The group of evil women, consisting of Queen Clea, Doctor Poison, Orana, Fausta Grables, and the last recruit, Giganta, plotted revenge against Wonder Woman. Although Gudra had brought them together, she ultimately left them to do their own work without her involvement.
“I dub us the Wonder Woman Revenge Squad!” said Giganta. She was a towering, muscled, red-haired beauty who had not aged a day since her transformation from ape to human woman in the 1940s. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Evolution Goes Haywire,” Wonder Woman #9 (June, 1944).]
“We have our assignments! We know where to meet when all goes well — or ill,” announced Queen Clea, who was the leader in Gudra’s absence.
“What of the Cheetah?” asked Doctor Poison.
“Gudra said she was in reserve for future plans, if needed,” explained Orana.
“Our pledge, then,” said Fausta. “To the death of Diana Trevor and all she holds dear!”
They all shouted the vow and laughed grimly.
When Jennie-Lynn Hayden, alias the Infinitor named Jade, left her Infinity Inc. teammates in Los Angeles, she had much on her mind. The attractive Wisconsin native had a vibrant personality, a pretty face, and loads of personality. She was rather eager to get to D.C. for Lyta’s slumber party, and hastily exchanged goodbyes with her brother.
“Be good, twinnie! I’ll see you when the cops bring us in for questioning!” she teased.
Jade’s recently discovered twin, Todd Rice, had grown up separated from her, and he was fiercely loyal and protective to her. He hated goodbyes. So many of the ones he had known were sudden and final. His mother and kid brother by adoption had vanished abruptly after leaving his drunken stepdad behind in Milwaukee.
Todd had departed soon afterward as well. He missed his pal and employer from the machine shop where he worked after school. He missed his priest, too. He hated to see Jennie leave, even for a short time with friends. “Just don’t forget me out in the world of the rich and famous!” he said jokingly.
“Never, dahling!” she teased. Jennie-Lynn was the extrovert to Todd’s more introverted personality, and she understood his slight qualm about her involvement with the wealthy Trevors; Todd had a normal suspicion of those with money. Hector Hall had certainly showed insensitivity to him in his shallow manner.
Back in Franklin, Wisconsin, Jennie-Lynn’s middle class upbringing had been full of more certainty and safety than poor Todd’s had. She loved attention. Back in community theater she had brought down the house as Dorothy and Alice in their respective tales. She had loved it all: the blonde wig and pinafore with Mary Jane as Alice, and the pigtails and songs as Dorothy. She later joked about how she could have saved the makeup people money by doubling as the green-hued Wicked Witch. Of course, her green skin and power pulse came later.
Now, she eagerly hugged Todd and flew off.
Jade’s brother moped briefly, then joined his friend Norda Cantrell, alias Northwind, in the Stellar Studios machine shop. He could lose himself in the fine art of making metal work as he wished.
Hector Hall, alias the Silver Scarab, was more irritated by all the girls having an evening to themselves back east, since it meant he couldn’t see Lyta. “Wanna crash the party?” he asked tall Albert Rothstein, alias Nuklon.
Al smiled and said, “No way! We’d get creamed by Power Girl!” Al wondered where their fellow teammate Brainwave Jr. was. He had stormed off after the press got ugly at the Infinity Inc. press conference. (*) He was naturally sensitive about his late dad, the villain known as the Brain Wave.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Press Conference,” Infinity Inc. #12 (March, 1985).]
While the boys amused themselves as they could back in Los Angeles, their female teammates had all arrived at the Trevor estate in Georgetown for Lyta Trevor’s party.
Lyta gazed around the room at her friends, still wearing the pink baby-doll nightie, while Jade wore a matching pale gold one.
Helena Wayne, alias the Huntress, wore a costly set of silk pajamas, while Kara Zor-L, alias Power Girl, wore her red and white uniform.
“Here, you need sleepwear!” teased Jade, and instantly a long, ruffled, frilly green gown formed over Power Girl’s costume.
They all laughed as the tall blonde pouted and said, “I look like I should be getting an award from the Academy of Country Music!”
“Kermit the Judd!” quipped Jade.
Lyta relaxed when she saw the often moody Kara laugh and pick up a CD. “Boy George? Ugh!” she said, frowning.
“What? Power Girl doesn’t like ‘gay power’?” teased Helena.
“How does he walk in those heels?” asked Lyta.
“Don’t ask me!” said Kara, frowning. She recalled the ordeal she had gone through when her cousin Clark’s wife Lois had tried patiently to teach the strange Earth fashions to the impatient Kryptonian girl. “I almost put my foot through the floor when I first tried to walk in heels at Lois’ instruction!” she said.
“I guess on Krypton they all wore headbands and Yeoman Rand miniskirts!” joked Jade.
