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In this issue we see the start of a new regular back up feature starring the Huntress, contained in 8 extra pages. Set in Earth Two, the real identity of this masked female crime fighter is a woman named Helena Wayne, daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, better known as Batman and Catwoman respectively.
In this world however, the two of them have perished at the hands of criminals leaving their daughter vowing to fight on in their name and carry on her father's on her father's dream to bring justice to Gotham City.
Portrayed sometimes as a grittier character than Batman, the Huntress had proved popular in some of the brief guest appearances she had made in Batman books and was finally given her own storylines within the covers of a flagging "Wonder Woman" title. DC hoped that the lure of these two female crime fighters, the iconic, peace loving Amazon, and the hardened, 'take no prisoners' approach of the Huntress would prove to be a winning combination in both keeping existing readers and attracting new ones.
Please note that as these stories do not feature Wonder Woman herself no synopses are provided.
The Amazons of Paradise Island look on in amazement as their princess rushes through the city, carrying what looks like a man in her arms! What is more, the man appears to be Steve Trevor, although they know this is impossible as he has already died - twice! Surely not even the God of the Underworld would be so cruel as to return him to life a third time?
Hippolyta watches on as her daughter races to the Temple of Athena to treat his wounds, still unable to believe it herself. She remembers the instant the injured colonel opened his eyes after having been rescued from his crashed jet by Diana. For a heartbeat only their eyes had met as he lay there dazed and he seemed to be seeing Diana for the first time.
The Queen of the Amazons cannot understand what manner of unkind jest Aphrodite must be playing. Only days before, the Goddess had answered her prayers and helped Diana's troubled mind by wiping all memories of her former lover. Now, as Hippolyta stands before the great statue of the Love Goddess in Aphrodite's Temple, she asks for an answer as to why the gods are playing games with the life of her daughter? But there is no immediate answer...
Halfway around the world as sunlight spills across Mount Fuji's eastern slope, a speeding bullet train makes its daily run between Tokyo and Kyoto. Ken Toshiba, the driver, works the controls of the train efficiently as he does every day. But today is no ordinary day and as a warning buzzer blares, Ken has only a few seconds to attempt to brake as another bullet train approaches at 180 mph on the same track. With a devastating screech of metal and exploding flames, the two trains collide!
Over the crackle and roar of the burning carriages and through the dense smoke, a saucer shaped flying object appears. But this is no alien vehicle. On board, the pilot addresses a monitor screen on his console, where the shadowy face of his master appears. The pilot reports that the operation has been accomplished successfully, referring to his master as "Holy One!". His master is pleased by the fact that not only have both trains been destroyed but that there remains no evidence of tampering. He orders his man to return to base to prepare for the next assignment which he is sure will be equally amusing!
It is late evening on Paradise Island and in the Temple of Athena a tense Diana operates an Amazon device known as the Purple Healing Ray. Light bathes the unconscious body of Steve Trevor, who is held aloft by a subtle gravitational displacement beam, thereby ensuring that he does not touch the sacred Island's soil.
Two of her Amazon sisters watch her ministrations from afar, concerned that their princess does not realise that she has met and loved this man before, only to lose him tragically. But can they be sure that this is the same man? Perhaps it could be a plot by one of Wonder Woman's enemies? Maybe Queen Hippolyta can find some answers at the Temple of Aphrodite...
Back inside Athena's Temple, Steve finally begins to open his eyes again. Diana looks down into his strong handsome face, wondering what it is about this mortal that intrigues her so? After all, he is just a man with all of Man's weaknesses. Steve's vision is blurred at first as he slowly comes to, but gradually shadows and shapes come into soft focus, forming features...a face...and waking, Steve smiles.
He tells Diana that he thought he had dreamt the moment when he had first laid eyes on her aboard the ship shortly after she rescued him from the ocean. He had been sure she was an angel. Instinctively, she takes his hand in hers, pressing it to her cheek. But then she draws back, shivering from an emotion she cannot name. Steve thanks her for saving his life as the two watching Amazons see their princess draw close to him once more...
Meanwhile in Aphrodite's Temple, a mother prays for her daughter. She asks the mighty statue before her who this man really is and why he has entered their lives? Where has he come from? Is he really Steve Trevor? How can he be? Why are the gods tormenting her and Diana so?
Suddenly, the statue stirs into life and the Goddess of Love speaks. The man is Steve Trevor...and yet he is not. This Steve is from a parallel world, different from our own but in subtle ways. On his world, he was an Air Force Test Pilot. An experimental flight went wrong and he crashed through the dimensional barriers. He is now stranded in this world and he cannot return. Even the gods do not know from which of the infinite other worlds he originated from.
Hippolyta listens, tears streaming down her face as Aphrodite informs her that on his own world, Steve never met Diana and that because her daughter no longer has any memory of her own Steve Trevor, it is like they are meeting for the first time.
The distraught queen asks why this is happening? Aphrodite replies that Steve and Diana must share a great destiny. Time and again, though Man has torn them apart, they have somehow found each other again. Dare they question such fateful devotion? Slowly, Hippolyta responds with a quiet "no" and realises what this means for her daughter - Diana must return to Man's world once more.
