Friday, November 9, 2007

Wonder Woman #25 (Story Two, Part 2, finale): WHO'LL ADOPT TEASY?

When last we met, Teazy had just started a fire which was in danger of burning the house down. Now, on with our story:

Myrna gets on the phone immediately to call -- Diana Prince! (what's that, you say? She should have called the fire department? Whattaya nuts? ALWAYS call military intelligence when the house is on fire. Duh.) Myrna begs Diana to find Wonder Woman, for only the double W could possibly save the house in time to rescue the formula. "Before Myrna can hang up the phone, Diana transforms herself to Wonder Woman and puts out the fire with "her tremendous Amazon lung power." (NOT to be confused with Superman's super-breath. They're two different things. Not at all similar. Except for them both being, y'know, strong blowy breath powers.)

Myrna inspects the safe and, because she can't find the formula, assumes it was burned. But Wonder Woman, smart cookie that she is, figures that whoever opened the safe took it, as she can find no charred fragments. Steve Trevor and his men show up to investigate. Myrna, knowing she hadn't opened the safe, immediately fingers Teasy (what a loving mother). Steve questions the young carrot top but he claims that all he did was burn up everything, not open the safe. Wonder Woman stands by Teasy, claiming he always tells the truth, so Steve assumes it had to have been Myrna who opened it.

Steve accuses Myrna, but before she can speak, Wonder Woman says, "Wait, Steve – the 'Yellow-Mask' gang of international racketeers (or the YMGoIR, as I like to call'em) are after this anti-atomic formula -- maybe THEY did this! Myrna, will you take a LIE DETECTOR TEST?" (interesting that Wonder Woman chooses a lie detector test as opposed to her lasso. Think Marston was trying to publicize his little invention here? Saying it was equal to the golden lasso?) Myrna agrees to take the test, but wants to change clothes first (obviously she couldn't tell the truth in her current outfit).

Time passes and no Myrna. The army dudes assume she's taken a powder, but Wonder Woman believes in her still. However, she discovers that both Myrna and Teasy are gone! "She's escaped," says Steve, "and she took the kid with her!" His assistant says, "I'll issue Dragnet orders, Sir!" (Hello, operator? I'd like to order a rerun of episode 37, "Joe and Bill are in Bunko" -- you know, the one where Joe wears that blue suit and asks the lady for 'just the facts, ma'am'?")

Ah, but now we see what really happened! When Myrna went to change her clothes, some men wearing ... gulp... yellow masks(!) grabbed her. They tie her up, gag her and put her in their car. At their deadquarters (hee hee -- that was a typo I actually made and I decided to leave it because, really, is that a typo or what?) Myrna is blindfolded and introduced to the big boss: A beautiful, raven-haired seductress, who uses a cigarette holder, has large hoop earrings, a snazzy red sash around her waist and speaks with an accent. "Hm -- zee por laydee eez frighten -- I weel talk weeth her. Breeng us tea," says the boss. (The accent is supposed to be Spanish, I guess, because she calls Myrna, "Senora") Bosslady apologizes for keeping Myrna bound, but offers to serve her the tea personally. We can see Bosslady slipping something into the brew and Myrna feels the effects immediately.

"Ha!" says bosslady. "I geev her zee drug we use on preesoners of war to make zem talk. Put her in zee BLACK ROOM." Bosslady will question Myrna and then they'll silence her -- for keeps!

Meanwhile, let's catch up to that spunky orphan, Teasy. He decides, after seeing what a problem his fire caused, to beat himself up. So he socks himself on the jaw (I'm not making this up). Not wanting to return to the orphanage, he decides to run away. However, he happens to see his mom being kidnapped, so he grabs the rear bumper. "The car roared away with the game little Teasy impersonating the tail of a comet."

He manages to hang on with one hand, despite the pain in his shoulder until something in it snaps, and he drops the bumper. Luckily, it was at the top of a hill, so he can see the car reach its destination. "By Jiminy Jumpers" he exclaims.

"Meanwhile, Wonder Woman, using her Amazon woodcraft, finds a clue." (Amazon woodcraft? Is that on her list of superpowers? Wow. Captain Marvel doesn't have a single letter that stands for woodcraft. This PROVES she's got it all over him). She follows the car's tracks until she runs into Teasy. He shows Wonder Woman where they've taken his mom and bravely tells her to ignore his injuries and save Myrna. She races to the farmhouse but, when she grasps the doorknob, is shocked into paralysis by electric current. (Doesn't it seem a bit extreme to electrify the doorknob? Man, that boss lady is evil.)

