The Story of Wonder Woman
Steve Trevor tapped his foot. Nervous habits were something that was frowned upon in the spy business, but he found himself engaging in them every so often. Two other people were sitting at the table. He knew their names but he didn't want to think about them or their purpose.
"Are you sure she's going to show?" Dr. Hellas, of the Smithsonian, sitting closest to him asked. The white haired man raised an eyebrow skeptically.
"Colonel Trevor's reputation is impeccable doctor. If he says he can produce her, then I believe him." Dr. Althea, of Holliday College, countered her partner. Despite Althea's young age, she was already one of the country's leading minds. It had been her incessant calls that began this meeting in the first place.
The door opened, startling all three. Queen Hippolyta, better known as Wonder Woman, entered the room. "I apologize for being late. There was a landslide a few states over and I had to help rescue a school bus."
"No apologizes needed your majesty." Dr. Hellas reached over and turned the large tape recorder on.
"Steve, when I received your message I was hesitant to come. The Amazons have always been secretive." Turning to the two academics, the queen narrowed her eyes at the pair. "Understand that I will answer your questions faithfully but know this; I can not nor will not do anything to betray my people."
"Of course. This interview is just to answer a few questions." Dr. Hellas spoke into the microphone.
"Why don't we begin?" Dr. Althea quickly arranged her notes in order. "Wonder Woman, what is your background? Are you actually the leader of the fabled Amazons?"
Wonder Woman smirked at Althea's excited demeanor. "My background? You refer to my family?"
"Ah, yes." Althea struggled to regain her composure.
"I was born centuries ago. My father was Ares the god of War. You might know him by his Roman name, Mars. My mother was Oterea the warrior queen, daughter of Eurus the East Wind."
Dr. Hellas raised his eyebrows in shock. "I'm sorry, I thought this was a serious discussion."
Wonder Woman's expression didn't change, but Steve felt the room grow cold. "What do you mean doctor?"
"I mean," he angrily switched the recorder off, "that I refuse to sit here and listen to this nonsense! Gods, wind, it is all poppycock!"
"Were you sitting before my father little man, he would have your tongue removed and feed to his dogs for such an insult." Wonder Woman said the threat in such a casual way. She continued to speak. "I'm not sure how they courted. Mother often gave different accounts. The most common one was Ares finding her on the battlefield, the sole survivor of a massive war. "
"Perhaps it was the fates or another god having joke, but I'm told my father raged for months when he managed to father only girls with my mother. Perhaps the Amazons spun out of that."
"I'm sorry?"Althea looked up from her notes. "What do you mean by that?"
"That if perhaps the god of war could not produce sons then he would turn his daughters into the finest warriors who ever lived; I was the oldest and assumed command. My sisters were Antiope, Penthesilea, and Melanippe. We four were the core of the Amazons and the first to be called such. My childhood was spent learning the ways of war. When we grew of age we left our home and wandered. We selected women to train and to build our army. Within months, we had assembled a fighting force like no other."
"This is preposterous!" Dr. Hellas spat. "I wanted the truth but so far all I've heard is fifth rate fairy tales!"
"You demand proof?" Wonder Woman stood up and uncoiled her lasso. "This is the Lasso of Truth. It was forged by Hephaestus himself from the girdle of Gaea and given to me as proof of my leadership."
"Bah! Mere hypnotism and a rope fetish is hardly science!" Hellas stood up. "I am through having my time wasted!"
"If you fail to believe my words, then perhaps my actions will convince you." With one smooth motion, Wonder Woman looped the lasso around Hellas's hand. The white haired man stopped in his tracks.
"What the devil are you doing?" Hellas gasped then suddenly fell silent as Wonder Woman tugged on the rope.
"Ordering you to be quiet. Now Dr. Hellas, why did you come here?"
"To" the man choked out the words, "to prove that you're a fake. The gods of old are myths and stories, nothing more. You must be using science in some way, not that I would believe anything else." With a flick of her wrist, the lasso loosened. Hellas fell back into his chair.
"What did you do?"
"I made you tell the truth." Wonder Woman coiled the lasso and attached it to her hip. "As I was saying, my sisters and I were the champions of War and the core of the Amazons. We never knew defeat and our ranks swelled to the thousands."
"But who did you fight?" Althea looked up from her notes.
"Everything and everyone; from kings who offended my father to monsters roaming the countryside. We slew all who opposed us and gave no quarter."
"In time, our army included men as well. My father insisted but we learned to use them mostly as cannon fodder, but I began to grow sick of the violence."
"But you said you never lost?" Hellas turned the recorder on again.
"We never lost, no, but we did suffer causalities. That was how our men died in the end. My father was a god of war and violence but it was all senseless. All we accomplished was leaving fields of our dead. In time our men were gone and we couldn't find anyone willing to take their place. I began to pray for peace or at least for a more productive use of violence. Athena heard my prayers but I was the only one who asked for help. We moved our forces near Pontus and established a city there."
"I know, I searched through the ruins when I was earning my doctorate." Althea chimed in but quickly blushed. Wonder Woman nodded in approval.
"It took my mother's doing but we managed to establish a shrine to Athena as well as my father inside the city but there was already infighting. Antiope simply wanted to be the leader of the Amazons and didn't care who we prayed to; Penthesilea sided with my father and prayed only to him. She viewed me as weak for my actions and Melanippe prayed only to Athena." Wonder Woman grew quiet as she spoke. "Melanippe, dear gods as it been that long since I spoke your name?"
Moving on, she went back to her narrative. "I assume you know of the Trojan War?"
Before Hellas could speak, Althea nodded. "There has been some debate as to wherever or not it happened" Wonder Woman looked shocked at the words, "we know something happened around that time of course but were the myths true?"
