Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 87


Wonder Woman – Volume 2 – 87

General Info

Issue No:
87 (416)
On Sale Date:
April 1994
Cover Date:
June 1994
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
No Quarter, No Sanctuary

Creative Team

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

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), Etta Candy, Inspector Ed Indelicato, Vanessa Kapatelis
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Rockface, Plasma, Paulie Longo, Julianna Sazia
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Quinn Thomas, Brian Elliot
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Comments

A criticism of Wonder Woman that is often made by non fans as to why they do not like the character is because she is not “bad ass” enough for them. Unlike many comic heroines of the modern era, Diana does not talk tough and “kick ass” and is therefore perceived as some how weak. Messner-Loebs tackles this issue head on as he piles the pressure on Wonder Woman, forcing her to “break” and become someone who even the hardest criminals fear. This was obviously a massive departure to the peace loving, thoughtful Diana of the Perez era, who always took a calm approach to even the most serious crisis but was per pared to use her powers in anger only when the situation absolutely required it.

During the Messner-Loebs run, the letters pages were often filled with the polarised views of fans, many of whom felt that this was a Diana they could not relate to. The debate even gained its own nickname – referred to as the “Perez Complex”. The two camps of fans is eerily reminiscent of the split seen during Brian Azzarello’s run during the infamous “New 52” era. Like Messner-Loebs, his version of Diana was a vast departure from what had come before, with some fans finding this a necessary change of direction to freshen the character up and others feeling it a betrayal of her origins and lessening her as an icon.

Synopsis

Wonder Woman, with her golden lasso tied around herself as an anchor, continues her search through the icy cold and pitch black waters of the Boston underground river. She has been at it for three hours already, following a fixed diamond grid search pattern to ensure she covers every area of the river bed. She knows she is close and through the pain of the icy cold overwhelming every muscle of her body, she homes in on her target. Finally she reaches down into the silt and grabs the object she has been looking for.

Above Etta waits patiently in a boat, holding the other end of the lasso. Suddenly Wonder Woman bursts triumphantly from the water holding aloft her golden tiara. As she climbs on board Etta wraps a blanket around her and says that she never thought Diana would find it. But now that she has found it what next, because Vanessa is still being held by the mob? “Now it begins” replies Diana.

A few hours later in a warehouse, a group of thugs is preparing the next shipment of illegal arm shipments. Two of the thugs talk warily about how they have already been here too long and what if Wonder Woman busts this place too like she’s been doing all across the city? A super powered thug named Rockface reassures them that if she does he will crush her and he demonstrates his skills by destroying one of the large crates as if it was tissue paper. Suitably impressed, they ask what the other super villain is going to do, seeing as he is a skinny, feeble looking character. Plasma smiles, demonstrating his particular skill of stretching and burning his own flesh, ensuring a fiery death for anybody unlucky enough to be in his clutches at the time.

As the guys warn him to stop messing around with his fiery skills in case he blows them all to kingdom come, one of the walls is suddenly blasted apart, not by Plasma, but by Wonder Woman smashing through it! Rockface tries to take a slug at her but she takes him down with a punch and a kick. She then casually fends off a barrage of bullets as one of the thugs tries his luck with a machine gun. But while he keeps her distracted Plasma uses the opportunity to wrap himself around her and ignite. She tries to break free of his fiery embrace but he wraps his coils even tighter around her. She decides to change tactics and pushes them both backwards into the pile of munitions. It explodes in a fire ball taking out most of the warehouse.

She drags the dazed thugs out of the burning building and then uses her tiara to scratch a message on the wall. “No Quarter. No Sanctuary”…

The next day a truck motors down the freeway, innocently branded as carrying cabbages when in fact it is filled with illegal cigarettes. Wonder Woman flies down from nowhere and ripping open the rear door, destroys the cargo, scattering it across the road way…

Meanwhile Quinn and Brian Elliot are hacking into mob accounts in order to corrupt them. Brian hopes that Diana knows what she is doing and that this helps get Vanessa back. As Quinn gives him another suspicious looking bank account to bring up on the computer, Brian adds that even if these banks are mob run, many of the accounts they are corrupting belong to perfectly innocent people. He is surprised Diana has not thought of this. Quinn replies that from what she has learned of the Amazon Princess, she is sure Diana has thought of it but that she is a warrior – and warriors cannot be concerned with anything other than victory.

Later than night a pimp is telling his girls that he has just had a call from one of his associates downtown who has warned him that Wonder Woman is hassling the prostitution rings there. He reminds his girls that they belong to him and if they get any hassle from the Amazon broad they should tell him immediately and he will take care of “Wonder floozy”. He holds aloft his metal hook claw hand and warns them that he can slash any of their faces – even the Wonder Woman’s. One the blond girls grabs his hand, seemingly impressed by his show of strength, but as he watches in shock she casually crushes it. Wide eyed he watches as she removes her wig and overcoat to reveal she is in fact Wonder Woman!

She grabs him by the collar and launches into the air as the other girls watch amazed. As she explains how things are going to be and he will be taking a very extended retirement as from today, the girls watch from a distance as he is dropped and caught a number of times as she makes her point. They remark how they can barely make out his screams of fear. A minute or so later Wonder Woman touches down with his box of money and scattering it amongst them explains that their pimp is retiring to France and that this perhaps might be a good time for them to quit the business too.

