|Series:||Wonder Woman (Volume 2)|
|First Published:||April 1988|
|Previous Issue:||Wonder Woman Vol 2 #12|
|Next Issue:||Wonder Woman Vol 2 #14|
Hippolyta stares up at the huge statue of Heracles. For centuries he has hated him but years on Paradise Island has taught her the lack of foresight of such anger. Hippolyta wonders what he has done to deserve this kind of punishment. Though his skin is made of stone, the harpies’ talons claw into him though she cannot be sympathetic for him right now, as she has to find her daughter.
Up in Mount Olympus, Zeus can see what is happening, and is enraged that he can see the dead body of Pan. Hermes asks if Pan has been dead for so long, then who has been living amongst them as Pan? Zeus wants this impostor to pay for what he has done, but Hera points her finger at Zeus, accusing him of taking part in this. Hera believes that his arrogance has caused nothing but trouble for the gods and it is time for him to pay. She now knows that Gaea’s destiny must be fulfilled by the Amazons, and she will not allow him to destroy it. The false Pan has led Diana to believe that accepting the challenge and she orders Hermes to bring back the Amazon Princess at once. Hermes makes his way through the void between the two worlds, trying to accept the fact that his son is dead. He arrives at the Green Lantern Corps headquarters, where they are discussing the promised Millienium. Wonder Woman is in a conversation when light surrounds her and then she sees Hermes appear in front of her and asks her to come back with him. Diana asks about the challenge and Hermes replies that she has been tricked by a fake Pan. It was not Pan at all but an agent of a Manhunter who was sure he could destroy her. By doing this, he has succeeded in putting Mankind into even more danger. Hermes tells her that her mother has also gone into the Cavern of Doom to help her, but she cannot complete the ultimate labour, only Diana can. They both vanish and the heroes around her wonder where she has gone. Even though they need every hero that they can get, they understand that she leaves with good reason. Zeus and the other gods watch as Hermes and Diana travel through the void, and Zeus can now see that she is surely the one to stop this madness. The false Pan knew that and used him and he hopes that his arrogance has not doomed them all.
Inside the Cavern of Doom, the Cyclops’ club strikes down at Hippolyta. She dodges, only dodging it with mere inches. The Cyclops is hungry and he grabs Hippolyta and lifts her towards his face. She tells him to unhand her. As he opens his mouth to consume her, he is suddenly hit by a powerful punch as Wonder Woman comes in. The Cyclops lets go of Hippolyta and Diana goes to check on her mother and tells her that they will talk, but they have to finish this off first. The Cyclops gets to his feet and he thrashes the cave around but then he realises that his actions may bring down this whole cavern. Diana unhooks her lasso and binds the Cyclops to a column and he is then compelled to tell the truth. When he was banished to the Cavern of Doom, they fought and ate each other, as that was the only way to survive and that was God’s cruellest joke as his good must literally bump into him so that he can hunt. When the dead body of a Man-goat dropped down at his feet, he ate it and that has given him eternal indigestion. As she starts sobbing, he prays that she will slay him, out of compassion. Diana asks her mother what to do as the Amazons cannot simply kill someone so helpless. But Hippolyta does not answer and is staring at the statue. She asks Diana if she can hear that, and Diana replies that she cannot. She stares at the distant form of Heracles and says that she cannot allow someone to suffer like that, even though he has caused so much pain for her over these years. Hippolyta races up the base of the statue and she thinks to herself that she was brought here for this task. Suddenly, she is struck down by a fiery blast. Diana runs towards her mother and Hippolyta is rolling in the dust to put out the flames. Before Diana can reach her mother, she too is hit by a fiery blast. Hippolyta cries out for her daughter, but she is then choked by the Minotaur. Behind him stands the Chimera and Echidna, the snake demons. The Minotaur tells her that Heracles will die by the harpies, as they slash his skin and that the both of them will die. When the flesh of Heracles is finally pierced, the evil from below this island will finally be revealed. A voice then asks him "Is this then Zeus' greatest Treasure?" and before the Minotaur can turn around, Diana punches the Minotaur. She puts the Minotaur into a headlock and both of them struggle and as she tells him that she cannot let Heracles suffer anymore. Diana then throws the Minotaur over her shoulders and slams him into the ground. Chimera launches his fiery breath and Diana just manages to dodge it. Chimera is amazed, but Echidna reassures him that she cannot escape serpentine coils. She wraps her tail around Diana, choking her like a python, but Echidna hears a voice behind her telling her to stop at once, and it is Hippolyta who beheads Echidna.
