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You are in: Galleries > Wonder Woman > Volume One > Issues 251-300 > Issue 296

Issue Number: 296
Published: October 1982
Cover Artists: Ernie Colan, Frank Giacoia
Writer: Dan Mishkin (Plot by Roy Thomas)
Pencils: Gene Colan
Inker: Frank McLaughlin
Letterer: Ben Oda
Colourist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Marv Wolfman
Story Title: Mind Games!
 
Main Characters (in order of appearance):
Wonder Woman
(Diana Prince)
General Electric Warden Haskell White
General Darnell Colonel Steve Trevor Etta Candy

Cover of Wonder Woman Issue 296

Comments:

None.

Synopsis:

Wonder Woman strains against her bonds but to no avail.When a weak Wonder Woman slowly comes to, she finds herself tied to a chair in the middle of a darkened boiler room. A large monitor is situated on the wall in front of her and in her bound hands is a Commander Video computer game.

She becomes aware of others in the room and turns to see General Electric together with the Warden and Prison Officers standing over her. Electric tells her that struggling to free herself is futile as he knows that her powers are gone when her hands are bound by a man.

He adds that he is impressed with her resilience, having survived a confrontation with his private army as well as a collision with a nuclear missile. However, her end is near at hand! She replies that in trying to stop her he was prepared to risk the lives of thousands and at least she had prevented that from happening. He retorts that hers is a small victory as he has many more missiles at his disposal and the army that waits outside is under his complete control. Wonder Woman says that she knows how he is able to control people's mind by using the Commander Video game.

Electric steps forward and tells her that now it is her turn to play and once she has succumbed, no one will doubt his power! She replies that she has no intention of "succumbing" and that he may have weakened her physically but not mentally!

He responds "Not yet my dear!" and presses a button. Instantly the large screen in front of her comes to life and swirling images appear. General Electric tells her that he has greatly increased the mesmerizing effect of his game and orders her to look at the screen and play the game. His voice seems to echo, dully repeating, as the glowing screen flashes hypnotically drawing her averted gaze again and again. But still she fights its enthralling power!

She strains against her bonds but to no avail. Normally she could tear through the restraints as if they were tissue paper but without her strength she is a normal woman. The light is now so overpowering that she can barely resist Electric's commands...

Meanwhile at the Pentagon Etta and Steve bandage the bump on General Darnell's head. He refuses seeing a doctor and simply demands that they deal with the traitor who did this. Steve tries to suggest that Wonder Woman must have had good reason but Darnell will have none of it and says that the Amazon is a dangerous woman. Just then the phone rings and Darnell orders them out of his office. Once outside, Etta and Steve listen in to the conversation using another phone and hear a voice tell Darnell that Wonder Woman has been captured and secured at the prison compound and that Commander Video himself is conducting the indoctrination.

Now that they know that Darnell is involved with the scheme to control the armed forces through use of the video game, they hurriedly make their way to a chopper waiting outside and set off to the prison. Although he does not voice it, Steve shares Etta's unease at disobeying a superior officer as he believes in the chain of command. However, he knows that an army is still at the end of the day a collection of people and even those at the top can make mistakes or be turned to purposes not their own. There is only one person in the world that Steve truly trusts - and he means to save her life today!

After touching down outside the compound they walk over to the commanding officer in charge of the troops guarding the prison. Steve says that they are here on urgent business under the orders of General Darnell. The officer asks for ID and Steve notices how all of the soldiers have a glazed look about them. He decides to play along and after presenting his credentials tells the officer that it is important they be let in as Commander Video must not be kept waiting. The soldiers let them through and soon they are inside the cell block.

Etta is captured as General Electric menaces Wonder WomanThey keep to the shadows as they make their way along the corridors looking for any signs of Wonder Woman. But their initial success at bluffing their way in does not last long when the officer decides to check the orders with Darnell. The General tells him that Steve and Etta are intruders and must be stopped and killed if necessary!