The next day at the HQ of a well respected corporation a nervous Executive is asking Ed Indelicato for protection from Wonder Woman. Ed asks if that is a tacit admission that the company has links with the mob? The flustered Executive denies any such thing and demands the police protect them, but Ed says he is not sure what he can do. Suddenly a secretary enters the office and says that they need to see something. The Executive holds his head in his hands as he sees the atrium wall splashed with Wonder Woman’s warning message for all to see…

Back at the precinct a short while later, Ed’s boss asks what the inspector had done after the incident and Ed causally repied “Nothing. They’re mobbed up”. His furious boss says that they deserve protection from Wonder Woman’s crazy vengeance drive, rampaging across the city like a banshee. Ed is supposed to be putting a leash on her. Ed replies that if that is the current definition of his job, then he should hand his badge in right now. It sounds suspiciously like everyone – including his own boss – is saying that organised crime is such an important part of society that any attack on it is an attack on society as a whole. That the job of the police is merely to keep the gears from getting gummed up…

A short while later up on the roof Ed waits for Wonder Woman to touch down. He says it has been three days now since she started her crusade against the mob and he presumes she has no intention of stopping any time soon. She nods, replying that if she does then Vanessa dies and after that the rest of Diana’s friends. “Without meaning to I’ve given these men the impression I am weak. I must correct that impression.” Reluctantly he hands her a sheet of paper with a list containing all the mob run businesses the police know about, adding that if she is going to do this then she may as well be accurate with her targets. He asks her to take care though as she does not know what these men will do next…

Elsewhere in an inconspicuous motor lodge Paulie Longo has organised a meet between all the other mob gangs in Boston. Sitting in a wheel chair he rages how he has just got out of hospital with two broken legs and that Wonder Woman seems to think she can do anything, ruining all their businesses and causing them grief. It is time they killed her once and for all. The head of the Triads however replies that perhaps a more cautious approach is required. Can he not use his connections with the media to help? Longo snarls that there is no time and that the Amazon has to be taught a lesson now. Between them they have enough fire power to burn Boston to the ground. It is time to use it on her. She cannot take them all on if they attack together. They can kill the rest of her friends and pile them at her door until she comes begging for them to stop. “What do ya think? Say something?”

But his associates remain silent. Just then Julianna Sazia, the ex-Mobster’s widow, saunters sexily into the room. She calmly tells him that the others are scared. Scared of him because up until now they had not realised just how stupid he really was! Angry, he reminds her he is now the king of the city having taken over from her husband Sazia, but she is unimpressed and asks if he reallythinks starting a blood war is a smart idea? He will end up bringing in the army, the marines and lord know who else into the conflict. And if, in the unlikely event they are lucky enough to take out Wonder Woman, what does he think will happen as a result? The entire Justice League will be combing the city hunting for the men who killed their friend and leaving no stone unturned. Is he really prepared to take on the likes of Batman and Superman? The mob will be out of business within a week.

The best way forward is for them to do business quietly. Making themselves more visible is suicidal! The other mob bosses ask her what she thinks they should do to resolve the Wonder Woman issue. She tells them they should end it now and give her back Vanessa and hand her the White Magician. Longo yells “no” but she reminds him how the Magician is not “mob” and everything he has involved them in thus far has turned out bad. And anyway…perhaps the White Magician and Wonder Woman will end up killing each other – thus solving both problems.

A suddenly fearful Longo says that the Amazon will kill him if he tries to tell her anything and that anyway, she will not believe a word he says. Julianna replies that she will take care of it for him. And in return she wants her old life back. The house, the cars, the riches. That will do. For now. “So, do we have a deal gentlemen?”…

A few hours later in a park Julianna watches as Wonder Woman touches down for their agreed rendezvous. The Amazon asks what she wants to talk about. Julianna explains that she was married to the mob boss Antonio Sazia before the White Magician had killed him. She also understands that Wonder Woman is looking to find the location of her friend. Diana nods, asking what Julianna wants in return for such information. “Kill the White Magician.” replies Julianna coldly. She then hands Wonder Woman a paper, explaining that it is some sort of transportation spell.

Returning home Wonder Woman sits cross legged in her apartment room and casts the spell. She is transported through the mystic realm to a fabrication of Asquith Randolph’s house. She heads towards the library, which she remembers was always his favourite room and where his magic was strongest. It made perfect sense to Diana that she would materialise here in mortal form. The spell would be rigged that way so Nessie’s body, not just her spirit, could be hidden. But it made the danger greater. If Wonder Woman was attacked here…

But there would be no attack today. The Amazon Princess sees Vanessa entombed inside a hard, egg shaped glass prison. Very hard. Hardened by magic. But she had her own object of magic and removing her tiara, uses it’s razor sharp edge to cut through the glass. Etta may have wondered why recovering the “ornamental” tiara had been so important to Wonder Woman, but the Amazon knew that her tiara had many uses other than just decorative.

As a smiling Wonder Woman removes a grateful Vanessa from her prison and says “Time to go home Nessie.” the young girl smiles back and says “Hello Diana, I knew you’d find me”…