During this month DC ran a special “Faces of Evil” cover campaign whereby several major titles all carried artwork featuring a particular villain. “The “Wonder Woman” title was no different and depicts Diana’s classic foe The Cheetah. It also continued this story line’s trend for having an alternate cover.
Having returned to Diana’s apartment in Washington DC, Tom watches as the Amazon Princess prepares herself to confront Genocide again. As she opens a secret closet to reveal her armoury and winged armour, she muses to herself that Tom has never seen her wounded or seen her going to war like this. Tom pleads with her not to do this as she is still badly injured from her last encounter with the creature. She ponders if it is fair to ask any man to go through this sort of worry for someone they love. She tells Tom she has no choice as Genocide has her lasso and she must get it back at all costs.
As she dons her ceremonial armour she decides that if today is the day she dies then she wants to spend part of it with someone who loves her…as a woman. As she emerges from the walk in closet armed and ready, Tom tells her that he knows she has internal injuries and he gets that she feels this situation is her responsibility…and he even gets that she is willing to die. But she does not have to be stupid. Genocide had torn her up and down even when she wasn’t injured!!
Wonder Woman smiles and places a reassuring hand on his cheek. It’s nice to be card about…to matter like this, she thinks to herself. She then replies that there is nobody else to stop this thing. Nobody who really knows what her lasso is capable of. Except herself. She then asks him him to do something before she goes and before he can pretest that the conversation is not yet over she grabs him and kisses him passionately. Deep down, Diana wishes she could choose to be with this man now instead of facing her obligations. But she is who she is.
As they prepare to depart to the Department of Meta Human Affairs Tolifhar, Rhanda and the other gorillas don their own armour and prepare to follow their princess into battle as she rallies them with the cry “Noble warriors. Will you fight and die at my side?”…
Across the city meanwhile, Sarge Steel is making his way to the detention block where Doctor Psycho’s cell is situated. He orders the guards on duty to go up top and join the others in defending the facility, assuring them that he will shoot Psycho in the head before the creature can free him. Once the guards have left he opens the cell and enters. He draws his weapon and approaches the dwarf who is sitting zombie like on his bed wearing a helmet that restricts his psychic abilities. Steel tells the villain that Genocide is here and is killing his men and even possibly some of the JLA too right now. He then presses the gun against Psycho’s head…
Back up top Genocide has already disposed of Firestorm and turns to confront Vixen and Black Canary. Dinah unleashes her powerful canary cry forcing the creature to cover its ears in pain. But it has no real impact and a spent Black Canary can only watch helpless as the creature approaches, laughing. But suddenly it hears a familiar voice calmly say “Well, well, well, hello monster. We meet again.” Genocide turns to see Wonder Woman, Donna, Wonder Girl, Tom and the Gorilla Knights all armed to the teeth and ready to do battle. Diana can already feel again the terrifying emotional weight of the creature while in its presence but she tries to put it to one side.
Genocide hurls Black Canary to one side as Wonder Woman tells Wonder Girl to follow the plan and get the survivors out of the facility. She and the others then draw their weapons as Wonder Woman thinks to herself that she risks everything here, her life the least of it. If she fails, it could be the final blow to Amazon ideals in this world.
Wonder Woman then launches herself at Genocide and buries her axe into the creatures shoulder as the others charge forward…
Elsewhere, on a newly formed island some 300 nautical miles from Themyscira, Zeus present the new world he has created to a group of men he has just resurrected from death. He tells them that this is their new home called Thalarion. Anyone who sets foot on it without their permission will instantly perish. He places his hand on the lead individual and tells him that duty calls him once more as a honoured new Amazon. Zeus gestures to the gleaming crystal city behind him and the statue of the Goddess Athena, whom shall be the only woman permitted here. “You live again in her honour” he tells them. He continues that he has given them a river of gold so that they will never want in their dealings with the outside world.
The lead man asks what Zeus has done to him and the God replies that the he is named Jason and long ago he had captained a ship. He will now lead these men who also died in battle long ago – for only such men can truly understand the value of peace. Zeus adds that the gods have grown distant and tired. They have not kept their charges well and in their absence they had created new gods to follow instead. He then points at Jason and says that he will create the paradise this world should have been centuries ago. He and his men will slaughter the dictators and dismember the warmongers. And then the people will join him and his men in the deep sea forever. “And”, he finishes, “I’m going to create for you a son.”…
Back in Washington Wonder Woman punches Genocide hard across the face, knowing that the one single advantage she has over the creature is her speed. As well as perhaps the fact that the creature has no idea how truly mean she can be! With that she slams her fists down on the axe blade still protruding from Genocide’s shoulder, ramming it even deeper into the creature! But it reacts swiftly and punches her hard, sending her flying. Her previous injuries send abject agony shooting through her body and her mind momentarily flashes back to her days growing up on Themyscira. After a sparring session with Philippus one day in which Diana had lost, Hippolyta had asked her what lesson she had learned? The wise Queen had told the bemused young Princess that there is always something to learn in defeat. “Stand yourself up and face her again daughter.” she had said. “And see the infinite universe open before you.”
Wonder Woman struggles back to her feet again and sees that Donna is trying to engage Genocide. She orders her sister to get out of the way before charging forward and hitting the creature so hard it is sent flying through a wall! “We’ve learned that you feel pain Genocide. Let’s explore that shall we?”.
As she continues to drive the creature deep inside the building she lands blow after blow on it. But as she grabs it by the scruff of the neck it ejects a coil of her own lasso that is snaking through the creature’s body and it loops around her hand. She screams like she has never screamed before! Wonder Woman can feel that Genocide has ruined…corrupted her golden lasso. It snarls that it can see right into her soul as it snaps off the handle of the axe embedded in it and uses it to hit the Amazon Princess…
Donna charges up behind the creature though and uses her sword to slice at the back of its neck. Not far away Wonder Girl attends to the other leaguers and asks them if they are ready to inflict some pay back on Genocide.
Inside the detention cell meanwhile, Sarge Steel removes the helmet from Doctor Psycho just as another individual enters the cell. He turns calmly to see Cheetah standing there and greets her. She smiles back, reveling in how her plan has come to fruition. Doctor Psycho, who we now find out is actually Sarge Steel who has been imprisoned in the dwarf’s body all along, weakly turns to her and says that his agents will stop her. She replies that she doubts that and in fact this organisation of his has but a few more moments left on this earth…
Outside Genocide finds itself surrounded by the others as they try and wrestle it down. Wonder Woman aims carefully and punches the creature hard across the face, ripping off its mask in the process. She stares in shock at its eyes, which are seemingly full of the bones of every human who has died in history’s atrocities. “You see my face, my true face.” it hisses. “It is also your face. Do you like what you see at the end of your life?”
As the others take in the horrific visage, lost for words, Cheetah makes her escape and smiling simply says “Checkmate”.
With that the Department of Metahuman Affairs detonates in a huge fireball!