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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 282

Issue Number: 282
Published: August 1981
Cover Artists: Rich Buckler, Dick Giordano
Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Jose Delbo
Inker: Dave Hunt
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Jerry Serpe
Editor: Len Wein
Story Title: Return and Redemption
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Etrigan The Demon
(Jason Blood)
Glenda
Randu Colonel Steve Trevor Etta Candy
Senator Abernathy Oscar Pound Klarion

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 282

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

In A Gotham apartment, Randu Singh has at last managed to conjure up an image of Wonder Woman and Etrigan who are still lost in the Netherworld.

Using the page from the ancient book of magic, he has been able to restore the link that was broken by the witch boy Klarion's intervention. As Glenda looks on with hope, the page suddenly bursts into flame and the images suddenly turn into flesh and blood!

But as Randu sings the praises of his gods they begin to fade again in some kind of whirlwind. Glenda bemoans the fact that they have lost them for good but Randu replies that on the contrary, they have now found them! However, for a little time they must lose them again. Just then he groans and collapses. She rushes over to the unconscious Indian, wondering what he had meant? After a few moments he comes round and she tells him not to give her frights like that again! He assures her that she will see Jason very soon...

To Steve's amazement Wonder Woman, carrying Etta Candy, steps out of the shimmering portal! Meanwhile outside the Georgetown apartment of Diana Prince and Etta Candy, Colonel Steve Trevor arrives in his car. As he gets out and walks towards the door he notices a strange energy flickering out of the corner of his eyes. He turns to see a tear appear in the fabric of the air itself and to his amazement Wonder Woman, carrying Etta Candy, steps out of the shimmering portal! The Amazon Princess pleads with the astounded Steve not to start asking questions. Gaping, he sarcastically replies that he had come here looking for two missing air force officers and instead finds one of them appearing out of nowhere in the arms of the woman he loves! How could he possibly have any questions!

Just then Etrigan follows though the energy portal and Wonder Woman turns, surprised that he has followed. He tells her that as he had guided her to the Netherworld in the first place it would be remiss of him not to accompany her out. Seeing this demon suddenly appear, Steve immediately draws his gun and tells Wonder Woman to stay back. But as Etrigan scurries behind Steve's car she tells him that Etrigan is a friend of sorts who had helped her rescue Etta from the clutches of another demon. She and Etta both owe their lives to him.

Steve, reholsters his gun and offers his hand to the demon in friendship. Etrigan begins to laugh at the gesture, asking what a powerful demon such as he would want with Steve's friendship? With that he fades away, still laughing. Steve does not move for a very long time, still unable to comprehend what is happening. At last he exhales a long held breath and turns to see that Wonder Woman has already gone inside with Etta.

He presses the door bell of the apartment and the door is answered by Diana Prince. She acts surprised and asks what he is doing here? He replies that she is supposed to be at work in the Pentagon and she responds that there has been some trouble with Etta. He says that he knows and asks where Wonder Woman is. Diana tells him that she has already gone after dropping off Etta, who is in pretty bad shape. She does not know where Etta has been all this time either.

They peer into Etta's bedroom where Diana's roommate is fast asleep. Steve asks whether they should get a doctor but Diana replies that Wonder Woman had already examined her and said she was fine, both physically and mentally, except for her amnesia. All she needs now is rest. Steve tells Diana sternly that he is not happy about all of this and wants a full report of Diana's whereabouts yesterday and today! He also wants it on his desk tomorrow morning.

As he storms out she cannot help thinking to herself what a soft-headed teddy bear he is and smiles. He glimpses her grin and wonders to himself what is so amusing?

Meanwhile in Gotham, a laughing Etrigan materialises in the apartment to the relief of Randu and Glenda. Randu tells> him they are glad he has returned and Etrigan replies that now he is back, he finds his existence is more enjoyable now. He does not wish to resume life as mere "Jason Blood"! Randu tells him that always he resists the inevitable. As a demon, he does not belong in this world. Glenda steps forward and begins to recite Merlin's spell "Vanish Vanish, Etrigan, return again in form of man!"

Etrigan protests, crouching down as the spell takes effect and before their eyes the demon changes back into the human Jason Blood once more. Jason thanks Glenda and hopes Etrigan was not too hard on her this time. She replies that each time he takes over it is harder to make him leave and she is concerned for Jason. He tells her that the demon is his true self, like him or not. He then says that he has no time to discuss it now and puts on his jacket ready to leave again. He says that some mystical force tried to kill him and Wonder Woman by snapping the psychic link between them and Randu. From what Wonder Woman had told him, he knows where to find that force...

Back in Georgetown, Diana makes her way downstairs to the apartment where Etta had been held. She has already discovered that the room was rented out by Oscar Pound and intends to get some answers. She opens the door and finds her landlord, Senator Abernathy, standing in the middle of the room solemnly. He tells her to come in as he has been expecting her.

As tears fall from his eyes, he says there is no way to say how sorry he is and he shudders when he thinks of what he has done. She asks him why they were set up as targets and he replies that they were convenient. He had been told to rent the upper floor apartment to a woman but he had never been told why. As she lays a comforting hand on the shoulder of the distraught senator, he continues that he owed Oscar Pound and the Delphi Foundation a favour from his days in the senate. Pound had once supplied him with highly classified military documents which Abernathy had then leaked to the press for his own political gain.

