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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 278

Issue Number: 278
Published: April 1981
Cover Artists: Ross Andru, Dick Giordano
Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inker: Dave Hunt
Letterer: John Costanza
Colourist: Jerry Serpe
Editor: Len Wein
Story Title: The Serpent and the Amazon
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Kobra Colonel Steve Trevor
General Darnell Muhammad Sufari  

Cover of Wonder Woman  Issue 278

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

Wonder Woman fights for her life!Wonder Woman finds herself under attack by the deadly cobras in the pit and has to fend their bite off with her bracelets. She knows she must twist and dodge with all her skill and try to somehow go from defense to offense.

Kobra watches with satisfaction, saying that if she lets his beauties gift her with their kiss, he will ensure she has a swift and honourable burial. But the Amazing Amazon is not prepared to give up the fight just yet and throws two of the attacking snakes at Kobra himself.

Although her tactic was only meant to distract him, Wonder Woman watches in horror as the serpents bite the struggling Kobra, killing him! But just then she hears a voice from above and sees the real Kobra watching from a platform overhead. He tells her he would never dream of soiling himself by entering her presence and joining her on her level. She had, in reality, merely disposed of an unlucky servant of his, posing as Kobra.

He then orders his men to open fire on Wonder Woman using their venom darts but she leaps from the pit and up onto the platform before they can find their target. Kobra realises he may have underestimated his opponent and summons a giant king Kobra to attack her. She knows it can tear her in two if given the chance and she makes sure that she strikes first, punching it and smashing its head off to reveal it to be nothing more than a robot.

However, Kobra uses the opportunity to flee down a tunnel and Wonder Woman races after him. She reaches an intersection with several doorways and realises that she will never be able to find which one he entered before he can make good his escape. She ponders to herself why, if this is his main hideout, would he flee at all? She reaches the main temple and finds it empty. Both Kobra and his followers have gone, meaning this is not the primary lair after all as she had feared.

She makes her way through the passageways of the temple, looking for any clues as to their whereabouts and spies an odd seam in one of the serpent designs on the wall. She pushes it to reveal a door. Inside she finds a special sanctum with torches and an altar with a scaled down model of the pyramids and a snake curled around one of them...

An hour later in at the Pentagon in Washington DC, Steve Trevor is briefing Captain Diana Prince on the Kobra's ransom demand. She asks him why Kobra wishes to plunge the world into chaos and he replies that at times of crisis, people are susceptible to the lure of strong leaders. Kobra wants to create such a situation for his own ends. Just then a technician reports that one of their satellites has picked up a new source of radioactivity located in Egypt. As Steve surveys the readings on the monitor, Diana feels a hand on her shoulder and turns to see General Darnell, who continues to seem infatuated with her.

He tells her that if the Kobra carries through his threats, the world will become a different, more frightening place. He and Diana should be together as he could not bear to think of anything happening to her during the crisis. As he stumbles on his words, she suggests they talk about it later when they are both off duty.

Thankful to get away, she races after Steve who is about to board a waiting helicopter. He tells her that he is on his way to Egypt and that if she sees Wonder Woman, to tell her that he loves her. Once the chopper has lifted off though, she dives into a storage room nearby and transforms into her alter ego. She leaps aboard her waiting robot plane and speeds eastwards towards the land of the Pharaohs.

Wonder Woman is taken into a massive hanger where the huge missile waits on its launch pad Four hours later, Colonel Trevor and Egyptian Captain Muhammad Sufari are making their way by jeep along the banks of the Nile. Sufari points ahead of them and Steve sees they are approaching the Great Pyramid of Cheops. They come to a stop at the base of the structure and climb out. Steve holds a Geiger counter in his hand which indicates that the stolen Cobalt 93 is secreted somewhere inside. That also means that Kobra is here too and is preparing to fire his missile in just under thirty minutes time.

As the two men begin to climb up the sides of the Pyramid, Steve explains that if they cannot disarm the warhead, then the Egyptian Army, who have sealed off the surrounding area, will have to level the Pyramids. Steve then discovers a loose stone and pushing it in reveals a freshly carved corridor and a blast of air conditioned air. They drops down inside...

Meanwhile Wonder Woman has arrived at the parked jeep and feels the bonnet. The engine is still warm meaning that they cannot be too far ahead. As she looks on at the Pyramids in front of her, she flashes back to the model in the Kobra's New Delhi Temple. This has to be the primary lair for the Serpent king.

She runs to an entranceway at ground level and is confronted by three of Kobra's men. They grab her arms and tell her that their instruments had detected the arrival of her jeep and they had waited for her curiosity to draw her inside. Judging by their accents, she can tell they are not Americans and do not recognise her, hence why they believe she had arrived in the jeep. Steve must have managed to slip inside undetected and she therefore decides to play along for now, allowing herself to be escorted inside.

They take her into a massive hanger where the huge missile waits on its launch pad and Wonder Woman spies the Cobalt bomb on top. She is led to the far end where she is presented to Kobra. He congratulates his men on managing to drug her with their venom darts and they try to explain to their master that they have not. But Kobra does not allow them to finish and instead tells the Amazon that she will be able to witness the final hour of the civilisation she has sworn to protect. The countdown has begun and no answer to his ultimatum has been received from the United Nations. Thus, in less than fifty-two seconds the old world will die and a new one will be born!

Wonder Woman fights off Kobra!As he continues to rant, Steve Trevor is lowered by Sufari unseen onto the top of the missile. He climbs inside the nose cone and rips out wires from the guidance control unit...

Back on the ground, Kobra orders his men to take Wonder Woman to the blast pit for a 'closer view' of the launch. Suddenly the Amazon Princess explodes into action and throws her three captors over her shoulder. But as she leaps towards a surprised Kobra, he manages to hit the ignition button just before she makes contact with her fists. Kobra is sent flying as a thunderous roar fills the chamber. Above, Sufari dives out of the way as the missile, with Trevor still inside, glides into the air.

As internal explosions begin to rock the place, Kobra squares up to Wonder Woman. He leaps at her, sending her tumbling backwards to the ground. As he attempts to strangle her, he continues to rave about the dawning of his brave new world and how he is the next messiah. She uses all her strength to throw him over the top of herself with a kick of her legs. As he attempts to get to his feet, rubble begins to fall around them and she yells at him that the launch must have destabilized the Pyramid. She demands to know where the self destruct button for the missile can be found, but he replies that there is none.

As he prepares to advance on her again though, huge blocks of stone tumble from the roof above and as Wonder Woman dives out of the way, Kobra is seemingly buried under the pile of rubble. Together with the fleeing cultists, Wonder Woman races to the exit and as they spill out onto the desert the Pyramid explodes into fragments behind them.

She turns in horror, crying out to Steve but she only sees the figure of Sufari stagger towards her through the settling dust. He tells her that Steve is onboard the missile and her eyes widen in shock...

Many miles away in the Arabian Sea, Colonel Steve Trevor sits on the floating missile. Having disarmed the warhead, he had managed to redirect it for an ocean splashdown. Now all he has to do is wait until someone finds him out here! As if in answer, Wonder Woman swoops down in her invisible jet and picks him up. He thanks her and says that this is another one he owes her. He offers dinner at his place and she smiles and accepts the invitation from her "one, true love!".

The End

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