Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wonder Woman #187

Wonder Woman #187 (On Sale: January 3, 1970) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano. This is also the splash page for the story as it is the only place the title appears and page one continues from this starting point.

"Earthquaker" is the book-length Wonder Woman story written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Dick Giordano. The story begins with I-Ching being shot and the takes us back to how we got to this place.

I-Ching receives a phone call from an old friend in Hong Kong needing Ching's help. Unable to get a normal flight, Ching gets one from another old friend, Patrick McGuire, who runs a freight airline. Diana tags along and they soon find out that McGuire is short-handed and will be piloting the plane. Not only that, but another woman, one Lu Shan, is also along for the flight. That night as the passengers all drift off to sleep, some thugs come out from their hiding place in a crate and awaken the three passengers at gunpoint.

The thugs seem to know Lu Shan and tell her that they will toss her out over the Pacific if she does not tell them where, well, something is. When one of the thugs turns his back on Diana and Ching to watch the other wrestle with Lu Shan, Diana and Ching leap into action. Gunfire brings McGuire out from the cockpit but a stray bullet hits the co-pilot. Most of the bad guys are ejected from the plane when it banks suddenly due to the shot pilot. Diana notices that the one bad guy not to fall from the plane has the eye of a cat tattooed on his hand. Lu Shan says it is the mark of the Tiger Tong who wish to steal something from her employer.

Just then I-Ching feels a broken medallion around Lu Shan's neck and matches it up to a similar medallion around his own neck. He says this means that Lu Shan is I-Ching's long lost daughter. It is that this time that they land in Hong Kong and Lu Shan invites them to go with her to her employer's place where they can discuss the matching coin medallions and her past of which she knows very little. On the way to the employer's they are attacked once again by members of the Tiger Tong. They are able to fend them off. However, when they reach Lu Shan's employer, there are more Tiger Tong waiting so they take once more to the streets of Hong Kong.

There with the help of McGuire they are able to defeat the Tong once again, and they leave McGuire with a promise to meet for dinner that night. When they once again reach Lu Shan's employer, Diana is a little worried by the presence of armed guards. That night finds McGuire at the Hong Kong police as Diana never showed up for dinner. Just then they are informed of an explosion on a junk in the harbor, not far from where they have found abandoned, the truck in which Lu Shan, Diana and Ching were last seen.

We then go back four hours to Lu Shan, Diana and Ching arriving at the junk of Lu Shan's employer, who turns out to be Dr. Cyber (last seen reeking havoc in Wonder Woman #182). While Lu Shan covers them with a gun Dr. Cyber explains that the box taken from the plane contains power sources which shall be used to power her "earthquakers," which she will use destroy Hong Kong as a demonstration of her power and to blackmail the world.

Lu Shan asks Dr. Cyber if she may have her gift, which ends up being I-Ching's life and we are back to the scene depicted on the cover splash. Yes, Ching is her father but he is also the man who murdered Lu Shan's mother. Before things go any farther in that area, Lum Fong, head of the Tiger Tong, and his men show up to steal the earthquakers. Dr. Cyber has them killed, impelled by sharp spears, but one of the men is not yet dead and gets off a blast from his machine gun. The spray of stray bullets hits a brazier of hot coals flinging them onto Dr. Cyber's face.

In the resulting fire and smoke, Diana manages to get Ching up on deck. Lu Shan escapes with Dr. Cyber and the power sources while Diana attends to Ching. As the boat begins to sink they are rescued by McGuire and the police. Ching is taken to a hospital while in a secret hospital outside of Hong Kong and fully-bandaged Dr. Cyber tells Lu Shan to activate the earthquakers then hunt down Diana Prince.

Like in many of the Sekowsky books, there follows a full-page ad for the next issue by Sekowsky and Giordano. This story was reprinted in Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vol. 2 TPB.

Edited by Mike Sekowsky.

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