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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 295

Issue Number: 295
Published: September 1982
Cover Artists: Rich Buckler, Frank Giacoia
Writer: Dan Mishkin (Plot by Roy Thomas)
Pencils: Gene Colan
Inker: Romeo Tanghal
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Marv Wolfman
Story Title: Video Mania!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
General Electric General Darnell
Warden Haskell White Colonel Steve Trevor Etta Candy

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 295

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

At a shopping mall in Washington DC, Air Force Captain Diana Prince makes her way through the crowds. While her thoughts are still on "Captain Video", she as yet has no clue where to start looking further into the problem.

She has a spare hour before she is due at the Pentagon and decides to exchange a dress that Etta had bought for her birthday. While she was touched by the thoughtfulness of the gift, her flatmate's tastes are somewhat different to her own!

Wonder Woman holds up the collapsing walkway!She explains her 'polka-dot' predicament to the shop assistant who replies that she is happy for the business. The mall may be jam packed today but she has only seen six customers all morning. Diana says that she noticed a big crowd on the upper level and asks what is going on. Overhearing her question, another customer responds that the toy store has just had a shipment of "Commander Video" games and it is pandemonium up there. On hearing this, Diana rushes into the nearest changing room and within seconds emerges again in her Wonder Woman costume.

She races out of the store and heads towards the escalator where she finds crowds of people trying to make their way up. Two security guards and the mall manager block their way. The manager addresses them using a loud hailer, advising that the upper level is already dangerously overcrowded and that they cannot be allowed up. But the crowd gets ugly and demands to be allowed access to the "Commander Video" games on sale upstairs.

The manager replies that the games have already completely sold out but the angry shoppers do not believe him and begin to surge forward. One of the shoppers manages to remove a gun from the holster of one of the guards and brandishes it. Wonder Woman orders him to stop but the armed shopper turns and fires at her. As she uses her bracelets to protect herself she realises that the crowd has become deranged and trying to reason with them is futile. She therefore swiftly removes her lasso and encircles them with it, ordering them to cease and desist. But as the shoppers become quiet and still she hears a crack from above and sees that the walkway is beginning to give way under the weight of all the people on it. She quickly retrieves her lasso and leaps up to hold the tons of buckling concrete in place as the panicking shoppers flee to safety.

Shortly afterwards, when the police have arrived on the scene to bring the situation under control again, Wonder Woman leaps onboard her waiting invisible plane and makes her departure, which is captured on film by a TV camera crew who have just arrived on the scene and broadcast it live throughout the city. The TV footage is watched with interest by a shadowy figure residing in a cell within the Maximum Security Federal Prison just outside Washington. On seeing Wonder Woman, the prisoner calls for one of the prison guards and asks to speak with the warden. He instructs the guard to escort him and the officer dutifully obeys. As they make their way to the warden's office, the prisoner thinks to himself that he has not worked so hard only to have the Amazon foil his scheme.

Wonder Woman dashes into General Darnell's officeHe purposefully enters the office and crossing his arms, confronts the warden, telling him that Wonder Woman must die! The warden responds " as you command general!" as he looks impassively at the small man, whose head is revealed as having a glass dome on top containing an electronic brain. The voice of the warden lacks the authoritative timbre that made warden Haskell White so respected among his peers. His eyes once steel hard and piercing stare out unfixed and glazed. He now has no desire but to listen to his master whose name is General Electric.

General Electric recalls how his designs were once thwarted before by a costumed meddler called the Sandman, who thought he had killed Electric when the dome of his electronic brain was destroyed. But by the sheer effort of his indomitable will, he kept his brain alive as it repaired and rebuilt itself. He had then been taken to the prison where the authorities had made the fatal mistake of thinking they could rehabilitate him by having him teach electrical engineering. Instead, he used the opportunity to create the "Commander Video" game in the prison workshop. Ironically, the warden had been the first to break its top score and fall completely under his control. Now, using him and the others who have become brainwashed by the game, he intends to form a legion of strategically placed individuals to carry out his plans by mental remote control.