Aphrodite tells Hippolyta that she will make the path clear for them by again summoning the Mists of Neptune. This time, the magical vapour surrounds the entire world. Across the globe, every man, woman and child forget that Steve Trevor ever died and that Wonder Woman ever loved him. Now it will be like they are starting their life over. Wonder Woman will still remember her previous life in Man's world and her comrades in the Justice League, but she will be a woman renewed by her retreat to Paradise Island. With that, the statue falls silent once more...
There is panic in the offices of the Transatlantic Bank as workers rush into the chairman's office. Paperwork shows that they are bankrupt! Somehow, over the last three weeks every asset the bank owns has been liquidated and the proceeds converted to gold bullion. Now the bullion has disappeared. The bank appears to be finished.
Meanwhile, unnoticed in the ensuing general hysteria, one of the junior vice presidents slips out of the office. Once alone, he removes a communication device and speaks into it, confirming that the "Operation has been completed successfully Holy One". With the transfer of 10 billion dollars in gold to their secret Swiss bank account their remaining projects can continue as planned!
On Paradise Island in the Queen's Throne Room, Diana kneels before her mother. Hippolyta tells her daughter that there is still much amiss in Man's World and yet when Diana had returned, she had explained that she no longer felt sure there was a reason for the tragedies she witnessed every day there. Her words had puzzled the queen at first and she had assumed they were down to weariness and pain. However, Hippolyta knows her daughter well and she knows that Diana would never distort the truth unwittingly.
With that, two Amazons bring forth the Magic Sphere and together mother and daughter watch as the world's anger and aggression are displayed for all to see. Evil seems to be incarnate in the world and all of it cannot be mere happenstance. So much wickedness and madness must have a cause...a creator.
Diana is shocked by what her mother is intimating - that someone has secretly created all these crises on purpose. Hippolyta goes on to say that the Sphere confirms the fact, although some near mystic force prevents the Sphere from identifying the actual culprit. That task remains for her daughter to undertake.
Diana realises that the queen wants her to return to Man's World as Wonder Woman, and while she has never refused her mother anything before, she bluntly refuses to go back to the madness and hypocrisy of Man's World. With that, she leaves the room but as Hippolyta watches her go, the queen thinks to herself sadly that although she is sorry to do so, soon her daughter will have no other choice.
With morning comes the announcement of a great tournament where one Amazon will prove herself to be a worthy champion. The winner will earn the right and the duty to go forth into the world of Men. The Queen instructs her subjects that no one will be exempt from the games, for they are all threatened by the menace outside and that they must each strive for victory to the best of their ability. Diana stands with her Amazon sisters listening to their queen and thinks to herself that her mother is doing this deliberately. She knows that her daughter will be forced into competing as best she can, depending on her daughter's respect of the games to overcome her fears. But what exactly is it that she fears about Man's World - or could it be that she fears herself?
With a fanfare of trumpets, the games begin. Immediately Diana establishes herself as the leader and though there are many and varied challenges to her leadership throughout the day, she remains foremost in spite of herself. Eventually there remains only three Amazons left; Diana and two worthy opponents. The other two Amazons are almost as skilled as she in certain events but her strength and endurance win through until Diana stands alone!
Her Amazon sisters cheer their victorious Princess as she steps up to her mother's podium. Hippolyta tells Diana that her own noble heart has betrayed her. She is the best of them and only she may wear the sacred costume and walk among Men. Diana tells her mother that she is afraid. Hippolyta soothingly replies that Diana's fears are of ghosts and shadows but as long as she remains true to her Amazon Heritage, her fears will vanish with the dawn. She is destined to wear the costume and champion the Amazon cause - as Wonder Woman!
The next day Steve Trevor dons his flight suit once more, feeling like a new man. He also cannot get the Princess off his mind and it is almost like he has met her before. Just then Hippolyta enters the room and Steve says that he has been waiting to thank her and her people for their kindness. She replies that if he wishes to thank her he can do her one kindness. With tears in her eyes, she asks him not to hurt her daughter again - is that so much for a mother to ask? She turns and leaves quickly as Steve calls after her. What does she mean hurt her again? Hurt who? Could she have meant her daughter? If so, he would never hurt Diana for all the world!
Several minutes later in the fresh morning air, Diana, now in her Wonder Woman costume, secures Steve inside the invisible plane. He is a little wary of a plane he cannot actually see but she reassures him that it is the most dependable jet he will ever have flown in. He tells her that she seems pretty sure of herself and she replies that it has taken her time, and some pain, but she now understands herself and knows what she believes in. For the first time in many years she is sure of herself!
As the plane lifts off, Queen Hippolyta watches it sadly, bidding Diana good-bye once more and telling her daughter that she loves her.
On board the invisible plane, Wonder Woman turns to ask Steve where he would like to be dropped off but finds him fast asleep. She smiles and says that they will talk tomorrow instead. For tomorrow they will have all the time in the world...