Wonder Woman Vol 2 #4

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Release: May 1987
Writer: Len Wein
Pencils: George Pérez
Inks: Bruce D Patterson

This is the first big fight issue, as Decay has arrived and has sapped Vanessa of her youth as part of its power. Diana wastes little time in leaping into the fight, bringing the house down around everyone. Ever the hero, Diana manages to save the Kapatelises, but in doing so gives Decay an opportunity to both gloat and escape. Decay, it seems, is basically a Sailor Moon villain. It’s glorious.

One last moment to appreciate how amazing Diana looks in a shirt over her costume. Sadly she casts it off on the next panel.
One last moment to appreciate how amazing Diana looks in a shirt over her costume. Sadly she casts it off on the next panel.

Meanwhile, over in Steve Trevor and Etta Candy land, Etta is down for some espionage as she’s digging up files about what might have caused seemingly the entire rest of the military to turn on Steve Trevor, who is now a fugitive at large. Etta manages to dig up proof that it has to do with something called Project Ares, which she brings to a befuddled Trevor, who is sitting in a remote cabin waiting for any sort of news, watching the TV reporting on the manhunt for him.

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Meanwhile the battle between Diana and Decay spills to the nearby Boston, where camera crews are on hand to witness Decay’s efforts to age Diana with her powers before the Amazon uses the power of her lasso, imbued by the ageless Gaea, to not only prevent Decay’s corruption from harming her but it also imbues Decay with the essence of life. Decay, being an undead boss, is weak to healing and life magic. The trick discovered, the fight is short.

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All of Boston watches as Diana picks up her tiara and stands atop her vanquished foe, and suddenly camera crews are on her, asking her endless questions that she’s unable to understand or answer. Confused by this sudden attention, Diana flies away to go look after Julia and Vanessa, only to find that Vanessa is beginning to revert back to her healthy form now that Decay is dead. Julia, grateful for Diana’s help, drags her to the library to begin cramming books into Diana as fast as possible so she can learn to speak as she tries to decipher the meaning of the amulet. Meanwhile, the press all settle in and figure out what exactly to do with the footage of this new superhero at their doorstep, who left without giving them a single word to go on as to her origin or purpose.

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I love this page, because I love the idea of reporters going out of their way try to define a second wave hero in a world that already has a Superman and Batman. Also, I appreciate that they have a woman give Diana her superhero title, even if it’s the now trite idea of ‘hey this logo looks like letters, weird huh?’ that we all rolled our eyes at in Man of Steel.

Meanwhile, Steve manages to see all these news reports at his cabin, and decides to go looking for this Wonder Woman in Boston, recognizing her from his delirium while on Paradise Island. Being Steve Trevor, he manages to be the shadiest motherfucker of all time while doing that, which almost gets him killed as Diana was ready for people to attack her and Julie while she was researching. Thankfully, she’s now got a halting grasp of English and she recognizes him, which leads to something of a big Wonder Woman classic character reunion, except that one of the Ares-controlled military men was tracking Steve, and in the splash page has ambushed (and apparently, but probably not really) killed Etta Candy. Comics. I’m sure she’ll be fine next issue.

Sorry not much happened here. Fight scenes don’t make for good material. Maybe next time!

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These panels make me really want a post WWII Wonder Woman hard boiled story of Diana dealing with post-war crime. Kiss Me Deadly meets Batman Year One.
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