“Rand? Are you a Trekkie?” asked Lyta.
“It’s Trekker! Or so we prefer,” announced Helena.
“So, you’re Madonna?” Kara said to Helena.
“Yes, and I guess that makes you Joan Jett,” Helena said to Kara.
“I’m Cyndi Lauper!” called Jade and Lyta at the same time, and they all laughed.
Lyta was pleased. Things were going well. However, unknown to Wonder Woman’s daughter, around the world at that moment her mother’s gathered foes struck.
The slumber party had continued happily enough when a thump at the front door caused the party to stop while Lyta opened the door. To her dismay, her mother’s battered form fell into her arms.
“Mother!” she cried as her friends rushed forward.
After the Huntress applied some first aid, Wonder Woman sat up wearily. “We were dining with the Darnells when they and Steve suddenly passed out,” explained Diana Trevor. “Some colorless toxin had been introduced into the house as we ate. I rushed to open a window and used my lasso to blow off the fumes after I detected the odor. I was dizzy, too.
“I was no sooner over your dad than I was hit hard from all sides,” continued Diana. “I glimpsed Fausta, Doctor Poison, Giganta, and even Orana, an Amazon. I fell hard from a blow to the back of my skull. When I woke up, my costume and lasso were gone, as were the Darnells and Steve. This note was left on an Amazon tunic they left me.”
Lyta read the printout. “Your loved ones die in a few hours. Go to Japan, South Africa, Germany, and where it all started if you want to save them. Any way you try, some will die! Don’t go to the JSA, or they die quicker! The Wonder Woman Revenge Squad!”
“We’ve got to save them!” yelled Power Girl. “We can divide up!”
“I guess they assumed you were with Infinity Inc. back west,” Jade said to Lyta.
Wonder Woman stood up shakily. “I can’t thank you enough. Let’s go. Steve and the others are in deadly peril every second we wait! I had to see if you were OK first.”
After discussing their plans hastily, they all raced out on their respective missions.
The former Baroness Paula von Gunther had lived happily as an adopted Amazon for decades and still retained her youthful beauty. However, she was revisiting her Nazi past against her will.
Paula had been abducted from Paradise Island’s Transformation Island laboratory by the insane Orana and Fausta. Now she was chained in a bizarre courtroom in Berlin, where the preening platinum blonde Fausta — the so-called Nazi Wonder Woman — had brought her to stand trial for treason to her long-dead master, Adolf Hitler. She could not break free, nor could she make use of any weapon, since her place of imprisonment was in the center of an empty room.
Fausta was acting as prosecution, judge, and, apparently, executioner as well. “You betrayed our Axis cause after being Hitler’s own favorite!” screamed Fausta, strutting around in her thigh-high black heels. “You joined yourself to the insipid Amazon nation and used your brilliance for their betterment, when Austrian wealth paid for your education, and you owed all to Hitler’s patronage.”
“I saw the evil behind Hitler’s cause, and I repented of all I had done to further it,” said Paula. “I still repent of the lives I took for that madman!” She reeled back when Fausta slapped her so hard that she shook.
“You’ll repent of this change more when I kill you,” vowed Fausta. “The Amazon will never choose to save you,” cooed the Nazi. “She’ll go to her husband or her friends from America! You’ll have aided her, and you’ll get naught in return!”
“Oh, I may not be Wonder Woman, but I can still break your jaw, you dominatrix wannabe!” said a powerful voice as the wall literally shattered, and a beautiful blonde flew inside.
“Über Fräulein!” cried Fausta.
“If that’s German for Power Girl, then you’re sharper than you look!” she answered.
Power Girl had mixed emotions about Wonder Woman. She admired her as the first major heroine, but she knew Diana had little respect for the rather disdainful way Kara had treated the Justice Society males, and especially her cousin Superman, when she first joined the team.
“Amazons are superior to males only due to their greater sense of love and virtue, not because of their gender or raw power,” Diana had once admonished the young Kryptonian.
Still, Kara was not about to let anyone be abused at the hands of thugs like this Fausta. As Power Girl stomped her boot, the floor cracked wide and sent the Nazi tumbling.
Fausta rolled back to her feet and smiled. “You may be a worthy challenger, after all!” Leaping over the crack, Fausta drove the super-heroine into a wall.
Power Girl’s fist flew out, and Fausta rolled back again. The Kryptonian slammed her full weight into Fausta, and the platinum blonde groaned.
“Not so much of a master race now, are you?” quipped Power Girl as she sent Fausta down with a left hook.
Fausta merely grimaced and kicked out. Power Girl’s feet were swept out from under her, and she fell hard. Paula struggled helplessly nearby as the fight continued.
Power Girl glanced around the room. Not much to work with here! she mused.
