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Wonder Woman w/o Powers Pt. 4: Wonder Woman #181

The Wrath of Dr. Cyber

Only seconds ago… Diana Prince and her blind mentor Ching battled a beauteous band of Dr. Cyber’s hench-women to a standstill… meanwhile their ally, Detective Tim Trench, had fallen pretty to a lovely lady…

Diana and Ching try to interrogate their captive who, it seems, is not a “Fembot,” but has been conditioned with hypnosis. Ching believes he can crack her with hypnosis of his own. Diana is unsure…

Raphael is like Q from James Bond, and supplies Diana with some useful gadgets like “a charmin’ bracelet that becomes a grapplin’ hook an’ line quick as a flirt’s smile.”

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Meanwhile, Ching succeeds with his hypnosis and learns the location of Cyber’s hidden lair. He tells Diana…

It’s best to prepare for undersea journey now!

Diana and Ching arrive at Cyber’s lair… a whole city encased in a dome!

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Meanwhile, Tim is on a tour of Cyber’s lair where she uses villain-speak to explain her plans…

Soon, I shall be powerful and rich enough to topple whole governments!
I have made world domination by life’s goal!
Soon the earth and all its treasures will be mine!

Tim comments, then asks…

Suddenly the alarm sounds and Cyber leaves one of her hench-women to guard Tim while she deals with the intrusion of Diana and Ching. He sweet-talks his captor and escapes to join his friends…

Cyber joins the fight and offers Diana a deal…

Agree to join me and you shall be permitted to escape with us!

Of course, she doesn’t agree and Cyber orders her servants to fire. Then she pulls a fast one…

Diana removes one of Ralph’s gadgets: an earring that’s also a gelignite grenade. They escape the trap and board the submarine where Ching has hypnotized their guide to wait. They barely escape.

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The next morning, Tim remembers a name spoken during his time in “Cyber’s undersea nest” and the three heroes are aboard a plane to Bjorland, where Tim has book rooms at a ski hotel…

The next day, as Tim wonders why there are no children in town, the team learns they’ve walked into yet another trap: the whole town is Cyber’s! They head to the rooftops to escape the thugs….

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...but encounter Cyber in her helicopter. She shows them the gems she’s brought to be deposited in a Swiss bank and uses them to seduce Tim…

Thoughts

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It’s a great cover, but not exactly representative of what happens inside. What it does evoke is James Bond and the story contains several familiar spy movie elements, particularly with Ralph and his gadgets. The cover says, “Action,” and while the story has it, it also has a lot of travel and exposition, which makes it not as strong as previous issues.

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So, where’s Steve? Issue #180 left him cold in Diana’s arms. However, in #181, there’s barely a mention of him. In some ways, it seems like Tim Trench is being positioned to replace him. On one hand, that would release Diana from her crippling attachment to Steve, but on the other hand… it’s Steve Trevor; he’s got to always be part of the Wonder Woman mythos.

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By this issue, readers have been introduced to the idea of a “new” Wonder Woman. In the letters column, The New Wonderful World of Wonder Woman, some of their comments are shared…

I think the NEW Wonder Woman is the greatest. It’s the most magnificent idea DC has come up with in 15 years.
I found the new Wonder Woman staggering. I could hardly believe it, even after reading it.
Thank you for changing Wonder Woman. She had become boring as the last remaining “Golden Age” character , with horrible art and worse plots.
I want to congratulate you on the NEW Wonder Woman. She’s far more believable than when she was a tot.

These letters were probably pre-screened and selected, but one of them did criticize some other aspects of the new format, claiming that Dr. Cyber and Ching were the weak points of the new Wonder Woman. This caused “Editor” to respond…

Your letter was written, of course, before we revealed Doctor Cyber’s identity. Do you still feel the same way about HER?

Title: Wonder Woman

Issue #: 180

Cover Date: Mar/Apr 1969

On Sale Date: 1-2-69

Writer: Dennis J. O'Neill

Penciller: Mike Sekowsky

Inker: Dick Giordano

Editor: Jack Miller