As troops race inside an unwitting Steve and Etta decide they can cover more ground by splitting up. Etta feels nervous as she is not used to sneaking around like this but her perseverance is soon rewarded when she hears a voice coming from a nearby room. She peers around the door and gasps at what she sees. Quickly, she whispers into her walkie talkie that she has found Wonder Woman but suddenly hears troops coming down the corridor in her direction. She has no choice but to slip inside the room and ducking into the shadows, looks on in horror as General Electric roughly grabs a handful of Wonder Woman's hair as he orders her to play the game in her hands. He tells her to stop being a fool and abandon her futile resistance. He wants to control her mind, not destroy it but that will be the result if she keeps fighting until she becomes a mental vegetable! Wonder Woman replies that she would rather be that than a slave to him.

Riveted by the Amazon's heroic struggle, Etta does not hear her own sharp intake of breath but a soldier does and grabs her from behind. Etta cries out for help and realising she must be a friend of Wonder Woman, tells the Amazon that if she wants Etta to remain alive then she must play. Seeing no alternative, Wonder Woman agrees but adds that he should not bet on the outcome.

As the game begins an image of her appears on the screen together with that of Commander Video. As she begins to 'fight' using her character on screen, she guesses that General Electric must be controlling his own player via telepathic control. She knows that her Amazon training has given her superior fighting skills unlike Electric and she soon scores a knockout on Commander Video. General Electric is surprised how quickly she has won the game but tells her that she must now advance to the next level - the level at which all the best players have been vanquished. He tells her to prepare herself for the ultimate battle of minds!

For an instant the Amazon Princess stiffens as though jolted by an electric shock before she slumps like a lifeless doll in her chair, feeling only a cold numbness. She is aware of the triumphant voice of her foe and sees an incredible vision of mental power unleashed. In the world of the mind created and controlled by General Electric, Commander Video lives...and Wonder Woman does not stand a chance! Or does she?

Somehow, she finds herself actually drawn into the game itself, or at least her mental essence at any rate. The battle feels like an actual physical fight but she knows that what is really going on here is a contest of wills. She lands powerful blows on her opponent, determined not to lose for she knows that the very safety of the world is at stake. But she is thrown back by a painful electric bolt which Commander Video sends up her arm. Even so, General Electric knows that the Amazon will not give up and so he decides that if he cannot control her mind - he must annihilate it! And so on screen, Commander Video lands blow after blow on the struggling Amazon.

Wonder Woman punches Commander Video!Nearby in the corridor outside, Steve has retraced Etta's steps and clouts an unsuspecting guard unconscious just outside the room. Inside meanwhile, the combatants on the screen are still slugging it out. Wonder Woman focuses her will, knowing that her mental stamina can still win this fight. Telling herself that she can beat him, she unleashes a mighty punch that sends Commander Video reeling. Etta looks on in awe, encouraging Wonder Woman to finish him.

As the Amazing Amazon grapples with Commander Video, she feels him weakening and realises that Electric cannot summon up the reserves to shore up his mental defenses. She knows she has got to put everything she has into a single blow right now...which she does! The punch connects with Commander Video who explodes out of existence and General Electric screams in pain, feeling like his brain is on fire. However, he tries to make a move towards the console in order to destroy the game and trap Wonder Woman's mental essence in limbo forever. But Steve Trevor has other ideas and unleashes a fire hose on him. Electric flies through the air and collides with one of the boilers, causing it to explode.

As flames leap around the room, Etta rushes over to the still bound Wonder Woman as her mental essence returns to her physical body. Etta frees the tired Amazon who gets to her feet unsteadily. The warden who has now come to his senses warns her that Electric had been storing ammunition in the room next door and when the fire reaches it the whole building will explode. Realising that their is no time to put out the flames, she orders him to evacuate the place while she does what she can to limit the destruction.

Summoning her robot plane from where it had crashed into the ground, she gets onboard and unhooks her lasso. After battling tanks, braving explosions and fighting against all odds for the possession of her mind, she should at least be tired and perhaps she is...but she is also Wonder Woman and she still has a job to do! She uses her golden rope to pull the building high enough off the ground so that the blast does not damage the rest of the prison compound!

Some time later at the Pentagon, Etta, Steve, Wonder Woman and General Darnell, who is now back to his old self, assess the events of the last few days. Etta presents the General, who still wears a bandage around his sore head, with a get well gift. It is another video game. When Darnell asks why, considering what they have been through, she laughs and tells him that this one is harmless - "it's video shuffleboard!"

The End

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