Diana realises that all roads lead to Oscar Pound and she decides to pay another visit to the Delphi Foundation. A few minutes later she is over flying the complex in her invisible plane as Wonder Woman. The last time she had been here, Pound's security guards had greeted her with weapons drawn. This time she will not give them the opportunity! She stealthily drops down into the compound unseen by the guards at the fences and makes her way to the building where Pound's office is located. She knows that even in a wheelchair Pound is a dangerous man and she cannot afford to make any mistakes this time.

Just then she hears rustling from some nearby bushes and orders the person to show themselves. Glenda steps out, pleased to see that it is Wonder Woman and not one of Pound's men. She tells the Amazon Princess that she is here for a mutual friend, Jason Blood. Apparently he has a debt to pay to someone he expected to find here. Glenda is worried about him as he has been gone inside almost twenty minutes.

Wonder Woman steps towards the entrance door telling Glenda to stay put in the bushes while she finds him. Suddenly though the door seemingly explodes off its hinges sending Wonder Woman flying backwards to the ground. As she turns to the doorway she sees something coming through and Oscar Pound introduces himself - except he is no longer a helpless man in a wheelchair but is instead a raging Minotaur! The Minotaur ploughs into Wonder Woman !

As he throws a powerful punch which she only just manages to roll out of the way of, he tells her that what she sees before her is a wicked joke. The demonic spell that was supposed to return the use of his legs had an amusing side effect. He can walk but as she can see, he is no longer a man! As he advances again she throws a kick which knocks him back into the rubble of the shattered doorway.

But he picks up a large block of stone and throws it at her, knocking her down again and pinning her beneath it. As he moves forward once more he continues that the witch boy Klarion had used him as bait to lure the demon Etrigan into his clutches in order to destroy him! Glenda, cowering in the bushes, hears his words and rushes off unseen in order to warn Jason.

Wonder Woman uses her strength to hurl the block off her and towards the charging Minotaur. The stone smashes to pieces on the lethal horns of the man-beast and he continues unabated. He tells her that although he has no quarrel with the Amazon Princess, Klarion has promised to return his humanity at a price - and that price is her life!

With that, he lowers his head and slams into Wonder Woman head first, causing the Amazon to cry out in agony. Pinned between the man-monsters horns, she has barely enough time to brace herself as she is carried upwards and back, only to crash against stone with an impact that might have shattered a lesser woman's spine! Only dimly is she aware that the beast too is pinioned, his horns embedded deep in the stone.

With all her might she strikes with the fury of an Amazon and clouts Pound unconscious. A moment passes as she gathers herself, taking inventory of her resources, physical, mental and emotional. She revels in one thought - she is still alive! Slowly she eases her self down between the horns and and frees herself. She sees her costume and skin has been torn from the fight but she knows her scars will heal - will Pound's heal she wonders?

She suddenly realises that Glenda has gone and an office light above catches her eye. She knows it must be Pound's office and she swiftly removes her lasso. She swings it onto the roof above and begins to scale up the wall. She debates trying a subtle approach but things have gone too far for that. She chooses surprise and smashes through the window into the office!

But the surprise is not all one sided and she finds Etrigan strangling Glenda, while Klarion sits in a chair watching with pleasure. The witch boy informs the Amazon Princess that they have reached the climax of his plot and he instructs his cat to "damage her". The harmless tabby suddenly transforms into a were-cat which proceeds to leap towards her, claws outstretched. But she casually swipes it to one side sending it plummeting out through the window!

With a final raging snarl, Etrigan goes berserk and lunges at KlarionAn enraged Klarion spits that she has hurt his cat, but she retorts that any cat that cannot survive a three storey fall is not worthy of the name! She orders him to stop playing games and free Etrigan and Glenda immediately. But he has not finished yet and in turn orders Etrigan to kill Wonder Woman! The demon advances, claws outstretched towards her throat, murmuring "Yes, Kill her...bleed her dry!".

But she stands her ground telling him to look into her eyes and see who she really is. He becomes confused and stops, the evil smile fading from his face as he recognises her as Wonder Woman - his friend. He is still for what seems a very long time as conflicting potentials war within him. Then his eyes shift to Glenda, the woman Jason Blood loves.

With a final raging snarl, he goes berserk and lunges at Klarion. His claws rip into the witch boy, tearing him apart as Wonder Woman races over with her lasso in order to stop the attack. She ensnares the demon in its coils, ordering him to stop the killing as he has already redeemed himself. She tells him not to throw it away on a worthless creature such as Klarion. As she peers down with trepidation at where Klarion lies, Etrigan tells her not to be afraid to look and for her to learn. She sees the witch boy has gone, nothing but a charred spot on the floor!

Etrigan says to her that one cannot kill beings such as he or Klarion. You can only vanquish them for a little while. With that he begins to recite Merlin's spell and before a smiling Wonder Woman, he transforms back into the mortal Jason Blood. He walks over to a sobbing Glenda, who is still distraught over the fact that Etrigan tried to kill her. Jason places a consoling hand on her shoulder and assures her it is over for now. They embrace and together they and Wonder Woman walk outside.

They see another charred spot on the ground where Klarion's cat had fallen. Leaning against a nearby wall they also see Oscar Pound now human once more, lying naked and helpless. Wonder Woman walks over to him as he curses the lies of Klarion. She tells him he should be happy that he is no longer a monster. He spits that he does not care about that because what use is it to be only half a man? He is a cripple again, unable to walk! It had all been for nothing...

As they leave Pound to his torment, Wonder Woman muses on the fact that everything Pound did - all the mortal compromises he made with his eternal soul - in the end bought him nothing but a brief nightmare. As guards rush over to where Pound lies, Jason Blood replies that he thinks she is wrong and that Pound's nightmare may only just be beginning...

The End

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