Fausta charged in, only to sail beneath the leaping heroine. Power Girl brought her legs around and down on Fausta’s back, and the Nazi Wonder Woman hit the floor.
“You may be stronger than I am, but I have an ally,” said Fausta. “Meet the Murder Machine, Mark III.”
A large green robot surged forward from out of the darkest corner of the otherwise empty room. Nazi emblems decorated its crude features, and powerful pinchers clicked where hands would normally go.
“I believe this device might even have been a design of yours, traitor!” spat Fausta at Paula.
The robot clipped Power Girl and sent her tumbling. Before she could rise again, it gripped her around the waist and started squeezing.
“Not on the first date!” muttered Power Girl as she struggled in the machine’s unyielding grip.
Fausta laughed and moved slowly toward Paula. “You, I can deal with now!” she promised maliciously.
“Not so fast!” yelled a man who suddenly burst inside. He had a shaggy blond hairdo and wore a brown trenchcoat. “We frown on Nazi retros these days!” he joked. A whip cracked from his hand, and Fausta flinched back.
“I can rip that from your corpse!” the Nazi sneered.
“That remains to be seen!” said the man as he spun and sliced at Paula’s bonds with a small laser.
Power Girl raised her shapely legs and forced them to push out the clipping pinchers that held her. Slowly they gave, and she dropped free and pushed the robot over. It fell near the occupied Fausta as her male rescuer dived to safety with the astonished Paula, the man’s expertly tossed whip swinging them to a safe spot.
“Thank you!” breathed the former Baroness von Gunther.
“That’s why I’m here — to help,” said the agile blond man.
“It is weakest at the hip joints!” the brilliant Paula called out.
Following Paula’s shouted instructions to the letter, Power Girl moved herself between the robot’s flailing legs and heaved until a leg broke off neatly. She slammed it into the robot’s head, and with a whine, it moved no more.
“Look out!” yelled the blond man.
Fausta charged shakily forward, and Kara smirked as one swift left dropped her cold. “Thanks, but she’s no trouble now. I guess having a robot fall on you takes a lot out of you.”
Paula and Power Girl raced off after the blond promised to turn Fausta into the German authorities.
“What’s your name?” cried Paula as they bounded off.
“You can call me Johnny Peril!” he said as he waved them off.
Jade had never seen such splendor as was on view in the odd contrast between the cities of South Africa and the veldt not all that far away. She hoped there would be time for sightseeing after she had freed whichever friend of Wonder Woman’s was in danger there. She smiled as she wondered what a once-racially separated area like South Africa had been under Apartheid would make of a green-skinned beauty like herself.
A moment later, she landed with easy grace at the steps of the embassy. Soon the heroine was ushered into a private office where a handsome man greeted her warmly.
“Jennie-Lynn! Nice to see you,” said former Ambassador Richard Grayson, alias the JSAer named Robin. “We’ve never really talked much before. Your dad has always been a real hero of mine. He and Bruce sort of worked Gotham all those years, and really respected each other.”
“That’s so sweet, but I need help,” said Jade. “Where would a madwoman strike here? Her name is Giganta, and she’s a Wonder Woman foe. She’s going to be up to something here immediately, and someone’s life is at stake!”
“Whoa! Slow down,” said the brilliant sleuth as he began thinking. “I know of her from an old case. She’s an ape turned woman, right? Her only tie to South Africa might be the large game preserve and wilderness sanctuary nearby. Plenty of apes there. Let’s check it out.”
Minutes later, the dramatic figures of Jade and Robin were soaring over the spacious preserve. “There!” he said, pointing. “Can you magnify that area?”
Jade’s power pulse flashed, and a huge lens formed that made the area below come into sharp focus. “I see odd machinery!” she said.
“That could be it!” said Robin. “Nothing like that should be here, nor was it recently.”
“What? You mean you memorized the entire preserve?” joked Jade.
“Yes,” he said with what might have been a smile on his face. “Seriously, I did some computer checking before we left, and imports of exotic parts have occurred recently in that spot,” he explained. “The rangers know nothing of it and have no budget for that kind of tech.”
They settled near a raised platform, where a machine loomed up out of a slight covering.
“It has some kind of projecting or focusing lens and a range like a satellite, or so it appears,” said Robin.
“Stolen cable!” teased Jade.
“Reclaimed lives!” interjected a huge woman in a leopard skin bikini.
“Giganta!” said Jade.
“And what you see is the first of a project of rebirth,” she growled. “I shall rid the nation of inferior beings with this device from Clea.”
“That racist talk is garbage!” declared Jade.
“Oh, I am not racist, merely speciesist!” said Giganta. “For I hope to rid the area of humans and turn all into the higher form of life: apes!”