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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 151-200 > Issue 185

Issue Number: 185
Published: November/December, 1969
Cover Artists: Mike Sekowsky, Dick Giordano
Writer: Dennis O'Neil
Pencils: Mike Sekowsky
Inker: Dick Giordano
Letterer: John Costanza
Colourist: N/A
Editor: Mike Sekowsky
Story Title: Them!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Diana Prince
(Wonder Woman)
Cathy Perkins Top Hat
Moose Momma Mingo Tony Petrucci

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 185

Comments:

How the lovely and mighty Wonder Woman has fallen! After spending a career saving the planet and bringing to justice endless super villains, we see in this issue how Diana must face down three hippy chicks who have been terrorising a young girl!!!! In doing so Diana also finds herself a new assistant.

Synopsis:

The bemused Diana asks the girl who she is referring to as "Them" and asks her to step out from her hiding place, but the terrified girl cowers back. The girl, whose name is Cathy Perkins, whimpers that they are looking for her and that she must hide. Diana again asks who these pursuers are and Cathy, her eyes suddenly opening even wider in fear, points behind the Amazon Princess.

Diana turns to see three strange looking female hippies standing in her shop, smiling at her. One of them, wearing a cape and top hat, casually throws a dog collar across the floor and orders the girl to put it on. Cathy slowly reaches towards it and begins to clip it around her neck as a horrified and angry Diana watches. At the last minute Diana yanks it off her and tells her to not even dare think of putting it on. She turns to the three hippies and furiously tells them that although she does not know who they are or why they are here, they will leave her shop now!

The three smile slyly and the hippy named Top Hat, tells her two friends that they may well have found a new slave and asks one of them, Moose Momma, if she has another collar to hand. As Top Hat holds it out in front of Diana, ordering her to put it on, the Amazon Princess responds with a couple of expertly placed karate kicks which send first Top Hat, and then the other two hippies flying across the shop! As Diana advances, Top Hat uses her umbrella like a sword and almost spears Diana, whose reflexes are just quick enough to avoid injury. She clouts Top Hat again and standing over them, instructs the three hippies to leave her shop by the count of three! Reluctantly they pick themselves up and depart, vowing that they will be back.

Diana then turns her attentions to Cathy, telling her to go upstairs while she locks up the shop, after which Cathy is going to explain what all of this is about. Once upstairs, Diana switches on the light and is surprised to see that Cathy is wearing ill fitting clothes and is covered in dirt. The Amazon Princess tells her to get undressed and take a bath and while she does, she can tell Diana all about the gang, although she has a pretty good idea what the plot is likely to be.

Cathy soaks in the bath as Diana listens to her storyCathy is soon relaxing in a bath of suds and begins to tell Diana her story. Cathy's parents did not understand her and she had begun to feel stifled at home. She had decided to run away to the city to find freedom and space to think for herself. Diana asks her if she had found what she was looking for and Cathy shakes her head, replying that all she had found was them! She had arrived in the city and had begun to look for a place to live. She had then met the three hippy girls who had offered her a room in their apartment. Things seemed fine - at least for a few days.

Suddenly, Cathy's story is interrupted by a stone being thrown through the window with a note attached. Diana picks it up and reads the message which is from the gang, stating that they want their slave back and that they intend to get her! Diana tells the frightened Cathy not to worry and to carry on with her story. As the young girl gets out of the bath and dries herself down, she continues that while staying with the three girls she had noticed that her clothes had started to disappear. Then one day all her money was stolen too.

As Diana turns to hand Cathy a dressing gown she sees the young girl's back, which is covered with whip marks. Diana demands to know who has done this to her and Cathy replies it had been Top Hat, using her umbrella.

She then continues with her tale, saying that after finding her money gone, the girls had told her she could still stay with them but a few days later changed their minds and said that Cathy would have to work for her room. They made her do everything - cook, clean, wash the clothes etc. First though, Top Hat would put the dog collar on her and beat her. She had told Cathy that a dog beaten regularly knows its place and becomes a good dog.

