Wonder Woman – Volume 3 – 23


Wonder Woman – Volume 3 – 23

General Info

Issue No:
23 (578)
On Sale Date:
August 2008
Cover Date:
October 2008
Era:
Modern Age
Story Title:
Ends of the Earth - Part Four: Finale

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Aaron Lopresti
Writer:
Gail Simone
Penciller:
Aaron Lopresti
Inker:
Matt Ryan
Letterer:
Steve Wands
Colourist:
Brad Andersen
Editor:
Nachie Castro (Associate), Matt Idelson

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), Tom Tresser (Nemesis), Sarge Steel
Heroes:
Troia (Donna Troy)
Villains:
D'Grth
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Beowulf, Stalker, Claw, Rhanda, Tolifhar, Oracle (Witch Queen), Grendel
Share us

Comments

Simone wraps up this somewhat muddled sword and sorcery adventure for Wonder Woman and Donna gives her support to Tom’s courtship of Diana, setting the groundwork for what was rumoured to be potentially Diana’s first true sexual relationship with a man.

Synopsis

Having returned to her own dimension, the still possessed Wonder Woman relishes the forthcoming battle with D’Grth now that she has the “home advantage”. As she confronts the monster a nearby helicopter covering the TV traffic news reports the spectacle and how the Amazon Princess appears to be about to do battle with the Devil himself!

Wonder Woman sees them and in a rage, orders them to leave the area at once but so to has D’Grth and uses a fiery fist to smash the back of the craft clean off! As the burning wreckage falls earthwards, Wonder Woman flies down and catches the craft before it crashes into the ground. Although her soul is all but gone, along with her love, kindness and compassion it seems that there is still a spark or mercy left inside her…

Back on Stalker’s world a furious Claw prepares to kill the traitor. Claw is told by Stalker that although he wishes he could die, his accursed immortality prevents this from happening. Just then the weakened and injured Beowulf calls out, saying that Stalker’s soul not be killed as he has not told them everything yet. Stalker compliments the hero’s sharp mind and replies that although he did betray Diana, he had been assisted by another. Just then the Oracle Witch Queen appears by his side, smiling back at them as she takes Stalker’s hand in hers. “Let us discuss your fiery deaths shall we?” she states…

Back in Washington DC the news crew do not understand why they are still alive, unaware that Wonder Woman had saved them, but now they have more pressing concerns as they find themselves trapped inside the cockpit as the fire engulfs them. Suddenly a fist smashes through the glass and the glowing red eyes of Wonder Woman snarls at them to climb out or burn – the choice is theirs.

As they hurriedly scramble to safety D’Grth booms that she faces a similar choice. He offers her the honour of being a servant to him and in return he will ensure that she will enjoy all this world has to offer. Her Gods will be worshipped again and her sisters free from want, worry or dismay. Alternatively, she can become cinder!

Wonder Woman removes her lasso and ponders D’Grth’s words. She no longer has any connection to her own lasso which is unable to locate her soul anymore. Her life as a hero and as a symbol might be over. And what marvels she could achieve by D’Grth’s side. She could feed the hungry, comfort the orphaned and protect the wildlife. Suddenly, as she thinks this she remembers the wolves she had confronted back on Beowulf’s world.

As D’Grth demands to know her response she replies that she had encountered a pack of rabid wolves whose every moment of existence continued to increase their pain. A pack to the end they had asked her to end their lives so that they would not attack each other before dying. She then asks D’Grth why they, who lived only as instinct and honour commanded, die in the snow…while a murdering son of a jackal like him lives on!

With that she punches him hard across his flaming face causing him to bellow in pain and rage. As she watches him topple to the floor from the impact she suddenly feels the scorching heat of her burns. As the monster gets to his feet again he tells her that he will make her and her world pay. As Wonder Woman uses her red banner to wrap around the burn on her arm she vows to ensure that if it is to be death by flame then let there be two on the pyre today!

This creature has fed off the misery of others for longer than this world has been and now it hungers for even more. Perhaps she can at least spoil its appetite. Perhaps even without her soul she can choose to be like the wolf! With that she launches another attack…

Meanwhile across town at her now wrecked apartment, Donna Troy casually asks if Tom is hurt. As Rhanda moves forward again snarling that the human had meant to harm the Princess as he had sensed Tom’s suspicion, Donna holds the ape back and asks Tom if this is indeed the truth of the matter? Tom, still warily pointing his gun at them, replies that his boss Sarge Steel believes there is a conspiracy by the Amazons after their attack on Washington. Steel suspects that they have left sleeper agents in high government places such as Diana Prince and Etta Candy. Donna asks Tom if he believes this too? He replies that he thinks it is possible and that before the Amazons had attacked he would not have suspected such a thing. Donna nods and hold up her wrists to show him her bracelets, asking him if he knows that they are. He responds that they can be used to deflect bullets but she states that this is not their sole purpose – their meaning is something else entirely.

With that she kneels down at his feet and crossing her bracelets, vows on the life blood of her and her sisters that no harm will come to him. Nor will she allow any harm to come to him from any quarter, by any means of any measure including her own death if necessary. This she vows as the second child of Themyscira. She then stands up and holds out her hand in friendship.

