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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 258

Issue Number: 258
Published: August 1979
Cover Artists: Jose Delbo, Dick Giordano
Writer: Paul Kupperberg & Paul Levitz
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Jerry Serpe
Editor: Ross Andru
Story Title: The Long Grey Line...of Death!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Colonel Grant General Bradford
Major Pierce    

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 258

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

Wonder Woman takes on the tank!Military Academy where Graduation Day is taking place. But all is not well. An invisible plane streaks through the sky and Wonder Woman leaps down on top of a tank, which is about to open fire on a group of high ranking military officials.

She grasps the barrel of the gun and bends it backwards. She then leaps from the tank as it continues to thunder across the parade ground causing havoc. The tank attempts to fire its now bent gun but only succeeds in blowing the barrel apart instead.

The driver leaps out of the smoking cabin, yelling that the vehicle is out of control and that it is being controlled by remote. She runs towards the tank as it opens fire on her with machine guns. But the Amazon Princess easily deflects the barrage with her bracelets and manages to rip away the machine gun from its housing. Finally she lays on the ground in front of the approaching tank and uses her legs to kick the armoured vehicle up and over on its back, disabling it!

As the General and Colonel rush over, they ask what on earth is going on and she replies that they should know as it is their tank! She informs then that she had heard about the attempted assassination of Colonel Grant on the radio that morning and had come here as soon as she could. Colonel Grant thanks her for her help and then asks one of his men to explain what was wrong with the tank. The cadet replies that the auto-controls just suddenly kicked in for no apparent reason.

Wonder Woman asks Grant whether he believes this is connected with the attempt on his life earlier and he confirms that the tank malfunction and the grenade that was lobbed into his office that morning must be the work of the same individual.

As they walk, Grant tells Wonder Woman and the General that his safety is the least of their worries and points to the thousands of civilians in attendance here today at the graduation. They decide to post more guards and Wonder Woman requests permission to remain too, which Colonel Grant agrees to.

Just then a Major Pierce walks up and greets the Colonel. Grant asks if Pierce's son is graduating today but the major becomes a little uncomfortable and replies that his son had actually left West Point the previous year.

A little later the graduation day gets underway again and Wonder Woman watches from the top of one of the buildings, keeping a careful eye on the Colonel below. An hour has passed with no sign of another attack but the Amazon Princess feels sure that the assassin will strike again. Suddenly she spies an individual entering a nearby bunker, having knocked out the soldier guarding it. As she leaps down to apprehend the intruder she hears the sound of an approaching mortar which explodes in the middle of the parade ground, scattering everyone.

Wonder Woma is almost gunned down by machine gun fire!!Quickly she changes direction and lands in the middle of the explosions and only narrowly misses becoming the first casualty! She leaps across the parade ground as the next incoming mortar lands. The Amazing Amazon agilely dodges each explosion until a racing jeep approaches with Grant and the General onboard. They advise her that the assassin has got control of the bunker and has access to every weapon hooked to the mock battlefield. They tell her that they have managed to evacuate everyone to the far side of the campus where they will be safe but that they cannot get near him.

She uses the air currents to fly towards the bunker, traversing the battlefield and avoiding the many explosions. She only just manages to avoid a machine gun nest that suddenly springs into life but finds herself suddenly without any air currents to support her. She drops to the ground with a thud and as she quickly regains her senses she realises something is not right. As she gets up slowly she discovers she has landed in the middle of a minefield!

She races at an incredible speed across the minefield, moving fast enough to avoid getting blown to pieces by the exploding mines she triggers. She then leaps across open ground between her and the bunker which is guarded by another machine gun nest and lands on its roof. She disables the guns with one blow.

Next she heads towards the radio mast which Grant had told her was the weak point of the bunker. She snaps the mast off as if it were a matchstick and throws it away, disabling the remote controlled weapons. Seconds later the jeep pulls up as the Amazing Amazon attends to the groggy guard who is coming to. She informs them that the intruder had overpowered the guard and then set the obstacle course to automatic while he had made his getaway. The guard then tells them that it had been Major Pierce!

The General retorts that the guard must surely be mistaken because Pierce's own son is graduating today? But Grant tells him that in fact the boy had dropped out of West Point several months ago after quite a scandal. He had been accused of cheating and under the honour code was tried for his offense. The board of Inquiry found him innocent but unfortunately the other cadets did not agree. They gave him the silent treatment until the boy could no longer take any more and quit.

Suddenly their conversation is interrupted by the roar of engines. They turn to see one of the Vertical Take Off and Landing aircraft thundering into the sky. The plane is heavily armed and Wonder Woman races to her own craft to give pursuit.

Once airborne she closes in on the craft. Her presence is detected however and Pierce opens fire on her. She avoids his fire, satisfied that while she is the target no innocent women and children are in danger down below in the crowds. Like a game of cat and mouse, she leads the jet fighter through the skies, always staying just out of the military craft's death dealing range!

Wonder Woman lassos the streaking missile!Suddenly though the jet throttles back, almost coming to a stop and before Wonder Woman can react unleashes a guided missile! She accelerates away but the missile has locked on to her. She knows that she could put on enough speed to lose it but she cannot risk the missile falling on a populated area. She decides instead to lead the warhead up higher and higher into the sky. As planned, the heat caused by streaking thorough the upper atmosphere eventually detonates the missile and she swiftly turns her craft around and heads back down.

She approaches Pierce once more head on, knowing he has another missile which he can either use on her or on West Point itself. Just then he fires again but the missile flies past her and away. She is confused because the missile is also streaking away from West Point too. As she turns to follow it, Pierce's motives become apparent. The missile is heading towards a Nuclear Power Plant!

Quickly, she steps out onto the wing of her plane and uses her lasso to grab the missile's nose cone Using all her strength she pulls the fast moving projectile up, just managing to steer it away from the reactor building and harmlessly into the nearby lake, where it explodes.

But Pierce has not given up yet and heads his own craft in a death dive towards the Nuclear Plant. Moving with incredible speed, she jumps onboard his craft and rips open the canopy. She yanks Pierce out of the cockpit and transfers onto her own waiting plane. The now pilotless fighter jet crashes short of its target.

Moments later she touches down and is greeted by Colonel Grant and the General. They demand to know Pierce's motives and he explains that he wanted to destroy West Point and all the lying cadets who drove his son out of the academy...and to suicide. His son could not take the humiliation of his treatment and his failed life and therefore Major Pierce intended to destroy West Point before it killed any more fine, young men like his son.

As Pierce is taken away the Amazon Princess wonders whether Pierce should really be blamed for his actions and Grant replies that the answer to that question is a bit out of his area of expertise. The General interjects, saying that they have not got time to talk as they have a Graduation Day to attend.

However, Wonder Woman declines, saying that after the events of today she is not in the mood to watch men play at war...

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