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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 254

Issue Number: 254
Published: April 1979
Cover Artists: Ross Andru, Dick Giordano
Writer: Jack C. Harris
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inker: Joe Giella
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Gene D'Angelo
Editor: Ross Andru
Story Title: The Angle in the Stars
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Stacy Macklin Mike Bailey
Mars Duke of Deception Earl of Greed
Lord Conquest Aphrodite Athena
Angleman Conrad Starfield General Novack

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 254

Comments:

This issue sees the return of an old, familiar foe, the Angleman!

Synopsis:

As Wonder Woman patrols Houston high up in her invisible plane, her highly attuned Amazon hearing hears the squeal of tyres down below. She sees a car lose control and career off the side of a bridge into the water beneath. Moving swiftly, she dives down to the scene of the accident and prays that the occupants of the car have the sense to stay where they are until she can get them out.

She enters the water and swims down to the bottom where the car has now come to a rest. When she peers in through the window she is shocked to see that it is Stacy and Mike trapped inside! She tries to open the door but quickly changes her mind. She realises that the water pressure is so great that even though she could easily pull the car door off, the water would rush inside too fast for her to save them both. She instead coils her lasso around the car and swims up towards the surface.

Up above, the police have arrived and amazed onlookers point to the water which is churning below. Just then a golden rope springs up from the murky water and wraps itself around the wing of the invisible plane. As the plane begins to rise, the car surfaces with Wonder Woman standing on it and is gently carried up and onto the bridge where it is safely lowered to the ground.

Wonder Woman tells the amazed police officer that the occupants are safe and that she believes it was a freak accident, with the steering having failed. She then departs in her robot plane while the policeman takes a statement from Mike and Stacy, who realise that they are now going to be very late for work!

As Wonder Woman makes her way towards the Johnson Space Centre, she regrets having to leave the two recruits behind but knows that it would have been too risky to give them a lift without them suspecting her double identity as Diana Prince.

The mighty Gods of Olympus monitor the exploits of Wonder WomanMeanwhile, on Mount Olympus, the Amazing Amazon's exploits are being watched by the Gods. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, remarks on how Wonder Woman is still performing deeds of great daring but Mars, the God of War, disagrees. He retorts that the Amazon relishes the glory of each minor feat and that she is wholly undeserving of the title 'Wonder Woman'.

Behind Mars stand his cohorts, the Duke of Deception, the Earl of Greed and Lord Conquest, while Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom accompanies Aphrodite.

The Love Goddess replies that Princess Diana acts out of compassion, not glory, but Mars is unimpressed. He reminds her that the Amazon lost the right to be the Wonder Woman in the Great Tournament of the Elements. Aphrodite responds that the winning Amazon, Orana, had been killed and that Diana had regained her rightful place.

Mars rages that she had returned to the land of America against their will and would not have been able to take over had she not disobeyed the Gods - and that she will not go unpunished! With that he and his cohorts storm off and as they watch them go, Aphrodite tells Athena that she feels Mars is up to something. They both agree that they should keep a close eye on the War God, Earth and on Wonder Woman herself...

Back on Earth meanwhile, at a prison in California, the criminal known as Angleman broods in his cell. He is embarrassed that he has not yet been able to figure out a way to escape and curses the fact that Wonder Woman has consistently foiled his plans in the past. After their last encounter, she had taken his Angler device and placed it aboard the JLA Satellite, far from his reach. Even though he knows the Angler is out of power, he will never be able to get the chance to even repair it. Suddenly though, a plan begins to form in his mind...

At the same moment, many miles away in Houston, Mike and Stacy finally arrive by Taxi and are greeted by Diana who asks where they have been? They recap the events of the last couple of hours and how, after their accident, they were saved by Wonder Woman. Diana pretends to disbelieve them, saying that just because the two of them were late there was no need to make stories up about themselves! Mike becomes defensive, assuring Diana that he and Stacy are just good friends and that there is nothing going on between them.

Just then Mr. Starfield and General Novack appear and advise them that they are now on alert. Starfield tells the surprised trainee astronauts that they have just received word from Florida that someone has threatened to steal the Space Shuttle! The threat must be taken seriously because it has been issued by a well known crook who has just escaped from prison, known as the Angleman.

As they are taken to a nearby room to be fully briefed on the situation room in case their talents are called upon, Diana takes the opportunity to slip away. Once outside, she transforms into Wonder Woman and boarding her plane, flies as fast as she can to Cape Kennedy in Florida. In less than an hour she arrives at the Shuttle launch pad only to see the orbiter dematerialise before her eyes. She is too late!

Wonder Woman advances on Angleman but finds herself instantly teleported away!The Amazing Amazon cannot understand how Angleman has managed to carry out his threat, as she knows that the Angler device is secured on board the JLA satellite. Back at Houston meanwhile, Mike, Stacy and the others watch the events on a monitor. No one notices a strange cold which passes briefly through the room...

On the robot plane, Wonder Woman pilots her craft up into the atmosphere and is glad to see that her hunch has paid off, as she spies the shuttle in orbit ahead of her. As she draws closer, she is surprised to see Angleman standing on the shuttle's wing with his Angler device, but with no space suit on. He laughs and greets her, asking her whether she has figured out his latest angle yet?

Wearing her super thin Amazonian space suit and still confused as to how Angleman can survive in the vacuum, she climbs out of her cockpit and launches herself towards Angleman. He seems pleased that she is going to attack him and tells her that she need not know how he managed to reacquire and repair his Angler, but that she should know he has used it to surround the shuttle with a force field. Inside it, he has all the air he needs.

