Wonder Woman was caught off-guard by the revelation of her attacker’s identity as her own apparent counterpart from some other Earth. She did notice the woman wore no bracelets as she struck her down with a savage pounding. No bracelets — that accounts for her maddened state! she mused as she rolled to a clearing. The dirt makes me wonder how long the poor woman has been without them.
The other Wonder Woman pounced upon her and slapped her face. “Sister!” cried Diana. “Fight this madness! Remember Aphrodite’s law!”
The bestial Diana merely clawed at her foe and shook her mane-like hair. Wonder Woman sighed and kicked free. A spinning kick caught the other Diana in the chin. She gripped her wrist and flipped her to the ground.
Above, Osira poised across a divan and laughed. Steve Trevor of Earth-One reclined nearby with a blissful look in his clouded eyes.
Wonder Woman jumped over her foe’s head and looped her magic lasso over the struggling woman. “Be still and know the truth! You are a daughter of love, not a savage!” she begged.
The other Amazon slowed her fight long enough to twist the end of the rope out of Diana’s hand. That freed her of any command, and she tackled Diana again. Wonder Woman knew she was evenly matched with this twin. She had no desire to hurt the poor, deluded woman, so she decided to try a desperate stunt.
“Aphrodite give me control!” she pleaded as she held her foe in an iron headlock and slipped off one of her own bracelets.
She slid it on her twin’s arm and fought her inner impulses for control. “Sister, you are Diana of the Amazons!” she cried. “You are their chosen champion. Recall your station. Be at peace!” Her words were ironic, as she herself struggled to keep self-control with only one bracelet to govern her passions.
But the bracelet did bring the light of self-awareness back to the mad Diana. She grew aware, then shocked at her own state. “Hera, what has she done to me?” she cried.
“Help me stop her!” said Wonder Woman. Charging the divan, she hurled herself with one leap on top of Osira. They fell together as the startled space queen fought to resist the rather savage attack. Wonder Woman was giving in to her own rage.
Osira cried out and slammed her enemy across the sands with her own pyramid-powered cosmic strength. “Back! Back! I order you to yield!” she said. Steve rushed forward, only to be held back by the second Diana.
Wonder Woman hurled her lasso into the air and looped it over the edge of the nearest gleaming pyramid. She swung up and brought both feet into the vain woman’s chest.
She twisted her arm back with sudden fury, and the queen of the Nile cried out, “Stop! I will pay you back for this effrontery!” she said.
The other Diana kicked Osira flat and brushed her hair out of her face. “Enough, Diana. She is beaten,” she said slowly. She handed the bracelet back to Wonder Woman, who slowly returned to normalcy.
“Are you in control, sister?” she asked.
The ragged beauty nodded. “Thanks to you. You risked your very sense of self for me!”
Osira groaned in pain. “I see that, with savages such as you, I can little afford gentle measures,” she said tearfully. She stood and said, “I also found an artifact that was ancient when I first set sandal clad feet upon this sandy realm. I feared — yes, feared — loosing its power ere now. I leave this Earth, for my beloved is proof enough that there are Earths enough for me to rule!”
She vanished in a glowing, pyramid-shaped energy blast, but as Steve Trevor also began to fade away, he was tackled and slammed out of the field of energy by the other Diana. The energy field closed around Osira, who was angry at losing her mate, but she felt another Steve might exist somewhere in some alternative timeline, and she weighed the chance of this to be greater than her safety in a timeline in which she had just freed the creature she feared.
“Angel! At last, is that you?” he said as he glanced between two Dianas.
“This reunion must wait,” said Wonder Woman. “Look at what madness Osira has wrought!” She pointed at the final crumbling energy pyramid. “That writing is Lemurian.”
As the structure crumbled, a hulking figure stepped forth. He had white-yellow skin, a bald head, and a gaping mouth. He wore a high-collared purple costume and spoke via mental telepathy.
“At long last, Zanadu the Chaos Master walks the Earth again!” he said.
“Hera preserve us!” breathed the two Dianas.
Zanadu the Chaos Master had been a being of power in lost Lemuria over a million years ago. How he had come to be freed from his amber prison by Osira left little doubt that she had found some relic that had a connection to the odd creature, and by activating it, she had released him from the amber prison constructed during his last rampage by Doctor Fate. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Hellfire and Holocaust,” All-Star Comics #61 (July-August, 1976), “When Fall the Mighty,” All-Star Comics #62 (September-October, 1976), and “The Death of Doctor Fate,” All-Star Comics #63 (November-December, 1976).]
Now he hovered over Egypt and said, “It was my goal to raise lost Lemuria, but now I may feed as well upon the fears of the ants who dwell on the isle to the east!”
“Japan — that was where he made his last stand!” muttered Wonder Woman.
