Pardon My Vibrators…of Death!


On Wednesdays I look at various chapters in Wonder Woman’s history. Click here for previous installments.

In the last issue, Steve Trevor turned into a monster and died. I mean, sure, Steve only just came back from the dead, but that was a totally different Steve Trevor, the Earth-1 Steve of the 1970s. This is World War II Steve, on Earth-2, and he’s dead! Dead! Dr. Mid-Nite said so and everything, and he’s a doctor and a super-hero! If only there were some hope, like, say, the cover of the issue explaining that there’s a formula that could save Steve’s life.

Well, whaddaya know?

Well, whaddaya know?

Wonder Woman #236, DC Comics, October 1977.

So yeah, the cover pretty much gives it away that Steve’s not actually dead yet. Jeez, doc, what are you, blind? Oh yeah, I guess you actually are. Sorry.

In any case, Gerry Conway and Jose Delbo’s ongoing story of the elusive saboteur Armageddon continues! When the comic starts, Wonder Woman still thinks Steve is dead, and she flips the heck out. Blaming those warmongering men for Steve’s death—and fair enough, he was shot by a tank. So she grabs that tank by the gun thingie (I’m no artillery buff) and swings it at the soldiers. She’s gone wild, I tell ya! Wild!

You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

General Blankenship is all, “Don’t make me have you shot, lady,” which just makes her angrier. But then Dr. Mid-Nite (in his civilian identity of Dr. McNider) is like, “Oh wait, my bad, he’s totally alive,” and they’re all friends again. But Steve needs an antidote or this time he really will die. And General Blankenship won’t let Wondy find it because she’s an emotional female and he’s a dick.

Even though she’d run into McNider a couple of times, until now Wonder Woman was totally unaware that she was in a team-up, because I guess he felt no need to check in with her about what he’d found out in his costumed identity. But now he finally gets around to exposing himself to her. He fills her in on where he found the Nazi mastermind Armageddon before, and then buzzes off. Team-up over.

Oh yeah, throw a smoke bomb at her. That’s a fine icebreaker.

Oh yeah, throw a smoke bomb at her. That’s a fine icebreaker.

Of course, Armageddon’s long gone from the place Mid-Nite found, and as she’s checking it out, a huge fire breaks out at the Treasury Building that she has to go do something about. And somehow, she figures out that there are vibrations coming through the floor “on exactly the right frequency to set off a spontaneous combustion!” Is that even a thing? Setting fire through vibrations?

So she goes underground to find the vibrators and fuck their shit up. And hey, as a bonus, there’s Armageddon himself down there! Not just in his spiked fetish outfit, but now with vibro-boots!

Spikes, a black leather hood, and built-in vibrators? Marston would be proud.

Spikes, a black leather hood, and built-in vibrators? Marston would be proud.

And those vibro-boots can shatter just about anything with a single kick—even, as it turns out, Wonder Woman’s indestructible Amazonium bracelets. And that’s a problem, not just because they’re her best defense against projectiles of all kinds, but because without those bracelets, any Amazon will go crazy. So she has to go off and go berserk now.

So with her newly cracked bracelets on, she again goes and attacks a whole bunch of American soldiers before overcoming her craziness through sheer force of will. So let that be a lesson to you, people with severe mental problems. Woman up and snap out of it!

But is she threat... or menace?

But is she threat… or menace?

Colonel Belushi, whom we met a few issues back (albeit spelled differently), tries to arrest her because she keeps attacking the troops, but she has no time for that and skips out. Finally figuring out a clue she found in Armageddon’s erstwhile lair, she tracks him down to a yacht, but of course she was supposed to find that. It’s a traaaap!

So she gets gassed and tied up with her own lasso, as usual, and with that plus Steve’s antidote as leverage, Armageddon spills his latest master plan. He’s gonna vibrate something else with his giant vibrator, this time at the Army’s missile testing site!

But Wondy breaks free, as usual, this time because while the lasso compels her to obey all commands, he never actually gave her any. So she smashes his big vibrator, but Armageddon gets away, by forcing her to choose between catching the antidote for Steve and chasing the bad guy. And of course that’s actually good news, because she can save Steve now.

Oh no! It’s what I actually came for!

Oh no! It’s what I actually came for!

But what’s this at the end? Diana Prince is suspected of being an Axis saboteur by…Diana Prince? What’s that all about? I have an educated guess, but I guess we’ll see in the next issue!

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