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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 289

Issue Number: 289
Published: March 1982
Cover Artists: Gene Colan, Dick Giordano
Writer: Roy Thomas
Pencils: Gene Colan
Inker: Romeo Tanghal
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Len Wein
Story Title: His Name is Psycho!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
Hippolyta Paula
Etta Candy Silver Swan
(Helen Alexandros)
Doctor Psycho
(Captain Wonder)
Colonel Steve Trevor Melvin Marva

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 289

Comments:

After the bumper sized issue last month, this issue sees the return of the "Huntress" back up feature.

Synopsis:

Wonder Woman attempts to use her lasso on the KrakenThe story opens somewhere over the ocean in the Bermuda Triangle, where Wonder Woman stands on the wing of her invisible plane preparing to use her lasso, while below a huge Kraken attacks a Russian Merchant vessel. Her robot plane has picked up the ship's distress signal as it became lost in the fog. Unwittingly the trawler men had ensnared the creature in their nets and are now paying the price!

As the Amazing Amazon manages to loop her golden rope around one of the massive tentacles, another grabs a terrified seaman off the deck. As she makes a move to rescue him she finds herself grabbed by the first tentacle, but is grateful that as she now has the creature's attention it has decided to drop the seaman back on the deck. She tries to use her lasso to command it to cease the attack and retreat but as she feared, the Kraken's so near brainless that it does not respond.

Meanwhile on the deck, two of the Russian seaman watch the Amazon Princess in action. One of them ridicules her for trying to lasso the beast like some 'American cow girl', but his comrade snaps back that she is a brave woman trying to save their lives!

As they continue to look on, she wrestles herself free of the tentacle and even though the creature is all but dumb, it senses nevertheless that it is not destined to dine upon any food today. It slithers back beneath the waves towards the dark depths as Wonder Woman pursues it underwater.

Although she is sure that the Kraken had been disturbed from its deep lair by the fishermen, she still wants to ensure that it does not bother any more trawlers for a long time. She grabs each one of its tentacles, thinking to herself that although she could easily hold her breath for twenty minutes or so while the two of them wrestled, she is on a tight schedule. As she ties the creature up in its own arms, she is thankful for the 'battle break' as it has temporarily helped keep her mind off Steve's condition as she travels back to Paradise Island.

Having finished her task, she swims back up to the surface and leaps up onto the trawler's deck. The seamen greet her and tell her that their government will thank her for saving them. She replies in fluent Russian that if they want to thank her they can cut down their trawling activities a little so that they and the Japanese leave a little sea food for the rest of the world. With that she bids them farewell and leaps up into her waiting plane. Of course, to the Russian seamen she simply vanishes into thin air!

Soon Wonder Woman is approaching her home on Paradise Island and after touching down, she swiftly finds her mother, Queen Hippolyta and Paula taking their Kangas for a ride along the beachSoon she is approaching her home on Paradise Island and after touching down, she swiftly finds her mother, Queen Hippolyta and Paula taking their Kangas for a ride along the beach. The queen senses her daughter's heavy heart and asks whether Steve has recovered yet? Diana replies that in fact he may now be dying! Hippolyta cannot believe her ears and asks what has happened? Diana tells her what the doctor said regarding how it seems as if Steve's soul is trying to escape from this world into another. Hippolyta eyes widen and she tells her to bring him here at once.

Diana hopes that Paula and her Purple Healing Ray can help him. Paula replies that he is forbidden to set foot on Paradise Island of course so she will need to take him directly to her laboratory on the nearby Science Island. Diana thanks them both and runs to her plane, not seeing the sad, knowing look in her mother's eyes...

A short time later she arrives over the Capital of the USA and as she leaps down to her apartment, she muses how it seems only a a few hours ago since the Silver Swan had given her a bruising in front of everybody. But she decides to worry about salving her wounded pride later. For some reason the Silver Swan wanted to show Wonder Woman up and it was odd too, how her beauty seemed to make men lose their common sense and treat her almost like the villainess.

She dives through the open window of her bedroom and soon transforms back into her Diana Prince guise. She steps out of her room and asks Etta whether she wants to accompany her to visit Steve in hospital. Helen is making cookies (which Etta is enjoying greatly) and asks whether Diana minds her coming along too. Although Diana does not refuse her request, as they all make their way out the door she still feels uneasy about Helen Alexandros and finds it strange the way she just showed up with the missing briefcase.

Soon they have arrived at the hospital but when Diana goes to the check in desk she is told that Doctor Prescott has released Steve into the care of a private doctor. The nurse tells the incredulous Air force Captain that Prescott had no choice as the papers were signed by some really top brass. Diana asks for the name of this private doctor and she is told it is "Psycho"! A combination of threats and cajoling eventually gets at least the address to which Steve was moved to and she asks Etta and Helen that if they do not mind, she would rather go there alone.

With that, Diana leaves and Etta and Helen hail a taxi home. As they make their way, Etta asks her new roomie if she fancies going to see a movie but Helen makes her apologies and says that she has a private errand that she has to run. She asks the cab to pull over and getting out says goodnight to Etta. The cab pulls away...

Meanwhile high above Virginia's rolling hills the invisible plane over flies a sinister looking hospital complex. Wonder Woman reconnoiters the area first as she has never heard of this mysterious Doctor Psycho before. She can only guess what evil purpose he wants to use Steve for...

