Worst Moments

Issue #77, August '93: William Messner-Loebs—story; Lee Moder—pencils; Andé Parks—inks; Bryan Augustyn, editor.

cover: Wonder Woman fights giant antsWonder Woman searches for the shade of her mother in a spooky etheric land of metaphor. Instead she happens upon a city in which the gods had changed the people to ants. (Probably because it made a good cover?) They attack her and she awakens with only small wounds after her battle.

After she has attended to herself, she goes downstairs, where the mystery of her landlady is added to. Camille Sly mentions "Doug" Fairbanks. “Great dancer, but what a smoothie!”

At police headquarters Diana meets with Inspector Indelicato and Micah Rains. The inspector warns both of them away from mob lord Antonio Sazia. Diana explains that she is now working with Micah because she thinks the city is in terrible danger. She cites all the strange mechanical beings and weapons that she has come across lately, ultra-high technology that is finding its way to the streets of Boston and into the hands of criminals.

Elsewhere a shadowy figure whom we will come to know as Ares Buchanan interviews Indelicato’s "snitch” and offers him a high-tech weapon to get his frustrations out on the inspector.

Diana pays a visit to Sazia to get information. Knowing that doing this will tick Indelicato off, he tells her that some of the high-tech weaponry he’s been using was merely found items. He doesn't know where it originated. He tells Diana that if she wants to be sure the information is correct, she can wrap him in "that electric lariat of yours!” She gives him a considering smirk and says, “Maybe next time.”

Sazia leers and offers to be tied by Diana's "electric lariat."

At Boston Memorial Hospital, Diana questions issue #74's Brian Eliot, who is in rehab. She tells him that if he wants to be even in what he owes her, he will give her the information on where he got his equipment. He tells her that it was rejected stuff from S.T.A.R. Labs.

Diana returns to TacoWhiz. There she meets not only Micah but also Indelicato, who both claim that she has summoned them there, though she has not. They all discover that pretty much the entire Justice League, or at least the members I think were in the Justice League at that time, are there. There’s Green Lantern (Hal), Elongated Man, Power Girl, Fire, Dr. Light, and Martian Manhunter. They say they’re there because at Taco Whiz no one asks for autographs or tries to get them to endorse products.

One customer admires J'onn J'onzz, comparing him to Douglas Fairbanks. Diana’s ears perk up. She tells the lady that she knows someone who knew Douglas Fairbanks and used to dance with him. The customer says, “Who did she think she is, Camille Spry?” Let me add a [sic] there. The spelling has changed: Sly to Spry, but for the most part, it was spelled Sly. Hello, editor?

At that Diana asked the woman who Camille Spry was. The woman replies, “Only the queen of the swashbucklers! The Dueling Countess! Anne of the Mounties! But… my Lord! She’d have to be 100 years old by now!”

This “hundred years old” guess would be a running gag for the rest of this era.

The Justice League are picking up their trays of dinner at Taco Whiz.

Diana asks a customer who Camille Spry was. "Only the queen of the swashbucklers!... But she'd have to be a hundred years old by now!"

Indelicato’s pissed-off snitch pulls up outside and points his gun at Diana, Indelicato and Micah as they exit the building. Pulling the trigger, he releases a singularity, a tiny black hole that swallows up a square-mile (and kills him in doing so). The only other people within this mile who seem to get caught in this trap (it's not just a black hole, it's a plot hole) are Diana, Micah and Indelicato. They fall into the black hole from which nothing can escape except “magic and fate.” This means Diana is just able to get her magic lasso to grab hold of a surviving sign.

A series of panels shows the men hanging on to Diana as her grip on her lasso slips, her hands bleeding. “The wind screams by her like a locomotive. She can’t hear the men screaming. Like ants caught in a downdraft of fire they are pulled down by forces too huge to understand. Her palms are going to pieces. Raw muscle rubs against the rope, and still she is slipping... She only knows that death and chaos are beneath her and all she has to fight them is will and strength and faith. And the rope keeps slipping. And she can’t stop it.”

The singularity collapses upon itself and the emergency is suddenly over. Back in his office Ares Buchanan swears and explains to his prisoner, Sazia, what must’ve happened. The snitch fired too soon. The singularity was only partially formed and thus collapsed too soon.

He offers a new plan: that he and Sazia team up. In a dramatic full-page panel, he introduces himself: “My name is Ares Buchanan. You may think of me as a… God of war.”

Letters: Nancy Champion, Joey Marchese, Rey Beltran, Jim Headrick, Aaron P. Cullers.

Notes: We get a little of everything in this issue, including Ares Buchanan finally unmasked. Great action with the black hole, an excuse for more action with the giant ants. Diana becomes Micah's partner (which seems to surprise him a bit), and we begin to see a thread running through all these adventures: the STAR tech which now has allied itself through an earthly version of Ares. Let's not forget the JLA guest appearance! We'd see Flash visit the place again.

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