Unconscious, she is chained by the bosslady (whose name, we now find out, is Tirza). Go back to your Batmans, Dr. Wertham, there's nothing sexual going on here. Just some girl on girl bondage, that's it. Harmless fun.

She's taken to the black room, where Myrna points out that their ankles are wired for electrocution! "Oh-h -- if MEN chained my bracelets -- I'm helpless!" cries Wonder Woman. Two chained women, hooked up to electrodes. Still kid's stuff, Wertham!

Meanwhile, Tirza interrogates Mr. Mal Stone and accuses him of having the formula. He admits it. Menacingly, she says, "Zis knife ees my favoreet persuadair! You weel tell where zee formula ees or --" "I -- I'll TELL! (what a "rock", huh?) It's in my sh-shoe--" quickly interrupts the cowardly Mal. (In his shoe? His SHOE? I can see why this villain was so easily "defeated.") (The management would like to apologize for that last pun. It seems Joanna had a horrible, disfiguring accident to her funny bone, and well, you can see the result. Tragic, huh?)

Tirza goes to the black room (whose walls, by the way, are light blue. go figure) and decides to pull the switch on Wonder Woman and Myrna. She tells Wondy that there's no use pulling at the chains, as she welded them herself. "You DID!" shouts Wonder Woman. "Then a WOMAN chained me -- I HAVEN'T lost my strength!" (You'd think she would have at least TRIED to break free earlier -- on the off chance a woman, namely the evil person who did everything else, had chained her -- wouldn't ya? Guess the wisdom of Athena comes and goes.) Bursting free, Wonder Woman grabs the formula and Tirza's hair, then flips the woman to the ground. Game, set and match!

Meanwhile, Teasy has led Steve and his army guys to the farmhouse. "You're the gamest kid I ever met, Teasy!" says Stevie. The Dearfield family is reunited and a grateful Teasy thanks Wonder Woman for saving his mom. "Now I'm adopted!" he says as he stands between his loving parents. "YOU saved (your mom) and the formula, Teasy," says Wonder Woman, then admonishes the lad not to start anything until his arm heals.

Now that you've read along with me, I betcha you're just aching to know what the third story in this comic is about, huh? Two words: Purple Priestess!!!!!

There's only one thing you can do to find out what is in store for Wonder Woman from the Purple Priestess: tell the author of this golden age comic you just revisited that you want, nae MUST have more! Oh, and, um, why not throw in a comment or two about what you thought of Teasy's little adventure, too. I mean, as long as you're writing a note and all. Okee-doke?

4 comments:

Jim Perreault said...

I'm dying to find out how Wonder Woman escapes from the Purple Priestess! I MUST have more. My life will be incomplete without it!

As for Teasy's great adventure, I must say that while more grounded than the Kornopia story, having the wife adopt a kid on a trial basis without the husband even being present ( What, he has more important work to do? ) is about as jarring as hiding on an invisible plane.

Thanks for the review!

Joanna Sandsmark said...

Oh, I agree, Jim -- love their return policy. "If you're not satisfied with the child, return him for a full refund." Harsh!!! And yes, her husband is a VIP and therefore has no idea what a child is, let alone cares if shows up in the house.

I am at this very moment working on the Purple Priestess story. I'll be posting the first part later today. I cannot allow your life to be incomplete.

Jim Perreault said...

As fate would have it, I just read an early "Little Orphan Annie" strip and something similar happened to her. Mr. Warbucks asked her whose kid she was. Her response: "I'm nobody's kid, Mr. Warbucks- I'm just an orphan that Mrs. Warbucks took on trial."

Do they sell special trial size kids at Walmart?

Hhmm. Teasy's hair is red as well. Coincidence?

Joanna Sandsmark said...

Maybe that's how things were done in the earlier part of the 20th century. It's possible, I suppose. I can understand one aspect and that is, does the kid fit in with your family? Do you all get along? Do personalities mesh? For older kids of course. And maybe it's something only older kids experienced, that temporary situation. Still seems quite cruel to me. But then, we live in different times.