|"A God Among Men"|
|Series||Wonder Woman v2|
|Cover Date||December 1988|
|Previous Issue||Wonder Woman v2 #22|
|Next Issue||Wonder Woman v2 #24|
A God Among Men
Because Vanessa is back from her visit to Themyscira, she finds herself in the middle of all this popularity who want to know what happened when she visited Wonder Woman’s home. Vanessa is taking up all the attention, signing issues of "The World Today" with Hippolyta and Diana on the front. Eileen and Meekins watch from the distance as they comment on Vanessa saying that she has no time for the little people. Just then, Lucy Spears appears and asks Eileen if she can go get her copy signed by Vanessa. Eileen snaps at the blonde girl especially since she stole Vanessa’s boyfriend. Lucy, confused asks what she is talking about as Barry had told her that Vanessa was nothing but a friend to him. Suddenly, realising she has been duped by him and Lucy goes off in a rush to find Barry. Vanessa then wanders over to Eileen followed by her fans and Eileen asks if she is ready to leave now. Vanessa tells her that she has been invited over to a party with Joanne Albert who has horses. There’s no room in the car so Eileen will have to stay behind. Vanessa then tells Eileen she will make up for it next week with a movie.
Meanwhile across time, the backpacker is standing by a newsstand reading it and the owner of the newsstand is annoyed with him, asking if he is going to pay for it. The backpacker replies that he didn’t think he would need money. The owner attempts to man handle him, but he is sent flying at a wave of energy from the backpacker’s hand. He apologises for hurting him and will help him if he needs it. He then coughs out some coins onto the pavement. A police officer then comes by and confronts the backpacker. The officer asks if he is out of town, and the backpacker replies that he is very out of time. Suddenly, the backpacker is surrounded by light.
On TVs across the nation, there are live reports of Wonder Woman giving a speech to an assembly. Speaking on behalf of her mother, Princess Diana says that Themyscira is now open to the rest of the world. She says "Too long have the weeds of fear and distrust been allowed to strangle our world's garden. No longer must the sins of the past taint our hopes for the future. My mother, Queen Hippolyta, has charged me with the holy duty of selecting those who will represent Patriarch's World as the next wave in what I hope will be a continuous tide of cultural exchange and mutual enlightenment. I pray I am worthy of that trust as the Ambassador to your world, my duty is to demonstrate the sincerity of my nation's goals: to teach, and to learn; to live together peacefully, and to honour all equally; to understand compassionately, and to love unequivocally. I've grown to cherish this new world, and all of you. Despite all our differences, I fervently believe that the age of Global Communion is just beyond the horizon." It then goes live to the U.N. where Wonder Woma has not yet talked to the press. Her speech has had mixed reactions, and particularly negative comments that come from the Middle East. The reported continues how more talks in the future that should… Wonder Woman appears and the press swarm around her, where she is bombarded with questions as the press usually do. She then pauses and she sense something is not right, yet she has felt this before. She sees a figure wearing a Grecian hood and she somehow knows that stranger. The stranger replies that it may be that Wonder Woman is the chosen one. Wonder Woman’s eyes then widen when the stranger looks at a picture of a girl and realises that Wonder Woman is not the one she is looking for. Diana pushes her way through the crowd and pushes everyone out of the way in pursuit of the strange woman. She then sees the figure disappear (the identity is revealed in The New Titans #50). The reporter then rushes up to Wonder Woman and asks about the one with the “winged helmet”. Hearing this, her eyes widen and she flies up into the sky. The reporter comments how Wonder Woman is still puzzling as ever and at the same time, she is flying over Boston to New York. She arrives and finds Hermes who has come to help her with her mission of Proselytism. Wonder Woman asks why he is here but not with the other gods. He replies that he tried to reason with the gods but they would not listen. How can Man be expected to know that the gods exist when they haven’t even seen them and gestures to the crowds watching from below. He then removes his helmet and tips it upside down, where gold and diamonds fall to the ground. Diana asks how someone can purchase the value of faith and Hermes replies that he merely getting their attention.
Suddenly, a gun shot is fired and everyone scrambles. They see a getaway car and a boy who has been shot two times in the chest. As Hermes pursues the robbers, Diana and paramedics tend to the boy. In the car, the two robbers hear a little voice and coming from the bag. They open it to find Hermes inside. He tells them that God of Thieves may appreciate them, but they should never steal from Hermes himself! He then waves his hands and the road in front of the car starts peeling like a banana and the car slams into a wall of tarmac and injuring the two robbers badly. The boy’s condition is hopeless when Hermes arrives and forms a glow around the boy’s body. The boy is completely healed and stands up. “Mr. Hermes” was happy to talk to the reporters but then he was pulled aside by Wonder Woman and talked him into going with her to heal the robbers, who were then placed in custody.