The Minotaur gets up and retaliates by taking down Hippolyta from behind but before he can move in for the kill, Diana grabs him by the horns and hurls him across the cavern. He prepares to advance on Diana when a large hand scoops him up and the Cyclops is happy to find food once again. This confuses Diana as that means he has escaped from the lasso and the Minotaur smashes the jaw of the Cyclops, letting it fall to the ground shaking the whole cavern and the ground under them begin to shake, and the Cyclops and Minotaur fall into eternal darkness. Diana looks down and is glad that the fates have granted Cyclops’ wish. Diana runs over to the mother as she asks for Diana’s to forgive her for ruining everything. Diana replies that she was right, and she found what she was meant to find. She just wishes she knew how the Cyclops escaped from the lasso. Just then, a woman’s voice replies "Why, with my assistance of course" and they turn to see a woman. She tells Diana that she recognises her as the mad woman, and Hippolyta as the vulture. She reveals her true identity as Harmonia daughter of Ares. She tells her that Ares has known this place since its creation but he saw no reason to interfere with the fake Pan’s plan and now that Diana has calmed down the madness in him and has prepared him to see what is rightfully his. She holds up the Talisman which Diana uses during the Ares Assault and that she is the only one that can capture the demons once and for all and deliver them to its new host – Ares! If Diana can untie this knot, then she is truly the chosen one of Gaea. Harmonia leaves giving Diana’s lasso and Talisman back and she wonders how she can destroy the demons without killing Heracles. She sees why Harmonia brought her mother down here and sees that perhaps Heracles can be saved by their forgiveness. She picks her mother up and flies to the top where she chases away Chimera and the Harpies.
In Olympus, Aphrodite is watching and wonders how she can face these demons without any help. Athena replies that by answer her own challenge, she can allow Diana’s beauty of her soul to be her shield. She will only survive if this clay statue is one with Gaea, only if she is truly all that is of woman.
In the Cavern of Doom, Hippolyta can hear the painful moans of Heracles, but Diana tells her to be brave. This must be some kind of connection between the two of them if she can hear him. Diana gives her lasso to her mother and binds her mother to the side of Heracles’ head and then flies back still holding the lasso. Hippolyta’s and Heracles’ minds are filled with visions of each other, and suddenly, they see new images and viewpoints as they both suffer for each other. Hippolyta sheds a tear as she calls out to her long lost sister Antiope and for the first time, their two souls releasing. Heracles’ flesh begins to blister and crack and the harpies and Chimera fly away. Suddenly, a light bursts out from Heracles. Nightmares imprisoned inside of Heracles are finally released and she gives chase to a trail of demons who try to head for the exit because if the demonic horde is not stopped, no one will survive. She hopes that she has made the right decision. She is racing against the demonic horde and up ahead she can see the doorway open. She stops her way between the doorway and readies herself for what is about to come. She holds her amulet up as the demonic horde strikes it straight in the middle. Diana can feel so much power as she struggles to keep it down and trembles ride across Paradise Island and the Amazons wonder if immortality is at an end.
Meanwhile, the rock beneath Hippolyta’s feet begins to collapse and she begins falling, but a hand grabs her hand. She looks up and it is Heracles. Seismographic stations across the world are off the scales. Diana does not let go of the amulet, as it starts to burn her hands and all that power sends Diana into another realm. She finds herself in Areopagus, the desolate home of Ares. He greets her, and thanks her for putting the power all into the amulet for him. Ares asks her to give it to him, but she refuses as such power is not for him. He tells her that she is granted wisdom from Athena and that she should use it. Her heart tells her to give the talisman to him, so she lets go and it flies into his hands. Blinding light surrounds Ares and the demons are released into his home. Now the ultimate power of destruction is finally his as he ascends towards the sky, laughing his evil laugh.
Diana looks on in horror wondering what she has done but she Harmona’s voice, reassuring her that she has done right. Harmonia also tells her that she done has finished her mission and she is one of the greatest warriors to exist so far. There will always be new challenges, however, and the consequences from today will shape her future and that nothing happens merely by accident. Harmonia passes on her blessing and the gratitude of the gods before disappearing. Diana is left alone but Hermes appears and Diana begs him to return her mother back to her. He says that he cannot and there is one more challenge, and that is his challenge. Diana is confused as Harmonia tells her that it is over but Hermes responds that her next challenge is to return to Man’s World to avenge the death of his son. She must find the Manhunter who impersonated him and kill him!
- Cover Artist - George Pérez
- Writer - George Pérez,Lein Wein
- Penciler - George Pérez
- Inker - Bruce Patterson
- Colourist - Carl Gafford
- Letterer - John Costanza
- Editor - Eddie Berganza
- Wonder Woman
- Green Lantern
- Martian Manhunter