The three hippies never let her alone. But one day, when she was alone with just Moose Momma, the hippy had taken some pills and fallen asleep. Seeing her chance, Cathy had removed her collar and made her escape, running and running until she eventually found an open back window into Diana's Boutique.

Diana tells the girl that she is going to call the police but Cathy pleads with her not to do so, otherwise the police will contact her parents and if her mother and father ever found out about what had happened they would be so ashamed.

Diana consoles the sobbing girl and promises not to call the authorities tonight. She suggests they get some sleep and talk about it again in the morning. She tucks Cathy into a spare bed but as she does, they suddenly hear a cry from outside the window. The girl panics, recognising the voices of her tormentors but Diana tells her to calm down and get some rest. She tells Cathy that the hippies are simply trying to scare her and she is perfectly safe here with Diana. As the girl finally drops off to sleep, Diana peers out of the window down at the street below, where she can make out the shadowy figures of the three hippies. The Amazon Princess then retires to her own bed, but for many hours she lies awake listening to the frightening chanting and wondering what tomorrow has in store.

The following morning Diana wakes Cathy and tells her to get dressed as they have a lot to do today. She lets Cathy choose a new wardrobe from her shop and the two girls go shopping for groceries. Smiling, they walk down the street with their shopping bags when suddenly a hippy barges into Diana, sending her groceries flying. Cathy warns Diana that his name is Mingo and he is friends with Them! Mingo offers to pick up the spilled goods but purposely squashes some of the fruit, smirking that they do not make melons like the used to! His voice suddenly trails off though as he spots someone over Diana's shoulder. He becomes most apologetic and offers to replace every single item.

Diana turns to see what has scared the hippy so much and sees a handsome looking man staring back. The stranger watches Mingo's movements intently as the hippy picks up all of the groceries and packs them neatly in the bag before handing them back to Diana. He then slinks away to join Top Hat and her gang, who scowl back at the stranger before slipping away.

Diana thanks the man, named Tony Petrucci, who replies that it had been a pleasure, before turning and walking away. As Diana watches him go she is certain she has seen him before and that he lives in her neighbourhood. Top Hat and her friends are certainly scared of him for some reason.

Later in Diana's shop, a group of hippies are perusing her clothes when they suddenly call Diana over to complain. She examines the clothes and finds them all tattered and torn and tells them that they had not been placed on the rack in this condition - someone had deliberately slashed them! She then sees one of Top Hat's members nearby and realises that they have vandalised her stock. A furious Diana decides enough is enough and heads towards the door to confront the gang outside on the street. She tells Top Hat and her crowing gang that they are going to pay for the dresses they had destroyed. Top Hat replies that she has no proof they were responsible. She then warns the Amazon Princess that once they are through with her she will be only too pleased to put on the dog collar!

Suddenly, Top Hat freezes and Diana realises that Tony has appeared on the scene again. Top Hat and her gang slink away once more and Diana demands to know why Tony is following her. He replies that he was simply on his way home and that he lives just across the street. Diana apologises for snapping at him.

Later that evening as Diana tucks Cathy into her bed the young girl asks to stay with the Amazon Princess. Diana replies that surely her parents must be worried about where she is. Cathy pleads for just a little more time, as she cannot face them yet because of the shame she feels. Diana agrees, but a short while afterwards as she sorts out Cathy's clothes for the laundry she finds a letter in one of the pockets. It has been written by Cathy and is addressed to her parents, begging for forgiveness and stating that she wants to come home. Realising that the young girl desperately wants to return home, she decides she will do something about it.

Diana finds her Boutique is ablaze!She picks up the phone and dials the number of the Missing Persons Bureau. She asks if they have a missing persons bulletin for a "Cathy Perkins" and they confirm that they do. As she gives them the address of her Boutique to pass on to Cathy's parents, she hears a crash downstairs. She hangs up and races down the steps to find that her shop is ablaze as yet another Molotov Cocktail smashes through the window! She quickly rushes back upstairs and wakes Cathy. They make their escape as the Fire trucks arrive on the scene.

