Release: December 1987
Writer: Len Wein
Pencils: George Pérez
Inks: Bruce D Patterson
If you’ll note the bottom left corner of today’s cover, you’ll see the ominous threat that Millennium is coming. We’ll get to that tomorrow, but note that this storyline is kind of a tie in to a big DC event, which begins in the next month’s issues.
After all the mess of the last issue and its sexual violence, this issue is rather astonishingly straightforward. We open with Diana fighting the Hydra, smart enough to know not to cut off its heads but thankfully equipped with a weapon capable of dealing with the beast without outright directly attacking it. The lasso is a cool weapon, if only because it seems so unconventional and thus lends itself to being creatively employed.
The Hydra lets out one final blast in its death throes, leaving Diana in a deep sleep as she recovers her strength. Meanwhile, Morpheus is on Mount Olympus, announcing himself (the god of dreams, if you didn’t know) as the architect of Diana’s next test. As all this is happening, Steve Trevor and Etta Candy show up for exactly one page to get some very bad news. We’ll undoubtedly deal with this next time.
Diana awakes, her new fancy armor all shorn away in her battle with the Hydra, leaving her in her normal Wonder Woman costume. As she heads deeper into the cave, she encounters a split path. Both passages are identical, except suddenly down one of the paths she sees an image of Julia bound in a spider’s web, crying out for help. Diana leaps into action, and that’s when Morpheus’ trap closes around her and she’s attacked by … Knuckles?
While all this is going on, Hippolyta sits in Themyscira going mad with worry. She’s been pretty staunchly against Diana doing more or less anything for as long as this comic has been going on, but the idea that her daughter is fighting for her life alone against all these beasts is too much for the queen. She gears up and rides for the prison, only to be stopped by Amazonian badass Philippus, who knows that rushing in so emotional is a terrible idea and also that Diana can totally take care of herself. Hippolyta refuses to listen to reason, and the two fight it out. Hippolyta is more willing to commit violence against her fellow Amazons, and wins the day, which I must say is a load of bullshit. Philippus is the tactician and general of the Amazonian army. Pretty sure she could take just about anyone if she wanted to.
I don’t really like this depiction of the jealously protective Hippolyta. This sort of crushing maternalism feels like cheap drama that is out of character for everything else we’ve seen from the Amazons, especially when you consider the broader depictions of Diana and Hippolyta we’ve seen even just in this blog to date. She doesn’t have to guard Diana, and the idea that she’s willing to harm her closest allies to do so seems really out of character, at least to me.
Anyway, as the comic wraps up, Diana defeats Echidna and passes through a portal that opens beneath her, only to find herself suddenly in the clouds in a storm, watching helplessly as a plane gets struck by lightning. Diana, suddenly without flight in this vision, falls beside the plane as it crashes into the ocean. Poseidon here guides her through the waters and down to the depths, where the ocean floor is strangely bereft of water. She comes across the downed plane here, suddenly realizing that it’s smaller and older than Steve Trevor’s plane. As she investigates the wreckage, she’s surprised by another figure here in this strange underwater world: another Diana, wearing similar armor to Diana, clad in the colors of Wonder Woman!