Just when you thought Wonder Woman couldn’t be more wacky, Sensation Comics #14 is told from the point of view of Abies Balsamea, a fir tree. His pals call him Fir Balsam. And he wants you to know that he and Wonder Woman are friends and that he helped her out.
An often underused power of Wonder Woman’s is her ability to talk with animals and plants. In fact, I don’t believe she has used this power at all so far. But don’t fret, Fir and her chat. This is also a Christmas story.
Diana and Steve go hinting along the Canadian border for Nazis. Why? I don’t know. Why you’d spend your holiday doing this? No clue. (Clearly, you’d go instead to the Candy ranch for a big dinner.) Marston wants you to know that Canadians suck at defending their inland borders with the US.
Fir tells Diana that there’s a secret Nazi message buried near his trunk. Let’s hope she brought her decoder ring. But, of course, before telling Steve, she must become Wonder Woman. She bundles up her winter clothes, hides them in Fir’s branches, and changes into her costume. (Another relatively unknown Wonder Woman power must be an ability to stay warm in snow wearing only culottes and a corset.) Then she skis off to find the secret Nazi cave. (She and Steve brought skies along with them; however, they neglected poles so this is some interesting skiing.)
Meanwhile, small children — Teddy and Babs Carter — traipse through the woods. They’re lost, and Babs is freezing. They take refuge in Fir’s trunk. And Fir “knocks down” Diana’s clothes to warm Babs while Teddy prepares a fire.
Somehow Fir finds out the children’s entire backstory. Telepathy? Seems that last Christmas, Nazi Carl Natz started hitting on their mother, Nan. She refused his affections. But her husband Jeb saw them and threw her out. He told the children they weren’t allowed to see her or celebrate Christmas. And he basically gave his wife to a Nazi. Upstanding guy.
So the children decided, after a year and in the middle of winter, to brave crossing Lonely Mountain to get their mother back. Of course, the fire lures the Nazis to the children’s location, and the Nazis get all upset that their message is gone. The Nazis split up the children, taking Teddy to the cave and Babs back to her house for food and to kidnap Jeb.
A filling baskets with baguettes and other fresh vegetables, the Nazi spy decides that he doesn’t need Babs or Jeb anymore and goes to push them off a cliff. Luckily, Wonder Woman won the gold in slalom jumping without poles while catching people. She saves them just in time for more trouble.
On the other side of the ravine is Nan, who’d run off from her kidnappers to see her children. Carl follows her and ties her up to drag her back. Of course, from his viewpoint, Jeb sees them and thinks they’re making out. In jealousy, he tries to jump over the ravine to give Nan a piece of his mind, again. Wonder Woman lassos Jeb so he safely lands on the other side. But Nan and Carl are long gone. Then Wonder Woman strings her lasso from one side of the ravine to the other and climbs across with Babs on her back.
Next Wonder Woman comes up with a plan. She re-hides the message under Fir and has Jeb tie her to the tree. Yes, even Nazis get gifts in this story. Predictably, Nazi spy Fritz Krieg finds her, decodes the message by using her back as a table, and leads her to the cave on a leash. (I see what you’re doing there, Marston.)
There Wonder Woman’s chained to block a door. As soon as the Nazis leave to find Steve and Etta and the Holliday girls (wouldn’t be complete without them), Wonder Woman breaks down the door to find Teddy and Nan behind it. Wonder Woman suggests to Nan that she leave her tied up so that Jeb sees she was a prisoner, not a lover of Carl’s. Yeah, the rage is making me lose my words at this whole Nan-Jeb thing.
Outside the cave, there’s a large explosion. The Nazis have triggered an avalanche to kill Steve, Etta, and Beeta Lamda Sorority.
Okay, I can handwave Wonder Woman wearing her skimpy costume in the forest, on a mountain, and in a bunch of snow. But Etta and the girls have only added red boots and red and white scarves to their tank top and shorts outfits. What? What happened to all the attention put on Babs freezing?
Anyway, in the avalanche is our good friend Fir. Wonder Woman rushes to hold back Fir and thus, stop the cascade of snow, rock, and tree.
Jeb sees Nan all tied up and realizes she wasn’t lying. Now they can be a happy family again. Especially since Wonder Woman just replanted Fir and cut off his top so the Carters could have a Christmas tree. (I assume Steve’s doing the work of putting Nazis behind bars.) Wonder Woman ends the story by sneaking into the Carters’ home with a sack full of gifts, just like Santa.
This tale bothered me because of what it said about adult romantic relationships. It said it was okay not to believe your wife when she said she was being harassed, not having an affair. Nan was guilty until proven innocent, only by being chained in a cave. And who knows what happened to her during that year. Was she Carl’s prisoner the whole time? And why would anyone, especially Wonder Woman who protects woman and children, advocate Nan begging Jeb to take her back? I suppose this tale could be chalked up to its age. A time when abuse was the business of the family, not law enforcement, and women never left their husbands, especially not if they had children, otherwise they’d be branded a hussy or adulteress. Plus, who knows what would’ve happened to the children.
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