A crowd gathers to watch and among them are the three hippy girls. Top Hat cackles how some people can be so careless. Diana turns to stare at the girl who holds out the dog collar as if to goad Diana. The Amazon realises it was them who had been responsible for destroying her shop and is about to confront the gang when Tony Petrucci and his mother step forward, offering Diana and Cathy a place to stay. Mrs Petrucci leads the grateful girls back to her house as Tony stays with the police and firemen. The old lady tells Diana and Cathy that they can stay in Angela's room and when Diana asks where Angela is going to sleep, Mrs Petrucci replies sadly that her daughter is...away.

The following morning Diana wakes after a deep sleep and finds a note on the pillow next to her. She realises Cathy, who feels guilty for causing Diana's shop to be destroyed, has left to return to her captors! She quickly dresses and Mrs Petrucci offers to get Tony to accompany her. But Diana declines the offer and says that this is something she must do alone! As the Amazon Princess leaves, Mrs Petrucci phones her son and explains that Diana has gone after the gang. He responds that he will round up his boys and get there as soon as they can!

Meanwhile, Diana, asking for the whereabouts of Top Hat and her gang is met by a wall of silence amongst the hippy community. Finally though, Top Hat and her gang reveal themselves and stride smugly down the street with Cathy on the end of a lead. Top Hat holds out another dog collar and orders Diana to put it on or else her gang, armed with baseball bats, will put it on for her! Diana refuses and Top Hat orders them to take the Amazon down. But as the vicious gang members step forward they find themselves grabbed and held in arm locks by Tony and his men. Tony tells a stunned Top Hat that he and the others in the neighbourhood have had just about enough of her and her creeps.

Diana then tells Tony that Top Hat is hers, before unleashing a savage karate chop. Top Hat staggers back and lunges with her umbrella but Diana anticipates the attack and dodges it. However, Top Hat has another tick up her sleeve and opening the umbrella, obscuring Diana's view, she removes a dagger hidden in the handle. Diana simply grabs the hippy's wrist though and almost breaks it, forcing Top Hat to drop the weapon before following up with a powerful punch that sends her opponent flying! As the whole street watches, she lifts up Top Hat by her cloak and hurls her head first into a nearby wall.

Diana deals with Top Hat once and for all!As the unconscious hippy collapses to the floor jewellery spills out of the top of her broken hat. As police arrive on the scene they confirm that the jewels are the same ones stolen in a recent robbery. The officers thank Diana for breaking up the hippy gang and advises that the owner of the jewels is offering a substantial reward for their recovery which Diana is now entitled to. Diana thanks them and replies that the money will come in handy to help rebuild her shop - as she had forgotten to take out fire insurance!

Diana and Cathy then thank Tony for his assistance in holding back the other gang members while Diana had been occupied with Top Hat. He replies that it had been a pleasure. Just then Cathy hears her name called and turns to see her parents running over. Mr and Mrs Perkins embrace their daughter lovingly and Cathy weeps tears of joy.

Some time later in the Petrucci apartment, Diana, Cathy, her parents and the Petruccis are having some tea and Mr Perkins has just explained how they intend to sell up their business and move back to the City. Diana says that if this is the case, she needs help to run her shop on those occaisions when she is away. She wonders whether Cathy would be interested, seeing as she would now be living locally. An excited Cathy begs her parents to let her and they agree, as long as it does not conflict with her schooling.

Mr and Mrs Perkins then thank Diana for giving them back their daughter. She smiles and replies that Cathy had never really left them. She then tells Cathy that there is no time like the present to start her new job and that there is much to do back at the ruins of the shop.

Just then though the door opens and Diana is greeted by a familiar face...

To be continued...

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