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Wonder Woman w/o Powers Pt. 16: Wonder Woman #190

As cold, clammy hands come out of the inky blackness and grab her… Diana acts instinctively, and a howl of pain rewards her effort, as she sinks her teeth into whatever is holding her… putting her long hours of training to good use... she applies a hold taught to her by I Ching…

Flashback to a few hours ago… Diana suffers a case of the “glooms” and Ching suggests she visit her mother on Paradise Island.

Hardly are the words spoken than an Amazon messenger appears, and the trip to Paradise Island through the dimensional stream begins…

As soon as the green moon disappears, it’s replaced by a giant sun and a flying machine draws near, full of men that Diana thinks look more dangerous than the shadowmen. She sends Leda to get help from her mother and the Amazons.

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Diana fights, but is defeated and taken in shackles through the jaws of a giant skull that act as a gateway into a strange castle. Inside, the Quenn of Chalandor wants to kill her, but the captain says,

She is no mere girl – as at least a dozen shadowmen could tell you – if the dead could speak.

In a moment, Diana has the terrified queen in a punishing grip. Focusing on her, though, one of the queen’s men sneaks up behind and whacks her on the head.

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She wakes up in a cell with a barbarian names Ranagor. He explains…

The two prisoners come up with a plan to fool their captors and escape. They are the ones fooled, though, as they escape right into the arena and the queen shouts, “Release the gnarth!”

Diana thrusts Ranagor’s sword into the monster’s jaws, point up…

Rearing upward, it’s tiny brain not yet realizing it’s already dead, the monster thrashes out in its death throes – it finally falls – as the stunned crowd watches in unbelieving amazement…

As the two fight their way through the crowd to the top of a tower, they see Ranagor’s father, the king of North Ambria, marching toward them. It turns out Ranagor is a prince! The two jump off the tower to land safely in a moat.

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Thoughts

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This is an odd issue for me, with the appropriately titled story, Detour. For Diana, it’s a detour as she traveling to Paradise Island. For readers, it’s a detour from the norm… although it seems to establish a pattern: after a few issues of realistic globetrotting action, we get a couple of one-offs that include magic and fantasy.

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It’s almost like the creators haven’t committed 100% to Diana’s new life. This is the second time she returns (or tries to return) to her mother and the Amazons. Granted, she doesn’t have to have powers to do that, but when she does, it’s a reminder of a character that she no longer is.

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The first few pages were at first a little unclear to me. Obviously, Diana and Leda are in darkness fighting some type of creature. Laid on top of this action are two large panels depicting the flashback. It took me until the end of the story to realize the main story takes place after the introduction; the introduction is the middle part.

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I’ve focused on letters columns for the last couple of issues, but I have yet to mention any of the awesome 1960s advertising pages. Let’s close with this full-page ad for Aurora Plastics Corp.

Title: Wonder Woman

Issue #: 190

Cover Date: Sept/Oct 1970

On Sale Date: 7-7-70

Writer: Mike Sekowsky

Penciller: Mike Sekowsky

Inker: Dick Giordano

Editor: Mike Sekowsky


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