Wonder Woman w/o Powers Pt. 28: Wonder Woman #202
Hurled into another world – known as Newhon – by the strange powers of the Fist of Flame, Diana Prince – Wonder Woman – Catwoman, and I-Ching recover themselves to find two leering barbarians lunging…
During battle, Diana finds herself for the second time in a position to save Catwoman's life. Ching distracts the barbarian with his blade at Catwoman's throat to draw him toward the Fist of Flame.
Curious they gather… and among the facts of the mystic ruby a picture forms, not of a sorcerer's cave in Newhon, but of a world familiar to Diana, a world she and we know well – the world of our own Earth!
In the stone, Diana sees Jonny and Ching sees Lu Shan. The latter says, "I thought I could force Diana and my father to get the ruby for me by kidnapping Jonny! Have I failed?" In frustration, she throws the Eye of the Ocean to the ground. Subsequently, Diana throws the Fist of Flame to the ground.
When Catwoman and one of the barbarians, the Gray Mouser, stumble into a laboratory inside a cave, they encounter Sorcerer Gawron, who has forbidden anyone to come into the presence of… you guessed… the dimensional energy transfer matrix machine. He tells them that for their transgression, they will die.
Diana and the other barbarian, Fafhrd, enter from the other side and fight Gawron's minions. When everyone convenes in the lab, a "random jump of the Eye of the Ocean" has brought it to Newhon, along with Jonny, Lu Shan and her gang. A larger battle ensues as Diana frees Jonny and stones go flying.
Ching gets his hands on the stones and uses his body to open a gateway to Earth. The heroes all jump through it and Mouser grabs the Eye of the Ocean, leaving Lu Shan stranded in Newhon.
Fafhrd and Gray Mouser decide to stay and take a look at a world that is new to them, but quickly rush back in to Jonny's office.
Soon they vanish unexpectedly in a mystic glimmer, leaving Ching to ponder…
Our understanding is small – and the universe large! Come… I sense adventures ahead – a kind that is a bit more down to the earth we know!
If you've read my reviews of other issues, you already know that I prefer the straight action/adventure stories to the ones that incorporate fantasy and other worlds. Therefore, I did not enjoy this issue as much as I did Wonder Woman #201.
It's interesting that in this story, told in two parts, the first part is grounded in the real world while the second takes place on another world. At least the connecting tissue is interesting and makes the jump between worlds less arbitrary.
Also interesting is that the story marks the DC Comics debut of the Fritz Leiber characters, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and acts as a prologue to the new series, Sword of Sorcery. Wonder Woman seems an unlikely book from which to launch, but maybe not with its mix of fantasy every few issues.
Yes, the title evolved from Swords against Sorcery as advertised below. Denny O'Neill would write the series, which ran for only five issues, but he did not actually write the story in this issue of Wonder Woman. It all feels a little odd to me, but I suppose we've seen stranger things.
Title: Wonder Woman
Issue #: 202
Cover Date: Sept/Oct 1972
On Sale Date: July 4, 1972
Writer: Samuel L. Delaney
Artist: Dick Giordano
Editor: Denny O'Neil