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You are in: Galleries > The Brave and the Bold > Issue 158

Issue Number: 158
Published: January 1980
Cover Artists: Jim Aparo
Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Jim Aparo
Inker: N/A
Letterer: N/A
Colourist: Jerry Serpe
Editor: Paul Levitz
Story Title: Yesterday Never Dies!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Batman
(Bruce Wayne)
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Deja Vu

Cover of Issue 158

Comments:

In this story we see a rare instance of Wonder Woman making a mistake and almost killing herself in the process. Whether this was done in order to portray that even the Amazon Princess is human, or whether it was done to ensure she did not 'outshine' the Batman is something to be debated I guess!

Synopsis:

At a high society party in Manhattan's Gramercy Park, the evening's proceedings are rudely interrupted by a gang of gun toting masked men. But the invaders have not reckoned on the presence of Batman who swoops down on them.

As the panicking thugs wonder why the masked avenger is here and not in his home town of Gotham, Batman takes one of them down. The other two make a run for it through the gardens but Batman is not far behind and as they desperately try to shoot him he floors them.

Moments later after the police have escorted the hoods away, the party begins to get back into full swing . One of the female guests seems more amused by the evenings events than frightened. The reason why is that this particular woman goes by the name of Diana Prince - otherwise known as Wonder Woman!

As she listens in on a conversation regarding the earlier robbery and how it was lucky that the Batman had been here in New York, she decides to find out for herself why that is. She wanders over to where the millionaire Bruce Wayne is standing and says sarcastically to him that she did not know the Wayne Foundation was interested in parties for obscure United Nations Diplomats. He turns to see Diana and she whispers to him a thank you for handling the gunmen. He sheepishly replies that had he known she was here he would not have bothered as this is her 'stamping ground'.

She smiles and says that every woman needs a rest - even an Amazon. She was quite happy to let him deal with those fools earlier. But why is he here? He explains that there is an important International deal in the works which will benefit the USA and France. Apparently an automobile plant is going to be built in Europe by an American Company which means jobs, prosperity and an important step toward an easing of international trade tensions. He is here to meet with the French Ambassador because they want France to have the plant.

Just then Diana notices the Ambassador heading towards them and she tells Bruce she will leave him to it. He asks to meet her for a late dinner and she accepts.

Wonder Woman is temporarily blinded by the chemical attack!She walks away but as she does so she notices a figure running across the moonlit lawn. She sees a glint of metal and deduces he has a gun. Unseen, she quickly removes her lasso from her handbag and transforms into her Wonder Woman costume. She intercepts the surprised costumed figure who curses in a French accent the fact that the hoods he had hired had failed to distract attention from his main purpose. It appears he will have to deal with things himself! With that he fires a handful of small glass spheres at her. She sees no threat in the harmless looking objects until they pop open and release some sort of chemical fog. She cries out in agony, blinded by the stinging mist and staggers through the fog towards the shadowy figure ahead.

But as she draws near she sees not her attacker but the figure of Steve Trevor - her dead lover! She realises she has seen this moment before and screams as he is gunned down before her eyes.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne and the Ambassador are discussing the plant when they hear the scream from the garden. Bruce quickly stands up and tells the Ambassador that he will see if he can be of some help. Once alone, the Ambassador hears a voice behind him and turns in surprise to see the costumed intruder coming through the window...

Outside, Bruce arrives at the gardens to see the dazed Wonder Woman stagger from the lawns. Whispering so that the other onlookers cannot hear their conversation, she explains to Bruce that she has just relived the most painful experience in her life, when Steve was murdered before her very eyes by Doctor Cyber. Bruce leads her away to a more private location and she recounts her confrontation with the intruder. He tells her that it sounds like she was attacked with some sort of drug induced flashback. She replies that whoever the Frenchman was, he had engineered the flashback as a distraction. Bruce's ears prick up at the word 'Frenchman' and he remembers the Ambassador is still alone in his study!

They quickly rush to the room where the Ambassador is kneeling on the floor laughing hysterically. Bruce realises that the robbery and the attack on Wonder Woman had all been a distraction from the real target - the Ambassador himself! Wonder Woman notices broken spheres on the floor just like the ones used on her and Bruce picks one up to take back to the Bat Cave for further analysis. Then the Amazon Princess finds a note left by the intruder which reads that there will be no deal between the people of France and the American traitors! Anyone who attends the Paris Conference in order to sign the deal will suffer at the hands of 'Deja Vu'!

