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There is a continuity error in this issue, as Wonder Woman refers to the Professor as having been trapped in the cavern for ten years, when in the previous issue he had explained how he had been there for just over a year.
Wonder Woman stares at the six armed reptilian creatures in amazement and clarifies what Lute had just said - that it was these creatures who had been responsible for the death of his film crew. He confirms the fact and says that they now intend to do the same to them.
But the Amazon Princess has other ideas and she rushes forward to attack the advancing creatures. She lays into the reptile men sending two of them flying. As two more move in on her she leaps up and clouts them with her boots. Professor Lute warns her she is in danger and that she has not defeated these creatures at all - they are simply testing her. He cautions her that they need to know how strong she is and how much pain she can survive. She demands to know what he is talking about and he quickly explains that their weapons require careful calibration before they can be used on a human nervous system. Now they know what she is capable of and how strong she really is they will use a higher setting than the regular human setting - which could kill even her.
However, his warning has come too late for the Amazon and before she can react, the remaining reptile men open fire on her. Blue fire tears a savage hole in the dark cavern air and as Wonder Woman is suffused in the deadly energy she screams in agony, but only for an instant before she falls to the ground!
When the Amazon eventually comes to she finds herself in a darkened room inside a strange stone structure. Professor Lute enters with a tray of food and offers some to her. As she groggily gets to her feet she holds her head and exclaims "Oh, Merciful Minerva...the pain!". He assures her everything is all right now and that the ordeal is over. The main thing is that she has survived. As she slowly regains her senses she replies that she feels fine now and that just for a moment she had remembered the attack. He responds that the greatest weapon the creatures possess is the victim's memory of what their weapons can do.
She asks the professor who these reptile men really are and he explains that they are actually aliens who crash landed on Earth two hundred years ago. The crash was witnessed by a nearby tribe of Indians who thought it was a shooting star. In reality however, it was a survey ship piloted by a race of beings studying this sector of the galaxy's spiral arm. After the crash, they realised their craft was ruined beyond repair and they panicked. Some fled the ship, splashing into a subterranean lake which proved to be their downfall. Radiation had leaked from the damaged vessel, as it still does to this day, polluting the lake. It instantly had a bizarre effect on the survivors and they regressed to their primitive origins. Just as Man might devolve into an ape, these descendants of early reptilian life de-evolved to their beginnings and became dinosaurs!
Only six reptilians remained unaffected and proceeded to transform the barren cavern into a tropical jungle to provide a proper environment for their unlucky colleagues. As the years passed, they ensured that any Indians who ventured too close were frightened away and later, when our technology had created airplanes they used their weapons to shoot down any planes which dared to fly overhead. Thus they have remained safe and hidden for two hundred years and no one will ever find them. When Lute and his crew stumbled upon the cavern the creatures killed everyone except the Professor, who to this day does not know why he was spared, thus protecting their secret.
Having heard his tale, Wonder Woman decides she has to find Jansen and steps out into the corridor. She asks Lute if he has any idea where Jansen might be being held, but the Professor asks her whether she has listened to a word he has just said and that their situation is hopeless. She calmly replies it is desperate perhaps - but never hopeless. He reminds her that the creatures easily defeated her but she responds that was only because they took her unawares. As she watches a guard walk down the corridor towards them she whispers that this time the element of surprise is hers.
She stealthily removes her lasso from her belt and ensnares the surprised creature, pulling him towards her before delivering a powerful punch which sends him crashing to the floor. The Professor panics, saying the creatures will never forgive her for attacking one of their own. With her lasso still around the reptile man, she responds that her golden rope will force the reptile to obey her commands but instead the creature quickly removes the magic lasso and leaps up to attack her. She manages to hurl him over her shoulder and sends him crashing into the wall head first.
However, the blow to his skull does nothing to stop him and he removes his weapon, setting it to maximum, more than enough to fry her brains. Realising she has to do something fast, she leaps forward and for what seems like forever, Lute watches as the two combatants struggle in silence as Wonder Woman tries to prevent him from firing at her. She manages to turn the weapon so that it is pointing at the creature's head instead and it goes off, killing him.
Swiftly, she passes the weapon to Lute and as they race off down the corridor she asks him to show her where Jansen is being held. After five minutes of following a torturous path through the heart of the stone structure they at last arrive at a balcony overlooking a large laboratory. Below she sees Jansen lying on a table where two creatures are positioning a large piece of equipment over him. Lute whispers to her that from time to time they capture unwary hunters or campers and use machines to probe their minds although he has never understood why. She responds that the carvings on the walls around them may provide an answer but proving her theory will have to wait until later. She then removes her lasso and loops it around the device before swinging down into the chamber.
