Wonder Woman #223
Marty Pasko, Jose Delbo and Tex Blaisdell
Synopsis: Okay, with the 12 Labors finally over, just what does Marty Pasko have in store for Diana? Well, a bunch of exposition and flashback. That's because there has been no character development at all for Wonder Woman for two years, so first Marty has to remind readers what was happening way back in #212 when the Labors began, namely that Wonder Woman had some memory loss. NOw, the labors over, she finally decides to go back to paradise island to get the rest of her memories back.
When she gets there, though, the island is under attack by a bunch of male paratroopers. One of them lands on the island, and Diana's Amazonian pals begin aging at an incredible rate and turning to dust. Something, by the way, that was not at all mentioned when the secret of Paradise Island's anti-man law was revealed just a few issues earlier in #216. Diana realizes something is wrong, though, and determines that most of the men are actually clay automatons. That in turn suggests that they must have been made by Wonder Woman's mother, who created Diana herself out of clay. Sure enough, it turns out that Wonder Woman's mom crafted these things as a 13th trial because she thought the 12 labors were so stupid she figured she'd have to administer one herself to make sure Diana was truly ready to resume her place in the world.
For some reason, her plan involved resurrecting Steve Trevor as well. She's about to turn Trevor back to dust when Diana pleads for his life. Wonder Woman's mom is like, hmm, that would be pretty cruel even for me, to bring him back and then kill him again. So she lets Steve live and the reunited couple heads back to New York.
Notes: Boy, Diana's mom comes across as really capricious here. PLus, I have to ask: Why in god's name did they bring back Steve Trevor? He has to be one of the most useless love interest types around. You'd think he'd be cool, what with being a medal of honor winning military man, but gosh, he's annoying. I just don't see what the draw is to resurrect him. Plus, the method of bringing him back is a little weird to say the lest. As far as I can tell, this Steve Trevor is actually a claymation man created by Didan's mother and imbued with life -- just as Diana was -- by Aphrodite. So he's not exactly Steve Trevor, is he? He's just a really clever duplicate.
I really don't get what Pasko is thinking with this or where he is going with it. I'm wondering if this is a "return to the status quo" editorial mandate. If so, it's very funny and ironic considering this run is cut off via editorial mandate so quickly that nothing actually happens (as we will see shortly).
My Grade: D+. Half the issue is exposition, the other half is pointless and mean-spirited fighting (particularly Diana's mom faking her own death in front of Diana's eyes). And then they bring back Steve Trevor for no good reason. You have a blank slate to work with and this is what you come up with?