At the same time inside the building, Doctor Psycho examines the unconscious Steve Trevor who is strapped to a table. Psycho orders his henchman, named Melvin, to activate the Ectoplasmotron, warning him to press all the buttons in sequence. The hunched form of Melvin leans over a nearby console and does as instructed. As he works, he asks his master why he had used his real name when checking Trevor out from the hospital, since it sounds like an alias and might arouse suspicions? Psycho replies that in fact his name was what a semiliterate immigration officer shortened his grandfather's Greek name to when he came to the USA years ago. Soon however, his name will be famous the world over and he will at last be as handsome as Colonel Trevor. As the machine begins to build power, he reflects upon the irony of the situation - he is about to use a man who likes his women to vent his own rage upon all women!

It all started back in 1951 when his diminutive stature and oversized head made him the butt of his peer group's jokes. The boys made the most of it true, but it was the girls who snickered and laughed behind their pouting lips and he grew to hate them for it. Even his brilliant career at medical school did not bring any sort of release from the pain he felt at their mockery - that is until her met Marva. In truth she did scream the first night they met, but she grew to truly like him, if only alas as a friend and not as a lover. But Psycho wanted more and he decided to use his mesmeric research to hypnotise her into loving him. He discovered that he had the unique ability to use Marva as a medium through which he could bring living substance out of the spirit world. His powers went far beyond that of most occultists and by manipulating particles of Ectoplasm which are the matter of the Spirit World, he was able to materialise a different human body and wear it like a cloak. But he could only draw upon that Ectoplasm through Marva.

They were wed but of course at times when Marva was not with him he reverted back to his original grotesque form. He began to hate Marva a little because he was so dependent on her for his self esteem. He wept when she eventually died in mysterious circumstances, for which he was cleared by a jury. He soon tried hypnotising other women but although he could trick them into finding him more attractive he never found another with such unique abilities as Marva. However, only a few hours ago that all changed when he sensed that someone not far away did possess the latent possibilities he had been searching for, although this time it turned out to be a man - Colonel Steve Trevor. It was then simple enough for Psycho to hypnotise the hospital personnel into believing he had proper discharge papers.>

As Psycho looks down upon Steve's lifeless form now, he thinks how unfortunate it is that for some unknown reason the man lies midway between life and death. In fact, this catatonic state may have something to do with his Ectoplasmic potential. It matters not though because in attempting to use him as a medium it may kill Steve anyway, but that is a risk Psycho is prepared to take. The machine will stir Steve's inner mind for a few seconds allowing Psycho to make himself look like Steve. But what is more, it will induce Steve to think of himself 'idealised' too.

As the machine at last reaches its crescendo Steve's eyes flicker open and he groggily asks for "Angel". Psycho tells him to remain quiet and look into his eyes. As Steve obeys, Ectoplasm forms begin to swirl up from his mind and Psycho tells Melvin he just need a few more seconds and then he will...

Psycho pummels Wonder Woman mecilessly!"Behind bars!" says a female voice behind him! He turns to see Wonder Woman smashing through the door trailing flailing men behind her. Her Amazon hearing has allowed her to hear the broad outlines of his plan while she has been taking care of his armed guards and she now races towards where Psycho stands. But the doctor uses the few vital seconds to draw Ectoplasm from Steve's mind both to create an idealised version of the Colonel and the meddling Amazon herself. He knows that he will soon take on the powers of both, becoming both handsome and invincible!

Wonder Woman punches Melvin away from the console but as she turns to take care of his master she sees instead the form of Steve wearing a stylised, male version of her own costume. She can still see Steve's unconscious body lying on the table and tries to fathom who this person is. Psycho smugly introduces himself as "Captain Wonder" and tells her that if his outlandish costume seems to resemble her own somewhat, it is because he drew it from Steve's mind. He also drew images of her power allowing him to do this. With that he punches her in the face sending her reeling. The force of the punch has all the power of one of hers, and then some! She guesses that Psycho's machine gives him the power Steve thinks she has and he naturally thinks she is stronger than she really is! She knows she must take Psycho down before either his machine kills Steve or else the strange ailment that effects him.

However, as she grapples mightily with "Captain Wonder" she quickly realises that if the fight continues for long, she will lose and just as swiftly she realises why. Every time she lands a blow on Psycho she instinctively pulls her own punches because somehow it is like she is hitting the real Steve. Her brain knows she is not but her heart thinks otherwise. This allows Psycho to pound her mercilessly, sending her flying into the brick wall. As he grabs her roughly by the back of the head and pile drives numerous blows into her face, he tells her that although he can appreciate her dilemma, his only decision is whether to use the advantage to kill her quickly or slowly!

As he next grabs her from behind attempting to strangle her, he tells her that when she dies, every woman in the world will fear him! She desperately tries to free herself and in a last gasp effort she tries to destroy the Ectoplasm machine, even though she is gambling on both hers and Steve's life. Using all her might she grabs a surprised Psycho and lifting him up she hurls him over the top of her head, sending him crashing into the console. It explodes in flames but the powerful Captain Wonder is only momentarily stunned. However, the effect on Steve is instant as he opens his eyes and calls to her. With his source of Ectoplasm gone, Psycho begins to transform back into his true self. Wonder Woman grabs him by the scruff of the neck and throws him across the room, telling him to "Go stand in the corner!".

She swiftly rushes over to Steve, grateful to see he is still alive although once more he seems to have withdrawn again. As she covers him in a blanket ready to carry him out though she gears a female's voice behind her, instructing her to stand away from him. She turns to see the Silver Swan bursting through the wall and replies that she does not have time for her insane grandstanding and that if she has come to make a name for herself, then she should help her take Steve to safety. But the beautiful blond has other ideas and replies that on the contrary, she has come here to kill both of them!

To be continued...

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