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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 262

Issue Number: 262
Published: December 1979
Cover Artists: Dick Giordano
Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inker: Ric Estrada
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Jerry Serpe
Editor: Ross Andru
Story Title: The Bushmaster Strikes Twice
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Bushmaster The Prime Planner
Lance Gardner Todd  

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 262

Comments:

This issue continues the storyline first seen in issue 255 where Wonder Woman confronted an assassin known as the Bushmaster.

Synopsis:

After the large scale events of the last few issues, Wonder Woman finds herself confronting three normal, everyday, would be muggers during her evening patrol, who are trying to attack two old age pensioners walking along the river promenade.

Finding themselves bound in her magic lasso, the three petty thugs begin to bicker amongst themselves over whose fault it is. Wonder Woman orders them to stay silent before they incense her to use violence. She then checks on the old couple, asking whether they are all right? The old man who is struggling to get up from the floor asks her to let the muggers go, saying "kids'll be kids". She replies that she had seen these 'kids' beating him and trying to rob them both and yet now he wants her to let them go?

Wonder Woman asks the terrified muggers whether they have learnt their lesson!Just then one of the thugs interrupts, asking whether she is 'deaf or something' and that the old man is right. He knows it is not safe for a 'coot like him' to make trouble for under age guys like them. The old woman tells the bemused Amazon that he is right and that the young men will simply be released by the courts and come looking for her and her husband again.

Realising the old couple are obviously scared, she suddenly leaps over the fence, seemingly into the water, dragging the unwilling muggers with her. But in reality she is merely jumping aboard her invisible jet. As the three young men wonder why they are suddenly apparently floating in mid air and climbing high into the sky, Wonder Woman informs them that if they think their position is precarious now, imagine what it will feel like when they dive!

With that she orders her plane to do just that and still bound in her lasso, the three muggers cry out in terror as the ground rushes towards them. At the last minute the plane pulls out of the dive and climbs steeply back up into the sky, heading towards a nearby bridge. As the men stare at the oncoming pylons, completely petrified, she again pulls up at the last minute.

She asks them whether she has made her point yet and they gratefully tell her they will never go near the old people again and plead with her to let them down. Moments later she drops them back on the promenade and watches as the now reformed muggers offer to escort the old couple home, assuring them that nobody will mess with them while the young men are around to protect them. The Amazon Princess doubts they are very sincere but at least they will not bother the old couple again and maybe they will think twice before molesting someone else in the future.

As she returns to her apartment, she muses that she will never understand Man's World. As she arrives at her building at Greenwich Village, she leaps out and rides the air currents through her open window into her room. Once inside she uses her lasso to change into Diana Prince and ponders whether she changes more than just her clothes when she spins her lasso. It seems lately, when she becomes Diana Prince, she feels so tired. But she is surely being silly because no matter how she dresses she is still the same person...isn't she?

Just then she hears the doorbell and opens the door, exclaiming "You!" when she sees who it is....

Meanwhile, many miles away in the heart of a sunlit veldt, a pride of lions bursts from cover and pursues a frightened antelope. As the chase continues, a strange flying craft swoops low and the villain known as the Bushmaster leaps out. He confronts one of the lions, brandishing a spear and a net. As the huge cat springs at him he catches it in his net. The other lion moves to attack and the Bushmaster throws his Knobkerry (an ancient club like African weapon) at the beast. But although stunned, the lion continues forward and Bushmaster uses an eyepiece he is wearing to fire an energy blast, knocking the mighty creature out!

A voice booms form the hovering vehicle above, saying that if the Bushmaster has finished with his little demonstration, the Prime Planner would like to speak with him now. A pleased Bushmaster climbs back onboard and replies that in that case they must agree that his decision to abandon his mostly technological costume was a wise move. The man inside the craft responds that they do indeed admit that his new weapons are far better than the ones he used to battle Wonder Woman.

They then turn to a monitor screen where the piercing eyes of the Prime Planner can be seen. He announces that the board has decided to eliminate Wonder Woman because of her interference in their previous operation. The Bushmaster asks for the assignment and the Prime Planner agrees, going on to explain his plan...

Diana finds herself drawn to Lance...Back in New York, a rooftop party is in progress at Diana's Building. It had been Lance, her next door neighbour, who had called for her and now leads her into the thick of the crowd. She had completely forgotten about being invited to the party by Lance and is glad for the chance to relax for a change.

