

Quinn asks if Etta had been a victim of an attack and Diana replies that thankfully they had had an important flight and been away for two days. “They’ll only be coming back this mor…”. She stops mid sentence, the significance of what she has just said suddenly dawning on her. Immediately she launches into the air heading for the air field…

A few miles away on the outskirts of the city Steve and Etta touch down on the runway. They both congratulate themselves on a successful and profitable contract flight, although Etta still feels a little bad about rushing off on the job while Diana and Donna were still in hospital. Steve reminds her that she had stayed long enough to help fish her friends out of their watery tomb and that Diana would understand. As they walk towards the hanger and open the door they are confronted by a many tentacled creature which has wrapped itself around one of the planes inside.

As soon as it sees them it slithers towards them. Steve draws his gun and tells Etta to make a run for it as he places himself between her and the creature. But she grabs an axe off the wall and joins him in trying to fight off the creature. But both quickly find themselves in its clutches as it begins to squeeze the very life out of them!

But suddenly Wonder Woman bursts in and punches the beast hard, forcing it to drop Steve and Etta before un-hooking her lasso and wrapping it around the creature’s neck. As it drags her along the floor, hissing how it will get paid twice as much if it manages to get her as well as the Trevors, she pulls the beast off the floor using the lasso, over her head and slams it into the ground. She then leaps onto its hide and pulls the golden rope tight, throttling the beast. As with the other magic created beings she has recently encountered, it swiftly bursts into flames and incinerates itself.

As Steve helps Etta to her feet Wonder Woman looks down at the smoking floor and quickly brings her friends up to speed on recent events, explaining how her foes always incinerate themselves leaving her unable to question them afterwards. But Steve points, saying that perhaps this guy is the exception and Wonder Woman sees that indeed the man is still alive, his clothes in tatters now that he has transformed back into his normal self.

A short while later in Ed Indelicato’s office, the inspector shows Wonder Woman the file on the man, whom she has brought in for questioning. Apparently he was a small time hood prior to this event and had never shown any meta human tendencies. But he has been very cooperative with the authorities and has explained how new mob boss Paulie Longo has a sorcerer on his payroll who has been giving selected volunteers the chance to become super villains. All they have to do is give up their humanity and considering what most of them do for a living it is an easy trade.

Wonder Woman asks who the sorcerer is and Ed replies it’s not hard to guess. However, that does not mean they can take him into custody yet. Randolph has powerful friends in the city and the public is not quite ready to see the White Magician named a villain. Wonder Woman replies that they have Vanessa and that she cannot afford to wait around. But Ed replies that if Randolph is really operating out in the open they will get him – she just has to be a little patient. As she prepares to leave he asks what has happened to her tiara, which has been missing since she had fallen into the underground river following the explosion. She replies “It is lost Inspector….like everything else.”

Across town at the residence of ex mob boss Antonio Sazia, new resident Paulie Longo admires his new surroundings. He explains to his two burly bodyguards how this mahogany desk he is sitting at was Sazia’s pride and joy…all two tons of it. Smiling, he adds that he never thought he would be sitting here, running the show in league with the White Magician. He crows that next he is going to become famous as the man who made Wonder Woman leave Boston.

One of the guards asks if he really believes she will just walk away and he grins that yes, he does, because they have Vanessa and there is absolutely nothing that the Amazon can do about it. He adds that right now Wonder Woman is flying around town, here and there, doing her super powered thing but finding nothing because Randolph has Vanessa well hidden away. And because she cannot find the girl, Wonder Woman is increasingly becoming scared. And when she finally realises she will not be able to find either Vanessa or Randolph, she will have no choice but to come to him. She will come here and try to be reasonable with him. Try to bargain. Maybe even beg. That would be nice. And as she does so he will just sit there. He will then explain to her how things are going to be and she will have no choice but to accept it because at the end of the day she really has no other option.

Just then his intercom buzzes and he is told that “Diana of Themyscira” is here to see him but that she does not have an appointment. Longo and the guards smile triumphantly as the mob boss’s words seem to have already come true and he says for Wonder Woman to be shown in.

Two more burly guards escort the Amazon Princess into the room. She stands in front of his desk hands on hips and says that a young girl has been kidnapped and she believes he is involved. He casually replies “Call me Paulie” and she scowls. Folding her arms and ignoring him she continues that she knows his organisation and Asquith Randolph were deeply involved with Ares Buchanan and that the two of them are now making war on her friends. “That will stop now.” she states bluntly. Leaning forward so her face is in his, she continues that he will return Vanessa immediately – non negotiable – and they will never attack her friends again.

He smiles back and replies that he will now explain to her what is going to happen. He continues that her she has no leverage here because it does not matter how strong or how smart she is – at the end of the day she still does not know where Vanessa is being kept. But they do. He states that as a result she has no choice but to leave Boston and at the end of two years, Vanessa will be returned – if he feels like it. If not, really bad things may happen to the young girl. After all, she is a good looking kid and his guys are only human.

Enraged, she reaches for him but the guards grab her arms, restraining her while Longo mockingly says “Ooo..I’m scared.” He continues his taunting by asking if she is going to hit him? He doubts it because all he has done is talk thus far and she never hits anybody unless it is in self defense. And besides, Wonder Woman is in his place now surrounded by his guys, each of which is as strong as twenty men. She on the other hand is too civilized to sink to his level. She always does the right thing. Even now she probably thinks she can win him over by being nice. And who knows? But as long as he sits here helpless he knows she will not hurt him. “You see, for a threat to work the other bozo’s gotta be afraid of you. And I ain’t afraid.”

She stares back at him in enraged silence for a moment. And then she bursts into action, hurling the men off of her like rag dolls. As one of the guards lunges at her she grabs his arm and slams him against the wall. Another thug punches her in the face and she stares back as if to say “Was that it?” before punching him in the gut so hard she lifts him into the air on the end of her fist. As a third thug warily tries his luck he ends up flying through the window and into the pool outside!

The terrified fourth thug tries to crawl away unnoticed but she grabs him by the ankle and throws him up through the roof and into the air, before falling back down into the room with a crash. She strides over to where Longo is cowering underneath it. She pushes down on the huge solid wood desk and it begins to give way. Longo desperately tries to crawl out from underneath it but is not quick enough and Wonder Woman presses the huge desk down onto his legs, trapping him. He screams out in pain, begging for mercy and yelling that she is crushing his legs.

But she simply kneels down on top of the desk and looking down at him resolutely, quietly tells him that over the past few months she has lost almost everything that matters to her. “Do not count over much upon my good will.” Standing up, hands on hips, she then states matter of factly that he will return Vanessa in one hour unharmed…or, she will destroy him.

She adds “Be afraid”, before casually walking out of the ruined room leaving Longo and the downed guards groaning in pain…