Wonder Woman #246
Jack C. Harris, Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta
Synopsis: I'm just going to say right up front that this is by far the weirdest issue of Wonder Woman I have read yet. Hands down.
Okay, so the story starts with Diana at home, in her apartment, getting ready to do some laundry. I think this might be the first "down time" scene of Diana we've had since I started reading with #212, when she lamented that she couldn't tell her three roommates about what was going on -- three roommates who went unnamed and who have never appeared or been mentioned since, I might add.
Anyway, she apparently has a swank apartment all to herself now, but she still has a communal laundry room, so she heads to the basement to wash her costume. On the way, she changes into Wonder Woman and saves two other residents from being stuck in an elevator. One of them notes that she's not wearing her tiara, which she left back in her apartment.
Arriving back in said apartment after doing her laundry, Diana is shocked to see there's been a break-in. Nothing has been stolen, though... except for her tiara. Hmm. Coincidence? Nope, because just then a big shadowy figure in a hood appears and knocks Diana out cold in one panel.
She wakens to find Steve Trevor looming over her, a nightmare scenario if ever I heard one. He's all, hey kid, someone trashed your apartment and, oh, by the way, your apartment building is shrouded in a creepy black fog. Diana quickly realizes that the building has been transformed into a gateway between dimensions and that someone is using the building as a conduit to funnel demons to Earth. How does she know this? Because "as an Amazon, I'm familiar with quite a few strange things." Okay, whatever you say.
Tasking Steve with keeping the rest of the building's residents calm, Wonder Woman begins to fight the black magic fog. She does this by, you guessed it, using her super-speed to create a tornado that whisks it away. Now, this is the third issue in a row she's used this trick; the first time, she had her plane do it and the second time she and her plane teamed up to do it, but this time she just uses her own super-speed to do it herself, saying that while she doesn't have the stamina to keep up such speeds like Flash or Superman, she can at least go at super-speed long enough to create one tornado. Again, if you say so.
Finally, she meets up with the hooded figure, which turns out to be a woman wearing Diana's tiara. She's using its power as a focus for her black magic. The fight doesn't go qwell, but then Diana has an epiphany: She needs to fight magic darkness with magic lilght. How does she do this? She bangs her bracelets together until they create a spark that catches a pile of newspapers on fire, then she brandishes this "magic" torch. She then attacks the demon-witch and hits her with the "magic" fire.
This causes the demon to reveal her true form by dropping her cloak. And her true form is... seriously you guys, it's twisted is what it is. Underneath the cloak, from the shoulders down, she's just a bunch of thing strands of exposed muscle and sinew, like a Slim Goodbody doll gone wrong. Except, at key points, there are big demonic faces -- and by key points, I mean her breasts and crotch are replaced by screaming demon faces. As are her kneecaps for some reason. Again, just to make sure you got that: her breasts and crotch are replaced by screaming demon faces.
Even more disturbing, her left breast isn't a demon face, but rather the face of her kindly upstairs neighbor, Mrs. Kravitz, who Diana saved from the elevator earlier. And she can totally talk and everything. Turns out she accidentally summoned the demon while reading a book about the occult and now she's been absorbed by the demon and is doomed to be a talking demonic left tit forever.
Except, of course, Wonder Woman lassos the demon-witch and just orders the demons to leave. So they all do, vanishing and leaving a really confused Mrs. Ktravitz behind.
Diana and Steve retire to her aparment, where she notes that the other residents are a little wary of Mrs. Kravitz, which, no kidding. But luckily, it's over, although Diana not-so-helpfully says that there's no actual way of knowing whether all the demons left or some of them made it through to Earth. Whatever the case, the story ends with a mysterious figure sneaking out of Diana's apartment and into the next issue. The End!
Notes: Holy WTF. This whole issue just came completely out of nowhere. I like the change of pace, I like giving Diana an actual life with new neighbors who may or may not become a supporting cast. It's the first time that Diana actually seems like a real human being.
That being said, where to begin here... First off, Diana changes into her Wonder Woman costume while climbing the elevator shaft. How she does this I have no idea, because until now she changes into her costume and back by standing in place and whirling her lasso around, but that's impossible when she's climbing a cable. Then she can't change back using her laso because she says her new outfit hasn't been synchornized with the lasso, so again, how the hell did she change costumes in the first place.
Then there's the matter of her flash-like super speed. Did Jack C. Harris get put on the wrong book? because he really seems to like using Flash tricks instead of, you know, Wonder Woman's actual, established powers.
Not even getting into the ridiculousness of Diana creating magic fire by banging her manacles together -- or the fact that she just suddenly has all this knowledge about the occult as though she's Dr. Fate or something -- the whole demon thing with the faces instead of body parts was just... wow. Just wow. Disturbing doesn't even begin to cover it. Some of this was intentional, other parts maybe not so much, like the fact that the demon's crotch was a giant, gaping, screaming demonic mouth. I've heard of vagina dentata, but I've never heard of vagina necromonica. Also, since the demon was wearing Wonder Woman's tiara at the time, from the neck up she looked just like Diana. I am going to have nightmares.
My Grade: Honestly, this deserves a B- at best, but I am going to give it an A++ for being one of the most unintentionally terrifyingly weird comics I have read in a long time. It made no sense, but for once that was a good thing. This is a case where gross incompetence led to pure entertainment.
Avert your eyes if you don't want to be scarred for life: