Violent Beginnings

This issue is contained in a trade paperback reprint.

Issue #93, Jan. '95: William Messner-Loebs—writer; Mike Deodato, Jr.—artist; Paul Kupperberg—editor.

cover for the issue, showing both Diana and Artemis in their separate costumes

Oozing love, Hippolyta presents Artemis with the Gauntlets of Atlas (actually referred to in singular form, though the pic shows two; this was a mistake on the part of the artist, who apparently didn't read English well), which will give her the "strength of ten!", and sandals of Hermes, which give the wearer flight. Artemis has never heard that Hippy had the sandals, and neither has Diana, which adds credence to my "it's all a mind game of Circe's" theory about the previous story arc.

Hippy hugs Artie and says, "I also accept you into my heart, as a sister—and a daughter," knowing that Diana is well within hearing distance. That is so Circe, isn't it? But Artie's not interested in Hippy's blessing; she's only interested in trying out the sandals and flying.

Hippy draws Diana away and says that "You'll be starying here, of course... to battle in the wisdom of Amazonian ways [???], and be groomed for your own queenship." Is the immortal queen thinking of dying? Splitting the country so Diana can rule it? This is goofiness incarnate.

Instead Diana has planted the bust of Antiope to shock her mother. Diana says that she knows the truth now (meaning the out-of-continuity crap from last arc), and Hippy calls it all lies before admitting to it. Now comes the stupidest, craziest line of all:

Diana asks her mother, "Just tell me this... Was Herakles my father?"

At the very least: she's how old? And the war with Herakles occurred HOW long ago?

Sheesh. Anyway, this entire opening I label as:

not in continuityas it doesn't make a lick of sense. Diana flies off and joins Artemis in her journey to the outer world.

One week later in Boston, we find that giant armored mega-hulks and super-powered fiends are battling in the streets. The police are powerless to stop them. The supers are Paulie Longo's, and Insp. Indelicato knows that they come courtesy the White Magician. The armored hulks represent the Widow Sazia. Sazia and Longo both want to be head of Boston's mobs. Last one standing, wins.

Artemis, in full Wonder Woman gear plus her bow, knocks the crap out of the combatants, which means pretty much killing and/or horribly maiming them. When Artie fires a mere arrow at a huge, hulking pile of sentient rubble, it is Diana, dressed in her so-called Biker Chick outfit, who rescues her.

Artie keeps referring to Diana as "Little Princess."

Later, Diana visists Julie Kapatelis in the hospital. Julie is bitter, being paralyzed and all. (No explanation on why she's even alive, though.) She's worried about Nessie, whose grades are suffering because she's always visiting. Apparently no one's at home any more (where's Quinn?) and Social Services has been prowling around. On top of it all, Julie's insurance company is threatening to cancel, and Diana is once again without income to help.

In trot Donna Milton, Etta, and Donna's yet-unnamed kid, who seems to be a blonde toddler now, though she's only weeks old. They've put "finishing touches" on Diana's costume, though it looks exactly the same as it did a few pages before.

Both Donna M. and Diana are faced with paying rent. Julie mentions "...that P.I, Micha Rains, wanted you [Diana] for his pathetic detective agency, to exploit your name. But that was against the Amazonian Code."

Diana: "Yes, the Amazonian code. The code my mother taught me. The code that keeps me from helping anyone, including myself!"

Whaaa? I say again: say what? Since when on any of this? Micah never wanted to exploit Diana's name. He was merely impressed that she could get things done that he was too discombobulated to accomplish. And this Amazonian Code comes in from nowhere, and of course goes completely against anything having to do with the late, great Myndi Mayer and those plotlines. Or perhaps even the idea that Diana would get a paycheck from the JLA. Sheesh and double-sheesh.

Down in New York City, Artemis—the girl raised in a man-hating society—lets two slick men give her a fancy apartment, clothes, equipment, and call her "babe," in order to promote her so she can address world leaders as an equal. Or that's what they say. She pins one of them with her arrows to prove her worthiness, and then appears on TV to declare her mission: "The women of this planet labor under oppression and villainy. ... From this day forth, I will fight to end the oppression of women, the destruction of children... and since aggression and hatred towards women is great evil, my first priority will be to end the violence that mars the world society."

A TV drones her message as Micah Rains is being tortured by huge thugs, who want him to tell them what and who he's told about certain papers he swiped. Despite being terribly injured, Micah tells them to go to hell.

Diana breaks in, but the thugs aren't frightened. "She ain't gonna attack us. That would be revenge. She don't believe in revenge, and she ain't even the Wonder Woman anymore... Right, sweetheart?"

"Somehow, you have gotten the wrong idea about me. I should correct that," Diana says, and then beats them both to a pulp. [Apparently they also have forgotten her "getting Nessie back" war on the various mobs that took place only weeks before.]

In the middle of everything, Hawkman arrives. He says he was informed that Micah had reported a criminal conspiracy to Oracle. (Micah knows Oracle?) Hawk asks Diana if she could aid him with some undercover work. Diana agrees to do it after she takes Micah to the hospital.

On the way Micah tells her she was terrific. "I know how you've said you don't want to work for me full-time, but..."

"Fifty-fifty," she says. "We will rent a real office, with a real telephone and we will share it 50-50. I will receive an additional 20% of any new revenues I generate for the agency. We will each contribute 10% towards the functioning of the agency, which will not be called "The Wonder Woman Agency" or anything foolish like that. We are going to hire my friend Donna Milton to be our attorney and office manager. Any questions?"

"But I'm still in charge, right?"

"Yes, Micah. You are still in charge..."

Letters: Harry Kong, Annette Acosta, Tim Powers, Melissa Page, Pamela Isley.

Notes: Gah. This rewriting of the mythos is not only confusing but awful. It detracts from the Wonder legend, and the T&A doesn't help in the least.

FYI: Hawkman was in the midst of a Zero Hour event followup, which required him to have a guest-star in each issue of a four-issue arc—written by WML. Hawkman #16 (Jan. '95) was a hideous mess due to some gosh-amighty art and not-too-great story. It concerned two brothers who inexplicably (an electrical accident?) had gotten shared minotaur powers. Diana and Hawkie have to go undercover to be sent to the new Labyrinth and solve everything. Diana uses her flight briefly and then seemingly forgets about it. She's not strong enough against the minotaur, though Hawkman is. Don't bother to collect this issue. I wonder if having to use the costume-less Wonder Woman came as a surprise to the editor and other staff, or if it were a minor part of a plan to get costume-less Diana more exposure?

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