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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 260

Issue Number: 260
Published: October 1979
Cover Artists: Jose Delbo, Frank Chiaramonte
Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Shelly Leferman
Colourist: Jerry Serpe
Editor: Ross Andru
Story Title: A Warrior in Chains!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Hercules Mars
Martin Markham Hermes Lance Gardner

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 260

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

In a high security prison on an island in New York's East River, Wonder Woman is lead under armed escort towards her prison cell. With her hands now handcuffed, the Amazon Princess remains silent as other female prisoners mock her.

They eventually arrive at a large metal door and one of the guards speaks into his radio, instructing his colleagues to open up. With a whir of machinery the huge door opens to reveal a massive room.

As Wonder Woman is lead inside by two of the guards, one of them explains that the cell was built just in case they ever had to keep a super villain in custody while awaiting trial. He points towards a large spherical chamber with a hatch in the top and instructs her to step down into it. As she steps forward the other man stops her and says that he really wants to know why she had gone berserk? But she says nothing, her face expressionless.

The first guard tells his colleague to forget about it and to be thankful that Hercules had shown up when he did. For a time it looked like she had Hercules on the ropes but eventually his weight and superior strength had overcome her and "let's face it, what woman can beat a real man?"

Wonder Woman is lead humiliatingly into a special prison chamber...He then tells his colleague to remain on watch until the others arrive and asks him if he can handle that simple task? The second guard replies that of course he can because like his colleague had said, "She's just a woman after all." But once the first guard has gone the remaining officer thinks to himself what a jerk his colleague is and that guys like him give the police a bad name. He looks down sadly into the sealed chamber at the Amazon sitting there, wishing he could understand what happened to her today. He has always admired her and thinks to himself that it is almost as if someone else were inhabiting her body - someone dark and crazy.

Meanwhile inside the chamber, Wonder Woman sits quietly, concentrating with all her might. It is such an effort for her to control herself that she dare not say a word. She thinks to herself that while she does not know what happened to her bracelets, the fact that Hercules is involved must mean Mars is somehow responsible. If that is the case, it is vitally important that she gets free. But now that her hands have been bound by a man she has no strength and no powers. She clings to one small hope however...

Outside, the TV reporters are filming the Mayor speaking with Hercules. He thanks the giant and says that all of New York is grateful for what he has done. He than asks whether there is anything they can do for him? Hercules replies "yes" and suddenly grabs a nearby cameraman, warning him to stop shoving the camera into his face. He then smashes the device and hurls the terrified cameraman away!

The mayor whispers to his aides that Hercules seems a little ill tempered but is told that at least he is not endangering lives like Wonder Woman had done. Their conversation is interrupted though by Hercules, who addresses the crowds, telling them that he is the servant of their true protector. Pointing to the gathering clouds overhead, he tells them that the true master approaches and with that, Mars the War God appears in the sky over New York!

All across the city eyes turn upward and faces light with horror, shock and disbelief. For most of them, the sudden startling awareness of their own relative insignificance is almost enough to drive them temporarily insane!

Wonder Woman clouts the guard and makes a bid for freedom!Up on Olympus meanwhile, Martin Markham watches the events unfold below finding them even more impressive than he had imagined. Hermes tells the mortal that he must be feeling smug with himself now that he has succeeded in enslaving mankind. Markham does not understand and replies that he is just a simple advertising executive who was brought here to give Mars some advice on Public Relations. Hermes explains to Markham that Mars has usurped the throne and is consolidating his power by crushing all potential opposition. The core of that opposition lies on Earth with the Amazons of Paradise Island. Mars had asked the Earthman how to destroy their reputations and he had advised Mars that the best way would be to have Hercules save New York from a rampaging Wonder Woman! Once Hercules had defeated her, Mars could then show himself to be the master of Hercules and thus the true savior of the world. Hermes then asks Markham what he thinks will happen when Mars takes command? The thought is too grim to bear and it is all because of the Earthman!

Back on Earth, Wonder Woman calls out to the guard that she needs his help. He opens the chamber hatch and looks down, asking her what is wrong. She says to him that there is no way she can escape from this cell so are her handcuffs really necessary as it is so humiliating for her. He climbs down, knowing that she has been meek as a kitten since they brought her here and that if she could break through the cell walls, she would have done it by now. He takes out his key and unlocks the handcuffs, removing them from the Amazon's wrists. He is just telling how he feels she has been treated pretty shabbily and that there must have been a good reason for her to freak out like she did, when she suddenly knocks him down and leaps up out of the chamber.

He recovers quickly and warns her to stop because he does not want to shoot her. But as she continues to make her escape he has no choice and opens fire. She moves quickly though and manages to dodge the bullets. Outside the room, the other guards hear the commotion and hit the alarm button just as the door explodes off its hinges and Wonder Woman breaks out! They fire on her as she races down the corridor but are so rattled their shots go astray. However, even though she has escaped, they know no one is going to miss seeing her in that costume and when Hercules finds out - she's finished!

But Wonder Woman also knows that she is less than inconspicuous and transforms into her Diana Prince attire as soon as she gets the opportunity. She races to her apartment, praying she can keep control of her berserker rage just long enough. A shadowy figure watches her go however and murmurs that her prayers may be answered and that although she is unaware, she is being tested - and she has not been found wanting.

Moments later, as the crowds continue to stare in disbelief at the vision of Mars looming over them, the Mayor is informed of Wonder Woman's escape. The Mayor pleads with Hercules to hunt her down and stop her because he is the only man who can do so. But Mars tells him that he is wrong, because what Hercules has done, he has done at his command. Mars then informs them that he can find and destroy Wonder Woman, but at a price!

Wonder Woman manages to control her beserker rage and vows to defeat Mars!The Mayor asks him to name it and Mars replies that he wants the whole world to know of his deed and that the TV cameras should record the event. They of course agree.

Mars gloats to himself that these foolish Earthmen will depict him as the world's protector and then the strength of their worship will flow into him, making him even more powerful! But first he must find the Amazon. He then scans the city and surrounding countryside for miles but can find no trace of his quarry.

Almost beneath his nose, Diana Prince makes her way back to her apartment intent on contacting her mother on Paradise Island using the mental radio in her room. She bumps into Lance who greets her cheerily. She tells him that she does not have time to stop and chat but he says that it will not take a minute as he needs her opinion on some photographs for his portfolio! As she tries to make her excuses, feeling the berserker rage boiling up inside her, Lance continues to twitter on. Finally she explodes and yells at him to get out of her apartment, herding him towards the door until finally throwing him out into the corridor!

She thanks Aphrodite that she did not kick him all the way down the stairs too and quickly changes into Wonder Woman. She attaches a cord from the mental radio onto her tiara but finds her transmission blocked by something. As she tries again she sees a vision of Mars form and he tells her that he has anticipated her plan and has thwarted her attempt to warn Paradise Island. Laughing, he then tells her that soon he will seek and destroy her and then all her Amazon Sisters too!

Her rage and frustration boils up inside her again and she raises her fist to smash the mental radio. But she manages to keep herself in check at the last minute. She realises that if she lets herself be controlled by the rage then she has already lost. Strength alone will not defeat Mars - she must use her wisdom.

She cries out to herself that she must rule her ego and be in control! She is her own woman. She decides what must be done and not her anger. She is Princess Diana, daughter of Hippolyta and she will persevere!

For the first time in millennia, an Amazon throws off her chains...chains all the more binding because they have always before been invisible! And on a rooftop overlooking Diana's apartment, a watching figure holding the Amazon's bracelets nods and smiles as though in triumph...

To be continued...

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