Back at the Kapatelis home, they watch the report on the news and Julia tells her daughter to turn it off. Hermes asks why and Diana says that she is very melancholic. Meanwhile, Vanessa asks Hermes if he can bring up anything and replies with a “Yes.” She then quickly follows up with another question, asking him if he knows what a Video Entertainment Centre is. Julia tells Vanessa to call her friend Eileen because she has apparently been calling for her all night. Vanessa goes upstairs in a mood and Hermes asks Julia why she is so annoyed. She replies that with all due respect, she would like it if he did not buy her daughter’s loyalty. It’s hard enough being a mother when you’re competing with an Olympian Santa Clause. Hermes frowns and asks if she is mocking him. Diana tries to calm things down, but Julia replies back to Hermes saying that his faith is where it can be sold to the highest bidder. Hermes replies that she has a fire in her heart which he admires, but history has shown that reward is the cornerstone of faith and asks her “Youth and beauty perhaps?” She glares at him and exclaims “No deal!” saying that what he talks is ransom and not reward. Is this how the gods work now? The gods have to barter what faith they cannot earn? Hermes eyes narrow and Diana explains that Julia meant no offence. She says that Julia has taught her a lot about humanity and Julia asks Diana not to “beg”. Hermes can then see that Julia is jealous as the time of her being a mentor has ended. He then realises that this is her home and he will not stay where he is welcome. Diana must come with him. Vanessa who has been listening upstairs comes out of her room and yells a “No!” Diana explains that while she does not want to leave, she must because she owes him a duty because without him, she would not exist. Hermes suggests that Julia does not force him to take Diana away from her as long as she does question his authority, and Julia replies that she cannot do that. Hermes then raises his hand and changes Diana’s costume to a Grecian robe and says that they are now ready to part. Diana tells Vanessa and Julia that she loves them but she must do what her duty calls her to and with that, a blinding light fills the room and they disappear. There is silence once more where Julia looks up to her daughter and her eyes fill with hatred as Vanessa turns into her room and slams the door.
A week later, Horace and Julia are having lunch together when Horace is reading the front page about Hermes and Diana. Hermes claims he can do anything except raise the dead. She replies "Yes, but only temporarily, unless you sell your soul to him." She explains how she is worried for Diana and how Hermes has a grip on her. She continues, saying that the god has seemed to convert Vanessa with his ability to conjure up anything and Horace adds that Vanessa seems to be lacking motivation. Julia puts her head in her hands and tells Horace that Diana is a grown woman. Maybe Diana doesn’t need her anymore. Just then, a glow fills the skies and everyone looks up, and it is Hermes along with Diana. Hermes asks her if she can feel the worship and uses his staff to listen to the conversation below, but all they can hear is "Do you think they'll toss us some more gold?", "I don't trust them. They're trying to take over,” and "I heard that Hermes is a fake, just like the Wonder Woman broad." Diana asks him to stop as they fear that the god’s goal is to rule the world. He smiles and say that they are gods but she reminds him that she is not a god, that she is just like them. He replies that she is much better than that. Diana asks that teaching love, peace and equality is the greatest journey of all and that is her destiny, surely. Hermes realises that he has gone to fast and Diana clearly needs to think this through. He instructs her to fly to his temple, but Hermes has to deal with these people below. Diana flies off and Hermes damn to gods for wasting such a potential. He flies down to the crowds and asks what he can do for them today. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure is watching from afar and the woman then goes to Hermes and addresses in classical Greek. Hermes is impressed that she can speak his native tongue and introduces herself as Eury. For centuries they have been waiting for this and finally, she has realised her family’s dream. She says that her father is dying and that he needs healing. He lifts himself and Eury into the air and will not only save his father, but make him a god too! He instructs the news crew to follow him as he makes his way there.
A while later, the news crew catch up to them in an alley and they make their way to a doorway and the soundman says to the cameraman that there is something strange about this building. Hermes assures them that there is nothing to worry about, and they are under the care of Hermes. Eury leads them to a cellar where an old man lays in bed and Eury begs Hermes to hurry as he does not have much time left. He holds out his Caduceus and instructs the old man to hold it but has he does, Hermes lets out a cry and the crew watches as Hermes is surrounded by energy. Realising something is wrong, he removes Eury’s sunglasses and instantly turns into stone and the terrified cameraman drops his camera and runs. Eury pushes over the petrified man and he shatters in a thousand pieces and Hermes asks who they are. The old man transforms himself in Phobos and Eury reveals herself to be Euryale and he realises that he has been lured into a trap. Hermes then hears his name being called and looks up to a massive stone figure. "It cannot be! Not after all these Eons! Ixion the Assassin!"
- Cover Artist - Tatjana Wood
- Writer - George Pérez
- Penciler - George Pérez
- Inker - Will Blyberg
- Colourist - Carl Gafford
- Letterer - John Costanza
- Editor -