All-Star Squadron #57: "Kaleidoscope" (Chapter Four)

All-Star Squadron #57
 "Kaleidoscope" (Chapter Four)
 May, 1986

 Roy Thomas: Writer
 Richard Howell: Artist
 David Cody Weiss: Letterer
 Carl Gafford: Colorist

 Even as "Jupiter" fades, "Venus" takes its place, and by the power of his mystic talisman, Doctor Occult witnesses a third rocket heading for this other-dimensional planet from where beautiful winged women soar to greet it. Doctor Occult's mystic talisman informs him the goddess Aphrodite is the one responsible for the rocket's guidance, and within the vessel is none other than -- Wonder Woman. The "Venusian" women open the hatch and find the unconscious heroine within. They must get her out before the rocket lands -- and the shock kills her!

 The winged women wrap the unconscious amazon in a golden net and take her to Queen Desira. Wonder Woman's arrival had been foretold by the oracle of Aphrodite -- and they have need of her aid! The "Venusians" have the gift of language which enables any visitor to understand their speech. The male "Venusians" are wingless -- and obey the winged women, for if they did not, the female "Venusians" would fly away where they could not follow. The meteor Comas Sola came down, with powerful warriors emerging from it to kill and capture their men since the women have no weapons. They have been safe because of their wings, but --the Meteor Men have arrived to see firsthand if Queen Desira can fly away from this particular sword! As the amazon is ordered to bind Queen Desira's wings, she tells the queen not to despair, for she has a plan. When Solaris asks her if she lost her wings in battle, Wonder Woman tells the Meteor Man she comes from another planet, and flying around in her invisible robot plane.

 Solaris does not believe her story about a flying machine and orders the winged women to chain her as his personal slave! As Doctor Occult notices the amazon almost smiling as the "Venusians" chain her wrists, Solaris proclaims himself to be the strongest man in the universe, and it is now Wonder Woman's turn to express her doubts. Solaris will prove this to her by freeing one of the "Venusian" men if he manages to defeat one of his Meteor Men! The "Venusian" accepts the challenge on behalf of his woman, Lupa. The "Venusian" manages to hurl his larger opponent into the air -- only to have the Meteor Man twist his massive body in mid-air, and land upon his hapless foe like a mountain upon a goat! When Queen Desira agrees to surrender if they do not harm their men, Solaris vows to kill these weaklings!

 When Solaris announces his intention to wrestle five "Venusian" men for the freedom of their queen, Wonder Woman takes him up on his offer! If she wins, the prisoners will be freed, but if she loses, she will be killed -- just as Solaris would any man. Before the guard can remove her chains, the amazon beats him to it. RRAKKTCH! As she offers her opponent first grip, the Meteor Man socks it to her, and is nearly sent into orbit by an uppercut to his blue jaw! Wonder Woman takes the Meteor Man for a spin, then flips him over, and is about to rope him when she discovers her magic lasso -- has been stolen during the fight!

 The Meteor Men will have other uses for her lasso. She is ordered to remove herself from Solaris -- or Queen Desira will be killed! His men are no more honorable than Solaris himself. This time, her arms are tied behind her -- with her own magic lasso! This is the one thing she could never hope to break--! With Solaris occupied for the moment, the amazon uses fancy footwork on a guard, and leaps into the stockade, where the winged women untie her. Wonder Woman remains to defend the prisoners and Queen Desira flies with her magic lasso to round up Solaris! When the Meteor Men enter the stockade, the amazon finds deflecting thrown spears to be child's play when compared to deflecting bullets back on Earth!

 The Meteor Men are shown the door when Wonder Woman hurls it at them! Queen Desira returns with Solaris, who is compelled by the magic lasso to order his men to thrown down their arms in surrender! The "Venusian" men carry Wonder Woman through the streets in triumph and through the the cheers of a grateful populace, while the winged women scatter golden flowers in her path. The goddess Aphrodite has taught the winged women how to make the Meteor Men both peaceful and loving. They are already eating out of the female "Venusian" hands. The amazon sees that they do seem to love it and wishes that it were a simple matter for peace among men back on Earth... Queen Desira offers to direct her efforts by giving Wonder Woman the gift of magnetic hearing. Her lips magnetize the amazon's earrings, and she will always be able to hear Desira's voice. Wonder Woman uses the meteor itself to power the rocket back to her native dimension -- but the vision fades --

 This chapter was based on All-Star Comics #13 (October-November, 1942): "Shanghaied Into Space!" by Gardner F. Fox, William Moulton Marston, and H.G. Peter.

 I've enjoyed the art of Richard Howell in Action Comics Weekly, Vision & The Scarlet Witch, The Shadow War of Hawkman, What If, and Marvel Comics Presents, and All-Star Squadron.

 The artist does a fine job of evoking H.G. Peter's version of the Golden Age Wonder Woman.

 The Looter found a meteor and used its power to battle Spider-Man as the Meteor Man.

 The Meteor Men are blue in appearance and exhibit the same warlike tendencies as the Kree.

 The "Venusians" are golden in appearance and favor attire which would appear foppish on Earth.

 Wonder Woman loses her amazon strength if she is chained by a man.

 Her magic lasso is the one thing she cannot hope to break.

 Queen Desira's lips helps to save rocket ships and ensures that Wonder Woman will always be able to keep 'em flying.

 Steve Chung
 "Kaleidoreview" (Chapter Four)