However, Wonder Woman has interfered with his plans on two occasions now. In truth though, the first time she had actually done General Electric a favour by stopping the Blockbuster, who he had ordered to gather missiles from the arsenal but had instead become unstable and had begun destroying them. Nevertheless, while the Amazon lives she poses a threat.

Just then his brain registers the fact that someone else has just achieved the high score. Turning to a nearby monitor he sees his latest recruit appear on the screen - General Darnell! Congratulating him on his achievement and welcoming him to their ranks, General Electric begins to give him his new orders...

Not long afterwards at the Pentagon, Wonder Woman makes her way through the corridors. She has decided that if Diana Prince tries to explain the dangers of the "Commander Video" game to Steve and General Darnell then they will not believe her, but hearing it from the Amazon Princess is another matter. As she enters Steve's office though she sees him playing a game. Swiftly she smashes the console with her fist and rushes out of the office leaving a bemused Steve to wonder what is going on. She dashes to General Darnell's office, certain that as he had given her a "Commander Video" game a few days ago as a present he may be more deeply involved. Her fears are confirmed as she bursts into his office to find him on the telephone, ordering bombers and their nuclear payload to be transported to the Alerton Federal Penitentiary. Realising he is clearly under the control of the game, she loops her golden lariat around him to force him to countermand his order. But it has no effect on him and he turns and fires at her. Deflecting the bullets, she makes a grab for him but as the General momentarily breaks away he smashes his head against a filing cabinet.

As Wonder Woman touches down she confronts the force of soldiers and tanks that is making its way to the prisonHearing the commotion, Steve and Etta race in to find Wonder Woman attending to the dazed General as he lays on the floor. Darnell quickly clears his senses and yells that she has gone mad and has attacked him. Nearby Military Police unholster their weapons and rush to the scene. Not wanting to have to fight innocent men she crashes out of the window and grabs the rope hanging beneath her waiting robot plane. As Etta and Steve help the enraged Darnell to his feet he bellows that he wants "that traitor stopped!" and that he does not care whether she is taken dead or alive! Steve and Etta's hearts sink...

The Amazon Princess streaks through the skies in her craft towards the Federal Prison, wondering why the world has suddenly gone quite mad. As she touches down she confronts the force of soldiers and tanks that is making its way to the prison. She tries to reason with the colonel in charge but she sees his glazed eyes as he orders his troops to open fire on her. Tank shells whistle past the beautiful Amazon as she dodges the oncoming fire. While she is confident that she can probably keep this up all day, it will not help her get any closer to the mastermind behind all of this. She therefore leaps at the nearest tank and bends the turret into useless twisted metal.

But no sooner has she put the tank out of commission then she is strafed from above by a diving fighter jet! She has to move fast to avoid being peppered with bullets and makes it to her own plane. She jumps onboard as her craft takes off towards the fighter. The odds are now a little more in her favour as the mental command she has over her own plane gives her more maneuverability, although not fire power!

As if to confirm this latter fact, the fighter launches a heat seeking missile equipped with a nuclear warhead at her plane. She uses her piloting skills to avoid the deadly projectile but she knows she cannot evade it forever as it loops back for another run at her. She is more concerned however that it will detonate someplace where it could kill many innocent people below. Like the true Wonder Woman she is, she decides that she must be the one to take the hit, but not until she has led the missile away from populated areas.

She therefore leads it away until she is over a safer area and as she faces the oncoming missile head on she prays that she can survive the blast. The next instant the warhead strikes and a large orange fireball fills the sky. As the tremendous explosion reverberates throughout the area, the Amazon aircraft plunges out of control and ploughs into the ground. The soldiers race to the scene of the crash and retrieve Wonder Woman's body from the plane which is imbedded in the ground. Unconscious but still alive, it looks like her survival may only be a temporary condition...

To be continued...

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