The two heroes realise that their next stop must be Paris...

Sunday, one week later in the French Capital, Bruce Wayne works to close the business deal vital to the economy of both nations while Wonder Woman follows a lead. Bruce's analysis of the chemical residue showed that several of the compounds used were developed at the plant she has just arrived at on the outskirts of Paris. She disembarks from her invisible plane and forces the doors open. She steps into the darkened, silent factory feeling a little guilty about breaking and entering like this.

Suddenly, machine gun fire rains down on the surprised Amazon who only just manages to dive for cover. She had come here to check the records for some information about recent robberies but she had never expected to find the man they call Deja Vu, or 'Flashback', here too.

As she tries to locate his position, she thinks to herself that it makes sense for him to be a chemist and he must therefore be an employee here. She finally spots him on an overhead gantry and she leaps from her vantage point after him. But with horror she realises she has completely misjudged her leap and is falling towards a vat full of bubbling toxic chemicals. With only fractions of a second to twist and change the angle of her fall, she has to use every bit of her Amazon training to clear the vat and land safely on the floor.

She hears Flashback's voice echoing around her, saying that she cannot stop him killing the traitors tonight, in memory of one who died before! The echoes die away and she realises that her quarry has escaped once more.

An hour later Bruce and Diana are at the conference hotel for the evening's dinner, after which the final meeting will take place. Diana has told him about Flashback's words that he will strike tonight. It looks like Bruce Wayne is going to have to make his excuses from dinner so that the Batman can join her on patrol!

Batman punches Wonder Woman on the jaw!A little later Wonder Woman and Batman sit crouched upon the roof and look down on the arriving cars below, looking for signs of trouble. However, they are unaware of movement above them in a helicopter and before they can react, Flashback fires his spheres at them. Wonder Woman manages to avoid them this time but Batman is not fast enough. The fog quickly envelops him and he sees blurry figures before his eyes. He makes out his mother and father and watches in horror as they are gunned down in cold blood by a thief. He is distraught as he looks down on his parents lifeless bodies. Enraged, he turns to the shadowy figure of the thief and punches him with all his might. But what Batman does not realise is that he has just struck Wonder Woman!

The caped crusader lunges at her and they topple backwards off the roof. She swiftly uses her magic lasso to halt their plunge as she grapples with the Batman who is trying to strangle her. She knows she cannot let go of him or he will fall to his death but she must snap him out of this insanity before he jerks free of her grip and plummets to the ground. She decides there is only one way and unhooks her lasso. As the two combatants plunge down towards their death on the street the adrenaline rush takes over and Batman comes to his senses. He realises he is about to fall on top of Wonder Woman and manages to turn them both in mid air so that they land on the canopy over the entrance to the hotel.

He shakes his head, saying he had just had a nightmare and that he had tried to kill her. But she assures him she is all right and explains that she took a chance that his instinctive response to danger would save them both. Quickly they rush back into the hotel and up the stairs to where the conference is taking place.

Already inside, Flashback is releasing his spheres and the delegates cough and splutter in the deadly fog. Suddenly Batman and Wonder Woman burst in taking him by surprise as he had assumed they were dead. Wonder Woman spins her lasso creating a draft which blows the fog back towards Flashback. At the same time Batman runs forward and decks the blinded villain with one punch. With a window open the fog soon dissipates and the situation is returned to normal.

At the airport next morning Diana and Bruce walk over to the Wayne private jet. Diana says to him how it is almost tragic in a way that Flashback's father lost his life working in an American canning plant in Southern France. Bruce continues that he had blamed it on Americans and their Businesses ever since. His own bad memories drove him to attempted murder and Bruce wonders whether he and Flashback are really so different?

Flashback's hatred of Americans made him the man he is - and Bruce's hatred of criminals made him the Batman! Diana smiles and replies that there is a difference. Flashback's obsession almost made him a killer whereas Bruce's obsession leads him to save lives. Bruce thanks her and says that he needs reminding of that fact now and then. As she bids him farewell and watches his plane lift off she thinks to herself "So do we all, Bruce! So do we all!"

The End

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