In this tale from Wonder Woman #2, Wonder Woman is defeated by Mars’ Earl of Conquest. Okay, she’s not really defeated, but almost. At least, she winds up back on Mars.
Conquest understands Wonder Woman’s Achilles’ heel, which is that she’s always up for a challenge. Thus, he devises a plan with the help of the Italians under Mussolini. (Which is the first time that Marston’s mentioned the Italians as an enemy.) Count Crafti is sent to seduce Wonder Woman, and his bodyguard Mammotha is sent to challenge Wonder Woman physically. In fact, Conquest’s astral body takes over Mammotha’s body for the story. Conquest makes Mammotha even stronger than the 8-foot giant normally is.
Wonder Woman being Wonder Woman and so in love with Steve Trevor, she does not fall for Count Crafti’s seduction. In fact, she just tries to sell him war bonds. (She’s always hawking war bonds these days. In fact, this issue ends with a short that I won’t cover where she tells the tale of a stranded soldier to get you to buy war bonds.)
But Count Crafti does realize that she’s interested in Mammotha’s upcoming boxing fight. Probably because Mammotha’s advertising claims that he’s stronger than Wonder Woman.
And well, Wonder Woman will just not stand for that. You go, girl.
Before the boxing fight starts, Mammotha shows off his strength by juggling five 500 pound balls of iron and pulling an elephant across the boxing ring. Wonder Woman comments that she could do that one handed. Then Mammotha takes on the Navy’s leading boxer and takes him out quickly. It’s announced that whomever is brave enough to fight Mammotha can win $5,000 if s/he lasts one round and then an additional $50,000 if s/he wins.
Diana slips away from where she’s sitting with Steve Trevor and goes to a phone-booth to change. (That’s right, she’s picking up costume changing tips from her Justice League buddy Superman.)
When Wonder Woman and Mammotha start to spare, Mammotha seems to beat her for a while. He throws her to the other side of the ring and punches her a lot in her face. But soon, he seems to wear out a little bit. Wonder Woman clocks him really hard, he falls, and Wonder Woman wins. Of course, she’s giving her money to war-time charities.
But once in Count Crafti’s office, he tricks her. There’s no check, but an electrical shock which knocks Wonder Woman out. When Steve comes looking for his angel, he’s also knocked over the head. Then before Wonder Woman comes to, chains are welded onto her bracelets, leaving her powerless. Wonder Woman and Steve are hauled off to Mars on a slave spaceship.
Of course, when Mars actually sees her face-to-face, it seems like chaining her up is really the only thing he can torture her with in this family-friendly comic. There are vague threats that Mars is being extra mean to Steve, but nothing Marston puts in any detail.
When Wonder Woman’s alone in her cell, she sends a mental radio signal for Etta to come save her and Steve. Etta uses Aphrodite’s formula to put herself and the Holliday College girls into their astral bodies. They ride a slave spaceship to Mars. However, they bring acid to destroy their chains.
Of course, once Etta finds Wonder Woman and uses the acid to destroy her friend’s chains, Mars gets a beat-down. There’s some office furniture involved. Wonder Woman, Steve, Etta, and the girls escape on a slave spaceship, leaving Mars’ city burning. When they’re back on Earth, Steve is so relieved that they’ve defeated Mars and his men. But Wonder Woman reminds him that Mars is immortal and will be back. Plus, there is still evil afoot in a man’s world.
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