Lance asks her to come and meet his roommate Todd, although she quietly thinks to herself that this Todd is probably not her type! She muses to herself that there is probably no one in the world that she would be interested in, especially after her luck with Mike Bailey and the fact that she still misses Steve Trevor more than ever.

Just the she hears Todd greet her and she turns to see a handsome young man smiling at her. He continues that Lance seems to think that she is a perfect match for him. He offers to buy her a drink and talk about it some more, which a delighted Diana eagerly accepts!

The next few hours are uneventful ones for the city of New York until shortly after midnight, when the Bushmaster's flying vehicle screams across the sky above the United Nations Plaza. It drops a gigantic net of super-thin titanium fibre over the entire Building like a shroud. Rocket powered restraining pins smash into the building, ensuring that all inside are completely sealed off!

With a roar of jets the craft touches down on the roof and Bushmaster steps out brandishing a loud speaker. He bellows down to the street below, announcing that no one will enter or leave the UN Building without his permission - and he will only give that permission to Wonder Woman! She must meet him here in one hour or else the net will begin to contract, crushing everyone inside!

Meanwhile, a number of blocks downtown, Diana and Todd are alone on a secluded area of the rooftop. She tells him that it seems like they have been talking for hours and he responds that he has never ever talked with anyone the way he has done with her tonight. He tells her that there is something different about her, almost as if she is 'special'. He goes on to say she is magnetic and he has never responded to anyone this way before. As he struggles to find the words she reaches forward and kisses him passionately on the lips! After a few moments she pulls away, apologising for her actions and telling him that although she too feels drawn towards him, it is not the right time in her life. She still has too many memories and doubts. With that she walks away leaving Todd to brood over what has just occurred.

She returns to the party and catches a news report on the TV about the events at the UN. As Lance asks her whether things had worked out or not between her and Todd she is gone in an instant! Seconds later she is in her Wonder Woman costume and is boarding her plane away from view. She is thankful for the chance to get away from the party, more sure than ever that she has little in common with the people of Man's World. More and more she longs for the serenity of Paradise Island and yet she fears she is doomed to a life of strife! But if that is to be her destiny, then she knows she must accept it and pray that Athena will give her the strength to prevail.

Bushmaster throws the deadly club and strikes Wonder Woman down!Moments later she has arrived at the roof of the UN Building and drops down to confront the Bushmaster. He welcomes her and says that he will make their struggle brief. She replies that when she heard that the UN was under attack she guessed it might be him. He realises that she has not heard of his ultimatum to her and tells her that the lives of everyone in the building are in her hands. If she defeats him, the net will automatically crush them all!

With that he lunges at her with a spear and she thinks him crazy for using such a primitive weapon, which she can easily fend off with a flick of her bracelets. But as the spear makes contact an electrical discharge pours into her arm, knocking her to the ground. She tells him that she had wondered whether his methods had changed since their previous encounter, but she can see he is as deadly and as treacherous as ever. He leaps towards her but she uses her feet to send him sailing over her and into the side of his craft.

However, the electric shock has numbed her wrist making her left hand useless and she knows she must keep that fact from her opponent. Meanwhile he has already recovered and informs her that he has been trained from birth to be one of the world's five greatest assassins. She cannot beat him even with her super strength and her magic lasso!

As she advances on him with the golden rope he continues to say that strength is nothing when matched against guile and cunning. With that he grabs her lasso as she attempts to capture him, yanking her off her feet and sending her tumbling to the ground. She knows that he would not normally have been able to do that had she had the use of both her hands. She in turn uses the lasso to pull him closer, hoping to get a knockout punch in. As he stumbles, he realises he may have underestimated her again and throws his Knobkerry at her. As it flies towards her, Wonder Woman's limbs suddenly become sluggish and she finds she cannot dodge aside in time. The club strikes her on the head with a loud crack!

As Bushmaster looks down at the lifeless Amazon, he gloats that his Knobkerry had projected sonic waves from a device in its head and that in ancient times, it probably would have been called magic! But as he reaches down to retrieve the weapon he suddenly finds his hand in her vice like grip and she responds that while he may call it magic, she calls it underhand trickery - and unfortunately for him it did not work! With that she clouts him unconscious with her other hand!

At that moment she hears the sound of the net beneath her feet as it begins to contract and she quickly throws her fallen opponent into her waiting plane. She then jumps onto the wing and throws her lasso so that it loops around one of the fibers. She then orders her craft to pull away, dragging the massive net off the UN Building to the approving roar of the watching crowds down below.

With the crisis seemingly over, the Amazon Princess sighs and prepares to question her prisoner...

To be continued...

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