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Wonder Woman w/o Powers Pt. 21: Wonder Woman #195

Snow! One of nature’s most beautiful designs and no two flakes alike, when looked at through a microscope – but when numbered in the billions – a traveller’s nightmare – as two travelers are finding out to their chagrin…

Diana and I Ching are having trouble on the road during a snowstorm when they encounter a stalled car and stop to act as good Samaritans. The two men to whom they offer a ride turn out to be escaped convicts and pull a gun on Diana. When her car gets stuck, the foursome struggle through the snow until they see a light and approach an old inn.

Stepping into the main room is like stepping back a hundred years in the past as they enter the large main room and see the giant fire place warming the lovely old-fashioned room.

Ching senses evil as the new arrivals meet the other guests and another one enters the scene, his car having broken down. This occurs just as the radio reports on a bank embezzler on the run with a half-million in cash… an embezzler that matches this man’s description.

When the man retires upstairs, one of the convicts follows and murders him to take the cash. Then, the others downstairs, hear a howl of pure terror…

Only someone seeing the supernatural screams like that!

Suddenly, the convict tumbles down the stairs and dies. The others discover the suspected embezzler, still alive for the moment. When he expires, they look in his briefcase. It’s filled only with travel brochures.

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Diana and Ching take the author into their confidence and he promises to help protect them from the other convict.

When the innkeeper’s image does not reflect in a mirror, Diana remembers what the place is. She’s a ghost, as is the invisible person that begins strangling Diana, until Ching swings his cane in the air.

The innkeeper’s son, Lemuel, then holds them at gunpoint. The only chance they have to keep appearing is to take more lives. Diana wants to run, but Ching says that won’t stop them. He throws his lantern against the wall and the inn erupts in flames.

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The next morning, state troopers arrive to help the survivors, but there is no evidence that the inn ever existed.

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Thoughts

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It's a fun story that could easily have been run in an issue of The Brave & the Bold as The New Wonder Woman meets the House of Mystery. It’s a little predictable, but still well-told.

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It’s a dark story, drawn and inked in shadows with occasional splashes of color from the fireplace and candlelight. Speaking of splashes, page four is a gorgeous full-page panel of the weary travelers approaching the inn on a snowy night.

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I have two quick notes from the letter column, Wonder Woman’s Write-In. First, Barbara Champayne writes:

I wish to cast my vote in favor of less fantasy and more stories of the problems of today.

Second, the “Editor” responds rather grumpily to Angel Gonzales’s inquiry about Steve Trevor:

Steve Trevor was dull and boring and I didn’t like him much so I disposed of him.

Well!

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Finally, let’s close with two great advertisements from the issue. First is a full-page ad for the 1971 movie, Zeppelin:

Second is a half-page ad for a new comic that you’ll one day read about right here on DC Comics Guy:

Title: Wonder Woman

Issue #: 195

Cover Date: July/Aug. 1971

On Sale Date: May 4, 1971

Writer: Mike Sekowsky

Penciller: Mike Sekowsky

Inker: Wally Wood

Editor: Mike Sekowsky


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