Wonder Woman #298
Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
backup: Joey Cavalieri, Joe Staton and Frank McLaughlin
Synopsis: Diana is on Paradise Island, where she learns that Pegasus once belonged to a dude named Bellerophon, who defeated the Amazons and challenged the gods before being cast down. Hippoyta suggests that he may still be alive and have turned over his power to the terrorist guy from last issue, who turned into the jerkweed warrior who shot down Steve Trevor.
Meanwhile, all of that is true, and the terrorist (named Aegeus) and Bellerophon demand that Steve tell them where Paradise Island is so Bellerophon can use the purple ray to heal himself. One problem: Steve doesn't know where it is. Steve breaks free and runs into some nearby ruins, which collapse, leaving him in an underground chamber. In a flash-sideways, Diana realizes Steve and Bellerophon must be on Themyscira, which the Amazons abandoned when they moved to Paradise Island. Sure enough, the chamber Steve is in has the skeleton of an Amazon warrior who is dressed very much like Wonder Woman. There's also a statue of Athena.
A terrorist busts in and the statue eradicates him with a laser beam. Then another terrorist comes in, only now the statue turns into Athena and tells the new terrorist not to be such a dumbass. Steve grabs the statue's laser-scepter and the terrorist brings him to the surface, where Aegeus is waiting. Aegeus grabs Trevor and they fly off to find Paradise Island.
Just then, Wonder Woman shows up and attacks. Steve tries to blast Aegeus with the scepter, only he hits Diana instead. Smooth move, ex-lax. To be continued!
Backup story: The thugs use Blackwing as a hostage and leave. Huntress follows. They take Blackwing to a mob boss named Boa who has, you guess it, a big boa constrictor. Huntress attacks and the boa grabs her. Oh no! To be continued!
Notes: I am liking this story, I have to say. This is the first time we've seen the name Themyscira appear, and it's interesting to see the ruins of the old Amazon civilization. Bellerophon is also almost kind of sympathetic in a way. I liked the scene in the underground chamber when Athena appealed to the female terrorist to change her ways. We'll see how it ends, but this first arc for Mishkin has not bad terrible.
We also get another superstar guest artist doing the cover, in this case Frank Miller, and while it is a fairly striking image, it's not that great a cover. I dunno.
I'm absolutely sure there was a reference to Bellerophon in a comic I have just recently read, but I'll be damned if I can figure out which one. The google doesn't really show any other appearances of Bellerophon besides this one, but I know some version appeared somewhere. Arrgh. Anyone?
The backup story again was interesting mainly because Blackwing is interesting. He has a few panels where he thinks about how he became Blackwing because Gotham needs a new Batman since Batman is dead, and how disappointed he is in himself for sucking so much. The art is still not as good as when Ordway was inking even though Trapani is gone. Hopefully we'll see more Blackwing. And less D.A. He's not in this issue, so good.
I think this is the first issue with a Huntress backup story where Huntress isn't mentioned on the cover. Is her backup series losing popularity?
My Grade: Main story gets a B, backup gets a B-. Blackwing is cool, but Boa? Really?