As Wonder Woman enters the field, she finds to her surprise that the force field teleports her ninety degrees from the place where she entered. She therefore cannot get anywhere near Angleman. But maybe her plane can! She orders her craft to fly into the force field but to her dismay, the same thing happens. She next removes her lasso from her belt and tries to ensnare Angleman through the force field but this too ends in failure. He laughs and tells her that he has attuned the force field to her and all her equipment and that it is futile.

He instructs her that he will remain here with the shuttle until he gets his ransom demand for ten million dollars in gold bullion. The Amazon Princess boards her plane again and heads back down towards Earth, telling the gloating criminal that it is not over yet and that she has a few angles of her own. She thinks to herself that she now has a plan because he has unwittingly revealed his weak point, but she knows she will have to move quickly.

For the next 48 hours, the world waits and wonders, while Angleman's 72 hour deadline ticks away. Meanwhile, deep within a secret room in the NASA complex at Houston, Starfield and General Novack are discussing Wonder Woman's plan with the Amazon Princess. Although daring, the government has agreed to it in order to prevent the destruction of the shuttle.

Wonder Woman has chosen a team to work with her; General Novack, whose knowledge of advanced weaponry will aid the development of a counter weapon for the Angle force field, Mike and Stacy who will pilot the back up shuttle and Mr. Starfield who will coordinate the entire project.

For the next few hours, the project proceeds. The General works feverishly on his new weapon while the astronauts go over the details of their flight pattern. Wonder Woman knows that they do not have much time left. She must have an armed shuttle ready for a surprise attack as soon as possible.

As Mike and Stacy change into their spacesuits, Mike tells his colleague that he does not understand how they are supposed to get near Angleman if Wonder Woman was not able to? Stacy replies that Wonder Woman had mentioned that the criminal had let slip that he had attuned the force field to her and her equipment and that the Amazon is hoping that anyone or anything else will not be affected by it.

Soon, the new weapon is ready and is loaded onto a transport plane. The team then fly to Cape Kennedy where the gun is attached to the nose of another shuttle. As Wonder Woman helps to connect it, she thinks to herself that the weapon is mostly for show and will not harm Angleman - but the criminal does not know that! Once everything is ready, Wonder Woman tells Mike and Stacy that the launch window is in two hours time and that they should get some rest.

However, once the Amazon Princes has walked away, Mike whispers to Stacy that they are going to launch now! She protests but he tells her not to argue and they head towards the launch pad.

A few miles away, Wonder Woman holds a smaller version of the weapon in her hands and decides to test it now she has some time on her hands at last. But when she fires it, she is hurled backwards by the recoil of the blast and as she picks herself up, she sees General Novack appear through the smoke. He smiles and tells her to imagine what the full size model can do! She demands to know what he is up to, as the main weapon was supposed to be a threat, not a world destroyer!

Novack, laughing maniacally, replies that the weapon has but one purpose - conquest! As the Amazon wonders whether the pressure has snapped his mind she hears the roar of rocket engines. Novack cries out that she is too late to stop them as the shuttle lifts off from the pad.

Wonder Woman is taken by surprise by the powerful weapon's recoil!Wonder Woman races to Starfield, demanding to know why she was not notified of a new launch time? He replies that they are doing things their way. They plan to capture both shuttles, making double the profit on this 'little operation.' She realises that they all seem to be in on the scheme together with Angleman and she quickly summons her plane.

As she flies after the shuttle, it dawns on her that Mike has deceived her about the shuttle launch time, General Novack ranted about conquest and Starfield was only interested in greed. She wonders whether what is happening is all part of a plan by the Gods?

Meanwhile onboard the Shuttle, Mike tells a helpless Stacy that if the Amazon Princess fails in her mission, as she surely will, she will no longer be Wonder Woman! But suddenly the cockpit is torn open and the Amazing Amazon dives into the cabin. She hits Mike with a powerful punch and drives the Duke of Deception out of him.

She informs the Duke that it is over and that he has been forced to leave the body he was controlling. But he replies that the Gods are still going to succeed! He rants that she defied the Gods and became Wonder Woman again without a true test to regain the title. This mission is that test and she is going to fail it!

Pulling alongside the other shuttle, they watch as Angleman encases their shuttle in the same force field. Now he has two shuttles and a devastating weapon! Grabbing Stacy by the arm, Wonder Woman tells her that they must retreat and with that, exit through the hole in the shuttle cabin. The Amazing Amazon realises that Lord Conquest must have taken over General Novack and the Earl of Greed has taken control of Mr. Starfield...and as Stacy figured out Angleman's weakness, she may be the Amazon's only hope. Because she must also have been taken over by... Athena!

With that, Wonder Woman hurls Athena, inside Stacy's body, through the force field. She passes right through and ploughs into a surprised Angleman with tremendous force, flooring him. Just then the ghostly form of Mars emerges from the body of the fallen Angleman and Athena tells the War God that his plan has been foiled. Princess Diana has proven herself better in more ways than one.

Mars protests that she used trickery, but Athena, emerging from Stacy's body, responds that so did he! His magical restoration of the Angler Device did not fool Wonder Woman at all. She then instructs him to order his cohorts to vacate the other bodies they inhabit.

Athena turns to the Amazon Princess, telling her that she has far exceeded the expectations of her mother and the Gods of peace, wisdom and love, who all know that she is the one, true Wonder Woman. She can rest assured that all is now right with her Gods.

And so, once the Angleman and the astronauts are safely inside the shuttles and they set off home, Wonder Woman relishes the fact that perhaps now she can concentrate on her life as Amazon Princess Diana, as astronaut Diana Prince and as the heroine known to the world as...Wonder Woman!

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