"Myths? Ah, I forget about the mortals and their habit to change what they don't understand. Yes, the Trojan War happened much as it did according to Homer. Ares was beside himself with joy. The city of Troy had long worshiped my father, but the Achaeans worshipped Athena. I convinced the Amazons to stay neutral in the fighting. Anitope agreed, mostly because she saw no chance to kill me on the field if I stayed off of it. Melanippe, I had to lock in irons to keep her from rushing off to fight, but Penthesilea? She loyally went with my father and fought for Troy. The bards sung praises for her fighting on the wall of that city, but she finally fell when she engaged Achilles directly. It was through her death that I managed to convince the rest of the Amazons to stay fully out of the war but Melanippe saw the need for vengeance."
"She escaped and made her way towards the battle. She was abducted from her tent by Theseus, that dog!" She spat out the name.
"Wait, the same Theseus who slew the Minotaur?" Hellas gasped.
"Aye, and who came to our city some time before the war. He felt an army of women was simply a novelty to laugh at." She scowled at the memory. "I'm told she fought bravely and escaped, but was cut down by that coward Telamon."
"Telamon? I seem to be drawing a blank." Althea tried to recall the name.
"He was little more than a lackey to Heracles. He was the type to kill from a distance and then bloody his spear upon the corpse."
"With my two sisters resting with Hades, I officially managed to declare my people neutral and we waited out that blasted war. Peace was sort lived, however, as Heracles and his men arrived at our city not long after."
"Ah, yes, he was there to complete one of his twelve labors, correct?" Hellas spoke up.
"Yes, but we didn't know that at the time. Had I known that fool had murdered his family I never would have let him inside. He spoke honeyed words to me. He swore by Zeus he was on a quest for justice and peace. He promised me and my forces a say in governing and an equal share of any treasure he found. It was all lies, of course, as he merely intended to steal my girdle so that he might wash away his guilt. He lived with my people for a year before he had our city sacked."
"Desperate, I prayed for justice. Athena granted it in her own way. We took our boats and what little we could save from the fires and fled that night. I don't think Antiope ever forgave me for leaving."
"So that's when you settled into your new home?" Steve finally spoke up.
"Yes, and we've been there ever since. The exact location I can't reveal you understand, but I've decided our home can no longer be isolated in this world."
"That was very informative." Hellas switched the recorder off. "Your majesty, your words were captivating but I fear I will need some proof. Artifacts and the like," he hastily added, "Not that I don't believe you but gods, monsters, and such, it's a little hard to swallow at once."
Wonder Woman raised an eyebrow. "I see mankind has become more cynical since I last walked freely. Very well, perhaps I shall have Colonel Trevor show you the remains of the last monster I slew."
Steve quickly butted in. "I would, if those missions weren't declared top secret. Understand doctor?"
Hellas nodded without a word. Dr. Althea rose from her seat and shook Wonder Woman's hand. "This has been such an honor!"
"Indeed? It is rare that I spin tales of my past. If you agree, I might be able to arrange a trip to my people's archives and let you browse our history at your own pace." Althea nearly fainted. It was only the combined efforts of Steve and Wonder Woman that prevented her from hitting the floor.
"Perhaps my offer was… I think the phrase is 'too much'?"
Steve smiled as Hellas rushed off to get some smelling salts. "While we have some time, I'd like to ask you something angel."
Steve rubbed his thumb and fore finger together. "The circus is in town tomorrow, and I was wondering if you would be free?"
"A circus? Yes, I suppose. There were some girls from the college that I would like to bring with me."
Steve was a little downfallen at the news of company, but he soldiered on. "Ok, it's a date."
Wonder Woman smiled slightly. "I'll come by the college tomorrow. I'll see you then."
As Wonder Woman left the room, she bumped into Dr. Hellas. "Your majesty, wait!"
"I had one more question. Now that the Amazons have revealed themselves to the world, what is your intent?"
Wonder Woman paused. "That is a difficult question. My people insist on being neutral, but there is growing dissent. Will the rest of the world recognize our authority?"
"I can't answer that." Hellas shook his head.
"I can swear that we will help the poor and the oppressed. I've seen too much bloodshed to willingly go to war again. The Amazons have stayed peaceful for centuries and I intend to keep it that way."
"Understood, but what if you can't? With the business over in Europe as it is, your armies could help."
"And be seen as new conquers? We would just tip the balance of power in another direction. No doctor, I aid your people out of honor and friendship but I can't settle between your country and another. I almost lost my throne once because my people felt I was sending too much time here." She sadly shook her head. "Yet I feel that I am needed, but that is topic for another day." She left, yet Hellas saw her shoulders droop slightly as she walked off into the night.
Based on "Who is She?" and "Wonder Woman's Story", both from Wonder Woman I#1 (Summer 1942) credits to William Moultan Marston and Harry Peters
Be here next time when Wonder Woman goes to the Circus!
Now time for letters
I'm loving this. I hope you keep updating this.
Thanks, and I hope you keep reading.
From They Call Me Bruce
It's coming along just fine. Love the way you're doing this.
Thanks for this terrific version of Wonder Woman's June 1942 adventure. Wonder Woman didn't get her own title until Summer 1942, so before we get to that, according to Roy Thomas, we get the first adventure of the Justice Society (in the special feature in Justice League#193, dated August 1981 but set in December 6th & 7th 1941)
Thanks for noticing! I'm going by the chronology as stated in the Wonder Woman Encyclopedia, as well as the order as listed in the Wonder Woman Chronicles, so the JSA won't be showing up yet but rest assured they will.
Action Comics#6-Superwoman's Phony Manager
Detective Comics#6-The Bat VS the Vampire