Steve Trevor of Earth-One frowned. “Listen, where am I? I was flying to Paradise Island to ask for help in restoring my Diana, who was lost in the Crisis. I was ripped through time and space by the maniac Tibro, who called himself the Crime Master of Time. Next thing I remember, I woke up free and under Osira’s power. She had me pretend to serve old Aknaten until we could strike at him, since she had some grudge against him and a fixation with me. When she left this world, I came to and saw two Dianas! Now, are either of you my wife?”
The other Diana said, “I’m afraid neither of us is the woman you lost. I am from Dimension X, and I met your wife years ago.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Forest of Giants,” Wonder Woman #100 (August, 1958).]
“Of course,” said Wonder Woman. “Diana of Earth-One mentioned you to me. I knew you were a counterpart of ours, but I didn’t know from where!”
Zanadu gestured, and amber shells suddenly surrounded the women. “Rest in amber whilst I conquer a world!” he said.
Diana frowned as she stiffened within a shell. Got to return my mind, my awareness to the pregnant body back in Georgetown, she mused.
Back in her home in Georgetown, the real Diana Trevor sat up with a start on her bed. Etta Darnell gulped as her friend’s pregnant form suddenly sat up.
“Di, you’re back in your own body! Where’s Sheena?” she asked.
“She’s frozen in amber in Egypt,” said Diana. “I need the JSA!” She rushed out and activated her JSA signal device.
Etta frowned in concern. In her condition, she could lose her child and her life fighting the kind of perils the JSA faces.
The use of the JSA signal device was not really necessary, since news of the huge creature’s magical appearance over Japan swept the TV news broadcasts, and one JSAer knew of Zanadu’s return the moment he walked the Earth again.
Kent Nelson was rocking his baby daughter Celeste in their Salem home, while his lovely wife Inza poured over a musty tome. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: Celeste Nelson’s birth was shown in Doctor Fate: Children of Fate.]
“Kent, this old book speaks of that fairy tale Darkworld you and the others entered once,” said the redheaded beauty who had never lost her youth. “It’s amazing how many rare and wonderful items you’ve collected over the years. I used to just grumble about dusting them, but now that we share the Doctor Fate role, I’m just fascinated by them all!” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Doctor Fate: Fate Revealed.]
Kent stiffened, as did Inza. Kissing baby Celeste, Kent hushed her cries and said, “Inza, we are needed. A spawn of chaos lives again!”
She nodded and kissed Celeste, and they became the merged being known in legend and fact as Doctor Fate.
“It is Zanadu!” said the part of Doctor Fate that was Kent. “He nearly killed Shiera Hall when last we fought, yet it was his very essence that restored my dying body to new health. Thus we owe the fiend a swift and merciful defeat!”
The part of Doctor Fate that was Inza murmured, “He would kill you like a mad child swatting a fly if he could. Don’t mistake the happy results of his arrival with a kind motive.”
Doctor Fate arrived over Japan in an instant, where he was soon joined by Green Lantern, Hourman, and Power Girl.
“Let’s slap that clown in the funny P.J.s silly!” said Power Girl.
Hourman grinned. “Gotta love her spunk!”
“Don’t let her hear you say that,” said Green Lantern. “I’d wager our Kara frowns on being called spunky!”
Kara Zor-L smiled. She had heard all Rex Tyler had said, and for once she was more amused than annoyed. Maybe I’m turning soft due to my newfound romantic bliss, she thought, smashing into Zanadu like a feminine rocket, only to be knocked backward by his shields.
“Little flea, do not anger me!” he called.
Green Lantern gently cushioned her fall with a green pillow.
Hourman sighed. “It never comes easy!” He ran forward and charged the Chaos Master with the intent of distracting him. “Hey, baldy — down here!” he jibed.
Zanadu waved one arm, and sheer energy blasted the ground out from under the man of the hour. He jumped to safety and said, “I guess this one’s all yours, Doc!”
Doctor Fate nodded and said, “Ever shall it be the lot of a champion of Order to wage ceaseless warfare upon the likes of Zanadu!”
Meanwhile, a very pregnant Diana Trevor had wasted no time. After alerting her team, she had summoned the wonderful invisible plane and zoomed off to Egypt to try to free the imprisoned artificial Diana called Sheena and her double from Dimension X.
“Look, Angel,” said Steve Trevor of Earth-One after she arrived. “I lost one Diana. I can’t watch a second or third one die!”
Wonder Woman touched his arm. He was obviously rattled by her pregnancy. Thoughts of what might have been had his Diana lived raced through his troubled mind; after all, they had been married mere days before her death during the Crisis. “I’ll be careful, but I have to stop Zanadu,” she said gently. “Steve, you know it is what we must do. She would have done no less!” He nodded and turned away.
She smashed into the amber shells that were weaker on the outside. Her artificial double Sheena and her Dimension X twin stepped out. “Guard my child and my body!” she said, and with those words, she sat down, and her consciousness entered Sheena’s artificial body. Steve gasped.