In guilt Tom lowers his gun and says “What is it with you people and making me feel like a Grade A chump all the time?”. Donna smiles and replies “More like a man in love I would say. Maybe their the same thing in the end.” She continues that he deserves answers but they are not hers to give. She only asks that he gives her sister the chance to tell him in her own time. He responds that he can wait…at least a bit.

Donna then says “I know she’s taken a fancy to you, Tom. I was just telling Nightwing the other day that she desperately needs to get..” before she can finish her sentence Tom panics that she is implying that he has already slept with the Amazon Princess and says that they have not done anything like that yet! Donna finishes her sentence, assuring him that she simply meant to say that Diana needs a boyfriend!

Suddenly lights stream through the windows and Donna advises Tom that his back up units have arrived. Tom opens the door and sheepishly informs the armed troops surrounding the building that it was all a false alarm. Tolifhar and Donna watch from the shadows and the ape growls that this human takes nothing seriously and is unsuitable for the Princess. Donna replies that on the contrary he takes everything incredibly seriously…and he carries that weight alone…

Across town D’Grth has managed to grab Wonder Woman by her leg and she struggles to hide her agony from him. He swings her above her head and slams her into the concrete. “I am agony girl!” he bellows triumphantly. “You can no more defeat me than you can defeat death. Your wolf lied to you!” The Amazon Princess clambers up from the impact hole, her boots and legs scorched but ignoring the pain. She scowls at D’Grth and states that on the contrary the wolf’s example had saved her. No matter what dimension it is left in, an Amazon’s soul is her own. “And”, Diana dds, ” I have one more bit of news…my lasso has returned to me!”.

With that she cracks it like a whip and slices through one of D’Grth’s wrists, severing his hand! The news crew continue to film the spectacle from a distance, reporting back how Wonder Woman had minutes ago saved their lives and was now in danger of being consumer in fire. They yell up at the Amazon Princess, warning her to avoid the monster’s fiery clutches but too late D’Grth manages to grab Wonder Woman in his flaming fist. “You scratched me” it rages. Diana smiles back through her pain that she had been given various tools in those other worlds to help her defeat him, but as it turns out all she needed was what she already had…something she had not used in a while! With that she summons her invisible plane and orders it to smash through D’Grth’s body at super sonic speed, slicing the creature in half!

Some time later back on Stalker’s world, Diana has used the shard of the rock of eternity to return, dragging the still live head of D’Grth behind her with her lasso. It continues to plead for mercy but she tells him to be quiet. She is greeted by the others and the Oracle tells them that there is little time and that they must act fast as he will soon regenerate. She reminds them that four swords used at once on the great stone tablet is the only way to kill him for good. But Stalker refuses, saying that by slaying D’Grth he will lose his soul again.

Wonder Woman tells him that the soul he wears is not his own. her own soul had to go somewhere and it went to him. And now she asks for it back. It was a gift from the gods to her mother and to her, and she cannot let him keep it. “I am sorry”. Diana rests a gentle hand on his shoulder and adds that he has been called many things and has done much that is cold hearted. But he was never called a thief.

As Stalker snaps “Take it back then. Take it back damn you!” the Amazon Princess ponders the Oracle’s words to her a while back. She had said that Diana would regret meeting the Stalker until the end of her days. This is the worst thing Wonder Woman has had to do to another human being. Murder would be a misdemeanor in comparision….torture would be a loving embrace. The prophecy was right.

D’Grth is then strapped to the table and Wonder Woman, Claw, Beowulf and Stalker raise their swords over their heads as the demon continues to make more bargaining offers. His final pleadings will haunt Diana forever and were not meant for mortal ears. But for all he had done and what he aspired to do…she along with the others lowered her sword into his empty eye sockets until she met the living flesh beneath – and that she did not regret at all.

Stalker left along with the Oracle, taking the gifts she had given Diana with her. As the Amazon dresses Beowulf’s wounds she tells him that he will live. He gives her his sword by way of a parting gift and Claw says goodbye, adding ominously that the demon Grendel appears to have vanished. Diana then uses the power of the lodestone and her gift from the god Kane to return them to their own worlds.

In Washington Donna thanks Tom for covering and Tolifhar gratefully grooms Tom’s hair! As they drink tea Donna asks him if he truly loves Diana? “I’m not Amazon, Ms Troy. Respectfully that is our business. Hers and mine. I can’t explain it better than that.” Donna leans forward and gives him a peck on the cheek, smiling back that she would be concerned if he could. She then gives her approval. “For my sister’s sake, I hold you in my heart. Be brave for the trials ahead…and whatever you do, don’t upset Hippolyta!” With that Donna waves goodbye and zooms into the air, leaving Tom and the apes to bond some more. But outside, looking in from the shows is Grendel. “Yes, such a pretty cave she hides in”…

Meanwhile at the Department of Meta Human Affairs a furious Sarge Steel is informed over the phone of the botched raid on Diana Prince’s apartment. Tom had told the AWAT team how he had accidentally set of a grenade and suffered momentary shell shock! As Steel sits down in front of his screen on which he typed a rambling monologue of conspiracy about the Amazons, he adds another sentence:

TOM TRESSER IS WORKING WITH THEM!!!