And Then She Fell to Earth

Issue #81, Dec. '93: Bill Loebs—writer; Lee Moder—back from Metropolis; Ande Parks—inker; Bryan Augustyn, big kahuna.

Issue 81 cover

In a hospital, Diana's doctor tells her that she can no longer fly. Her injuries have messed up the nerves of her middle ear. The doctor says she's surprised Diana can stand up, and that she hasn't done more damage, since Diana has been in the hospital approximately once every month.

Diana tries to fly ("It's the easiest thing I do!") and falls on her butt. The doctor chews her out, and Etta razzes her.

Donna Milton comes in to introduce herself as a new co-border at Camille Sly's house. She is also supposedly an admirer of "the" Wonder Woman.*

Diana wants to go to work at TacoWhiz, but Etta cannot drive her there. Etta says she's got a flying lesson to give. Since when does Etta fly planes? That's Steve Trevor's territory. Anyway…

With Etta's admonition not even to think about flying and to take it easy, Diana accepts Donna's offer for chauffeur service. During the drive, Donna gives Diana a quick fake bio: her boyfriend was against her being a lawyer, and the day she passed the bar was the same day she found out she was pregnant. She mentions that the boyfriend beat her up so badly she couldn't walk, but she left him. Her ex got her black-balled, but she managed to get a job as an assistant DA. Unfortunately, her boss first harassed her sexually and then raped her. When she threatened to sue, he blackened her name in Boston.

A shocked Diana says, “Nearly every TERRIBLE thing that can happen to a woman has happened to you.” This is all Donna's plan. She adds that she's been paying Diana's rent [?? We just saw Diana paying her own rent, with 10¢ from Etta], but now is in need of money. At that, Diana takes her to an “instant money machine” and gives her a few bucks. Donna asks why Diana is in such a financial fix? She thought that Justice Leaguers got a big salary

Diana explains that although the Justice League does pay for her health insurance (fortunately) the JLE computer is convinced that she is dead, and has not paid her in months. “It is only money,” Diana says, but then spots Hoppy crying on the back steps of the TacoWhiz.

Not only do we discover that Hoppy's last name is Greene, but that one of her two daughters is named Rachel, and Rachel has been accepted to an prestigious/expensive school, with an offer of a limited academic scholarship. There is no way that Hoppy and Rachel can take advantage of this offer, because Hoppy's ex-husband took off when Rachel was four and Hoppy has not seen or heard from him since.

Donna suggests hiring a PI, but there is no money for that. Diana says, “Maybe I can do something.” Seeing this as a way to “become buddies,” Donna offers to drive Diana for whatever her plan might be.

Ed Indelicato is not interested in domestic cases. Donna sneers, "Cops hate to get involved in domestic stuff. It's not neat… It's not clean… You don't get a medal…”

Diana waves toodle-oo.Still, Ed searches the computer for Jerry Greene. "I'm typing the NAME. See, this is me TYPING... Like I said, there's a mill..."

Diana spots the right name on the long list: Jerry “the Jumper” Greene, a "minor knee-breaker for the Sazia family.” Diana toodle-oo's Ed, and the two women go on their way.

Donna reminds Diana that she had promised Etta that she was going to take it easy, but Diana says, “This is fun!” When they get to the gated Sazia estate, Diana doesn't fly, but rather jumps the gate. She makes it to the other side, but falls on her ass.

Inside, a conference of regional mafioso types is taking place. Sazia tells the group that his new unnamed partner wants the families highly armed and can supply the finest in high-tech weapons and drugs. They can rule the East Coast like gods, he says. The new partner wants to be called Warmaster (and is of course Ares Buchanan).

Diana bursts into the room and says that this Warmaster obviously wishes to destabilize the city. She apologizes for interrupting, but she has come on in mission of child support. Jerry Greene is present. He works for Ricco DeBlagia and is one of his best men. Ricco hates “smart-mouth wimmin,” and tells the guards in the room to throw her out. "It's like she's nailed to the floor!" one guard says as a squad tries to move her without success.

Greene opens fire on Wonder Woman, but Sazia tells him to stop because the ricochets might kill one of them. Diana announces that she's staying until Greene pays up. She reminds the group that she is a member of the Justice League, and thus killing her would be unwise.

The phone rings. Diana answers, telling who she is, and the caller hangs up. Diana riffles through Sazia's desk and finds a ledger which she and Donna determine lists bribes given to many city officials. Again she answers the phone and delivers a message to Sazia: “If Sazia thinks he's gonna sell me out to the COSTUMES, he's gotta another [sic] THINK coming! If he WANTS A WAR, then he's got one!”

Diana's phone conversation

“Gosh, Di, do you think he MISUNDERSTOOD the situation?” Donna chuckles.

As Diana prepares to call out for pizza and TV reporters, Sazia says, “Let's talk.” After Diana informs him of what Greene owes his wife and she refuses to settle for half, Sazia hands her a check for $108,000.

“This is Mr. Greene's debt, not yours,” Diana says.

“Oh, Mr. Greene will pay me back. Never doubt that,” Sazia tells her.

Greene looks worried.

Hoppy is ecstatic to receive the check. She insists that Diana take part of the amount, saying she needs it worse than she does. Diana says that she is sure the JLA will eventually start paying her again, as several people have promised to "look into it.”

“My God! I can't stand this! Give me that phone,” Donna shouts. She calls Maxwell Lord at the JLA and claims to be representing Diana in a lawsuit against the League. It is a $10 million action for breach of contract, fraud, and pain and suffering. They're asking for all the princess's back salary plus punitive damages. Without missing a beat, Max assures her of payment, and Donna insists that the money must be delivered by close of the business day. Apparently, that's no problem. Donna tells Max that she thinks she can convince Diana not to sue, and then hangs up.

“That was amazing!” Diana tells Donna as they all get in a group hug. Donna grins to herself. “Yes, be happy, Diana… my friend… It'll make it so much easier to destroy you!”

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Note: From here on out, "Camille Spry" is Camille Sly, who is definitely the silent screen star, no question.

*I don't know why Loebs persists in referring to Diana as "the" Wonder Woman. Rucka did this as well, and it drove me up the wall every time. She is not "the" Batman!

Letters: No lettercol.

Notes: We see the eeevil Donna both scheming against and falling into deep respect for Diana. Hoppy gets a last name. Diana gets a ball-busting, deliciously snarky scene with a roomful of mafiosos. Etta bawls Diana out. Plus we see yet more examples of just how Diana is NOT Kryptonian. Can things get any better than this?

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