“Trust me, Steve. Just keep that body safe like you would do for your Diana,” she said as she urged the other Diana to stay with him. “Help him, sister! I’ll return when I can!”
The Wonder Woman of Dimension X started to protest, but she looked down at the bracelets that Diana brought for her. Wonder Woman had requested that Queen Hippolyta create them for her twin via the mental radio after their initial meeting, then picked them up from Paradise Island on the hurried flight back to Egypt. Rubbing them together on her wrists, she understood.
“I lost my Steve to an enemy that plagues my world,” she said slowly and sadly. “I would like to talk, to enjoy your company, and remember what I once had.”
Although she had the impulse to aid Diana, she correctly felt that this was neither her world nor her fight. Perhaps she could best repay her rescuer by guarding her body and healing this troubled man.
He smiled boyishly. “Well, let’s see. I’m Steve. That’s obvious. Do you like baseball?” he said. It was exactly the right absurd note to introduce to the conversation.
She laughed and extended a hand.
While Steve Trevor and Diana of Dimension X were beginning to know one another, Wonder Woman in the android body arrived in Japan. There she gasped at what she witnessed.
Zanadu the Chaos Master stood above the fallen and scattered Justice Society members, his ghastly face leering down at them. “Mortals! Nothing you do can stop me! Chaos is all!” he gloated.
Hourman struggled to break free of a glowing cage as Green Lantern stood firm and fired his green flames at the creature. Power Girl lay still; she had been battered by repeated blasts of his chaos magic, and she was vulnerable to all forms of magical power.
Doctor Fate’s hands crackled with energy. “You shall return to the amber-encased slumber from whence you came!” he cried. As he used his own magical artifacts, the merged mage was attacked by coruscating magical fire. He sank to the ground as weird energies burned across his body.
“I prepared for such an attack! The mere act of conjuration of amber was the prearranged catalyst for glyphs of pain! You brought it upon yourself!” laughed Zanadu as Fate suffered.
Green Lantern stopped his rain of flame to rush to his ally’s side. “Doc, let me try to drain this fire away from you!” said Alan Scott as he concentrated and tried to funnel away the lethal magicks.
Wonder Woman had seen enough. She realized the creature fed on psychic energy and relied upon a mortal focus to drain humanity of such vital energy. Before he had used a captive Shiera Hall as his sponge. She had an idea that might just save the day.
“Zanadu, I bid you stop this attack upon my friends!” she cried. “I offer myself to you as your human channel or focus! In return, I beg you to let the Justice Society members live!”
Doctor Fate shuddered as Green Lantern waged a battle to free him from the weird magic, while Power Girl lay silent.
“Diana, don’t be crazy!” shouted Hourman.
Zanadu sneered with his cavern-like mouth. “Ha-ha-ha! The woman’s offer has merit,” he said. “I require such a host. So be it! Prepare to receive my essence!”
Diana sent a quick command through the mental radio within her android body’s skull. It was picked up instantly by sets on Paradise Island and in D.C., as well as in a fortress back west.
As Zanadu’s mind linked with her own, she pulled back from the artificial shell and left the mental radio open to all known remote versions. Zanadu gasped as his mind was not linked with one human host, but was instead dispersed through numerous Amazonian devices before being channeled at Diana’s command back into the artifical body, which exploded.
Green Lantern screamed, “Wonder Woman — no!”
“What has she done?” Hourman gasped. “The baby was gone! Was that even Diana?”
Doctor Fate rose and said, “It is done. She gave her life to rid us of the Chaos Master. He was beaten by her Amazon devices and her courage. Rather than feed through one host, Zanadu was force-fed around the globe and then scattered to the very winds of creation!”
Power Girl stood up. “Hold it! I was too weak to move, but I saw with my x-ray vision. That wasn’t Wonder Woman!” she said with a smirk. “I checked her out when I saw the pregnancy wasn’t evident. It was some weirdo machine!”
“Thank goodness! Then, where is our Diana?” asked Hourman.
Back in Egypt, Diana Trevor suddenly sat up back in her own body. She smiled as she saw Steve of Earth-One kissing the Diana of Dimension X. “I hate to interrupt this welcome scene,” she said, “but Zanadu is beaten. Thank you for guarding me!”
Steve smiled. “Thank you for bringing me together with Diana. We want to stay together. We can help each other get over losing our original partners.”
Diana of Dimension X nodded. “We’re not wasting time with this second chance, no. We are marrying and returning to my dimension!”
Wonder Woman smiled. “Blessings of Aphrodite be upon you both!”
They hugged her and departed as Diana of Dimension X activated her own long-dormant plane.
Wonder Woman smiled with relief. Her quest was over. She mourned for the courage of Sheena, but she wondered, too, if Paula Von Gunther might not be capable of restoring the destroyed android. She touched her womb and hoped so. It was a time for births and new starts, not one for death and endings.