Losses

Issue #73, April '93: William Messner-Loebs—writer; Lee Moder—penciller; Andé Parks—inker; Bryan Augustyn, editor.

cover to the issue showing Diana in Taco Whiz uniform, saying "Hey, it's a living!"

Another all-time Bolland WW cover, this time equally beloved and despised by various factions as it represents the beloved/despised "Taco Whiz era." (FYI: "Tacowhiz" is often but not always spelled as one word in the texts, though in places, such as on this cover and in fan ramblings, it becomes "Taco Whiz.")

Standing on the tiny rock that is all that is left of Themyscira, Diana wonders what has happened to it. She briefly tears up in memory of her people, friends, and mother, and of her favorite places on the island. Then she wonders where Steve is, since she has followed his seaplane here.

She spots bubbles and dives into the ocean. There she finds him. She taps him on the shoulder. He turns and then beats a retreat to the surface. Coughing and choking, he shouts, "Don't you EVER do that again, Diana! ::hok hokk:: I coulda DROWNED!! ::coff hookk:: SCARING me that way. I outghta...! DIANA!" Then they grab each other in a bear hug.

Diana and Steve embrace as he exclaims, "You're alive!"Steve has been looking for her and her people. He feels responsible for them, as it was he who brought them into the modern world. His mother is also buried on the island. He has found no evidence of physcial foul play.

Diana gives him a pep talk and sends him home to Etta, but once she is left alone, she gives a sad, silent farewell to her mother.

At the Kapetelises' Diana chooses the basement rather than the living room couch to be her temporary quarters because of its privacy. Unfortunately it also comes with a too-short couch and strange rustling sounds, and Diana determines that she must move.

Since there's something wrong with the JLE's records (I think we discovered that last ish, along with the Mayer Agency funds being frozen), Diana has no income. She searches the want ads and finds some hilarious stuff. For example:

"Wanted: electronics engineer, with ten years experience in design and repair. Also business management. Must be willing to accept entry-level position." We get a montage of her going to various employment agencies where she's not really recognized as (ta da!) Wonder Woman and instead has to fill out lots of forms, with the promise that she can probably get work... in about three months.

Diana's Amazonian footsies are sore when she returns home to find Quinn. Good ol' Quinn the talking-point foil! We get Diana's explanation of the deeper dimensions of her predicament: "My mother sent me into Patriarch's World to lead people by my example. I am supposed to help the poor, the powerless, to show women how to be strong without violence. But now all I can think about is money, money, money, and how to get a job!"

Quinn welcomes her to the human race, and that she should start to worry about numero uno instead of everyone else. Quinn tells her that one job is pretty much like another, and that she should be glad if she doesn't end up "slingin' the refrieds at Tacowhiz. I worked there three years t'pay for school and it's the pit of the universe!"

That night we see Diana huddling on her couch, trying to sleep and instead wondering if the basement sounds she hears are that of a large mouse or small rat. The very next day finds her hired at Tacowhiz. The company is the US's largest employer, outside of the Japanese and the government. Diana's new boss, Hoppy (she doesn't have a last name yet), trains her.

Diana begins taking orders, and one of her first customers is a young man who orders 7 tacos, 2 burritos, and a large cola, then proceeds to devour them with much noise and spray right in front of her. We'll find out later that this is the debonaire Micah Rains.

After work, Diana continues her apartment hunt. Eventually she comes across the townhome of once-rich Camille Sly, an aged but energetic woman who, as her resources severely dwindled, has been forced to rent out rooms. She is disappointed that no one will rent one of the bathrooms. By being a landlady, not only does she have 24 new friends, but they pay her to be so. "What a WONDERFUL arrangement," she declares.

Diana gets the upstairs sitting room, a place with a small couch that Diana has to clean. As she begins to do so, she recognizes the distinctive sounds of what is either a rat or a mouse in the room. She does not look pleased to hear it.

Before her next shift, Diana muses, "If I got a second job, maybe at night, and only eat two meals a day at Tacowhiz... and never buy anything, I'll be able to save almost two dollars a week..."

She passes that guy (Micah Rains, remember?), who has been waiting for a Mr. Sazia and child to walk by. He shows him a legal paper that states that Sazia's ex-wife has custody of their little girl and perhaps they should all go to see her.

Sazia tells his bodyguards, "Kill this guy!" and all hell breaks loose. Micah hits the dirt, firing back. The guards are robots, but are disabled. Sazia draws his own gun and fires—and Diana's bracelet gets in the way between the gun and Micah's head.

Sazia puts on a techno-looking headband, says he can make his own costume as well as a Justice Leaguer, and turns into one of WML's patented demon types. "Burrrnn iinn hellll!" he ungraciously cries before he lets loose with flame breath.

As WW, Micah and the kid take cover, Micah explains that Sazia is a mid-level Mafioso who's been rumored to have a demon form. Diana is astonished: he knew all this, and yet, "you provoked him without a plan? Without protection?"

"Hey, I had a plan! It didn't work, but it was a plan!"

Diana flies high, hoping the demon will follow. He does, and just as he begins to breathe fire, she zips around to his back and knocks all the air out of him. He reverts to human form, complete with heart-printed boxers, and Diana catches his headband on the way down.

"That, for future reference, was a plan!" she informs Micah.

The suave Micah replies, "That was pretty slick handling... f'r a chick. I mean it... Hey! How'd you like a job?"

It is the first time he offers such to Diana. We just see her eyes widen as the story closes.

Letters: Nancy Champion, Debra Byrd, Greg Armentrout, Bruce Williamson, Jim Jackson.

Notes: This is your standard "the norm is changing and here are the new characters and situation" scenario. In this case, I really liked the wacko promise of Micah, worn-out but faithful Hoppy, and the increasing Hollywood mystery of ancient Miss Sly. Wish some of these folks would have stuck around through other eras.

Humor permeates the story and Diana's character. Hooray!

In dealing with the "Paradise Lost" situation, we see Diana trying so hard to be brave and to put up a brave front, but being quite lost in fact. This is exacerbated with her lack of being able to support herself even remotely well in the real world.

And DC's PTB have the gall to say that Diana isn't human enough! Pshee!

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