The creatures each take a red boot in the face, stunning them and allowing Lute to blast them with his weapon. Lute cannot believe they are actually winning out against the creatures and the Amazon Princess replies that it is amazing what a little determination can achieve.
She quickly gathers Jansen up in her arms and they make their way towards the exit. Moments later they emerge from the building to find themselves in a clearing where the shuttle sits. Three creatures are working on the ship and Wonder Woman whispers to the Professor that this confirms her suspicions. She goes on to say that she had been wondering why reptilians who had preferred to remain hidden all this time would want to use their technology to steal a space shuttle? Why else but to learn how far humans had progressed scientifically. The reptilians have been stranded here since the late 1700's and have been unable to leave Earth without the aid of space technology. In order to obtain the means to depart this planet they needed to improve Man's own technology and industrial capacity.
Amazed, Lute begins to see what Wonder Woman is suggesting and asks her if she is saying that the reptilians probed the minds of captured humans to discover how to influence their thinking? This would mean that the great inventions of the past two hundred years may have all been inspired by the creatures and that Man has just been a puppet all these years! She responds that she does not want to believe it is true and that humans showed genius before the reptiles came along and will continue to show creativity long after they have departed. And speaking of departure, it is time they left this place too!!
She then summons her invisible plane but as the craft swoops down to where they are concealed, one of the reptiles perceives them in his vision. They race after the humans, opening fire with their deadly weapons. Wonder Woman instructs Lute to go on ahead and get on board with Jansen while she holds them off. She moves quickly to ensnare the three reptiles in her lasso before using all her strength to flip them into the nearby lake before they can get free.
The radiation is still just as potent as it was when the creatures first crash landed and they are reverted back to their primitive selves just like their colleagues were before them. As the robot plane departs the hidden cavern and they look down on the dinosaurs thrashing about in the water below, Professor Lute says that the University will never believe his story!
Wonder Woman responds that 'never' is too long a time and that humanity is still very young in the universe. "There's still so very much we don't know...but we'll learn. Yes..we'll learn".
|Back Up Story Synopsis:|
Wonder Girl drops down into a dark cellar but before she can react she is clouted unconscious over the head.
When she comes to she finds herself bound with her own lasso and surrounded by guards. Wonder Girl demands to see the villain called Perfection and a beautiful blonde woman who she recognises as Mr. Jupiter's secretary steps forward! Perfection explains that the whole ruse was a trap to capture her and Wonder Girl asks why?
Perfection replies that her goal is to make herself and the whole world absolutely perfect. That is the only way to end all evils, crime, war and ugliness! One race has come closer to that goal than any other - the Amazons! Perfection tells Wonder Girl that she is determined to learn the secrets of their powers and their eternal youth. She had decided that Wonder Girl would be an easier target than Wonder Woman would have been.
But as Perfection gloats that now she has the young Amazon wrapped in her own lasso and that she is helpless and has to tell her everything, Wonder Girl snaps the rope and launches herself towards a shocked Perfection, who cannot understand how she has managed to break the magic lasso.
Wonder Girl reveals that it was not really her lasso at all and that she had been wearing a fake, knowing Perfection would think it was the real one. One of the guards pulls a gun and opens fire but Wonder Girl deftly deflects the bullets with her bracelets. She then kicks the guard and quickly disposes with the rest before turning her attention to the fleeing Perfection.
Wonder Girl unwraps her belt, revealing it to be the real lasso and captures the blonde villainess. With her free hand she rips the cell door off its hinges and frees Mr. Jupiter too.
Later, when the entire gang are under lock and key and Donna and Mr. Jupiter are back at his apartment, the young Amazon tells him that Perfection's plot was a clever one except she had not realised that Donna Troy and Wonder Girl were one and the same person. She had wanted the hidden message to go to someone who could contact Wonder Girl and Mr. Jupiter had told Perfection that Donna Troy could do it.
He goes on to add that he had figured that sending a message asking her to get in contact with herself would fuel her suspicions which it did! Everything had indicated a trap, hence the reason why Wonder Girl had gone to the castle prepared. Mr. Jupiter tells her that he had spotted the fact that her lasso was fake but had not said anything.
Smiling, she says that it is a shame that Perfection was not as perfect on the inside as she was on the outside!