Knowledge

Issue #76, July '93: William Messner-Loebs—writer; Lee Moder—penciller; Ande Parks—inker; Bryan Augustyn, editor.

Kent and Inza (Dr. Fate) Nelson return home from a 2-month Mexico vacation to find Diana's left them urgent phone messages concerning the disappearance of the Amazons and Themyscira.

Meanwhile at TacoWhiz, Hoppy berates Diana for missing the lunch rush. Diana says yes, she was at fault and she has betrayed Hoppy's trust in her. Since she is unworthy to work there, she leaves. Hoppy follows and tells her that saving the world or whatever should come before her TacoWhiz work.

"I will not allow you to DENY my RESPONSIBILITIES!" Diana insists.

Hoppy finally gets Diana back, but Diana insists on being assigned more work and being made to clean up after everyone.

We get a look at TacoWhiz's clientele. Because TacoWhiz's food is cheaper than dog food (and possibly more nutritious), poor of all types come to the restaurant. Diana calls it "inspiring."

Right after Hoppy relates the story of how her father named her that because of Hopalong Cassidy, the TV cowboy who always wore black, even though he was a good guy ("Daddy believed in symbols," Hoppy says), Inza appears as Dr. Fate in a puff of mystic smoke. Though a new lunch rush is approaching, Hoppy tells Diana to go with Fate and look for her people.

It is now that we discover that the Justice League computers won't release Diana's back pay because she's still listed as MIA. This plus the Mayer Agency's disappearance is why Diana is broke.

Arriving at the rock that marks the position of Themyscira, Dr. Fate weaves time strands so they can watch the past unfold like phantoms within it. Together they watch two Amazons discover a golden statue washing up on the shore, a statue of Diana. They take it to the queen, who is "administering the Queen's peace" to two quarreling Amazons. In this (out of continuity, I hope!) explanation, the Queen can sort of mind control them into making up. Ew. We've never seen this power before or since, thank goodness.

Anyway, Hippolyta sadly looks at the statue—this had been during the year Diana had been "lost in space"—but when the oracle is summoned (no one we've seen so far), the statue glows so brightly it blinds her. Then the statue throws off force bolts, one of which hits Hippolyta and—

BLOOEY!

A full-page panel shows a force wave thrown up that not only obliterates the island, but causes Dr. Fate to change back into Inza as she's catapulted high into the air. Diana saves her as she begins to drown.

"So this is what it feels like to be rescued by THE Wonder Woman," Inza muses when she gets her breath back. Inza offers Diana her condolences and wonders what it was that Hippolyta had said just before the explosion. Had Diana caught it?

Diana snarls and says, "Yes, it was 'Circe.' She cried out Circe!

We switch locales to halfway around the world: a small island with a temple on it. In that temple sits Circe, "who hates the Amazons of Themyscira like the rat hates the weasel."

But by the time Dr. Fate and Diana arrive, they find only the remains of Circe, now a mummylike corpse. Again, Dr. Fate looks at the past, only to see Circe blasted to smithereens (feedback?) even as she distance-viewed her destruction of Themyscira. Diana admits that she had something quite dark she planned to do to Circe once they found her, but "vengeance has fed upon itself, as it usually does, leaving NOTHING."

Diana says that her mother and sisters died with honor, that death had always hovered near the Amazons. There is no point in grieving. Inza tells her she doesn't believe that, and that Diana doesn't either. And...

Diana collects herself and they leave for Boston. Diana needs to be back for the shift change at TacoWhiz. She reassures Dr. Fate that all she'd really needed was to know for sure what had happened to everyone. Now she has a new life to get back to. She mentions to Fate that the Burritorama and cheese is on special for 45 cents, and tells her that she's buying.

Letters: First, assistant editor Ruben Diaz reminds complaining readers at length that Perez is not on the book any more. Writing in: Thomas McNulty, Nancy Champion, Kashif Husain, Neil Ahlquist, Jim Jackson

Notes: This is pretty much all set-up for future arcs, but it was good to see Diana get an answer to the mystery of the Amazons' disappearance—an answer that we'd soon discover was completely false.

But even better was the close and trusting friendship here shown between Diana and Dr. Fate, who for such a short but memorable time, was using Inza as host. Even as the identity of Dr. Fate has changed since then, it would be so nice if the two were still shown to be good friends.

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