Fever Dream

Issue #65, Aug. '92: Joey Cavalieri—guest writer; Paris Cullins—guest penciller; Robert Campanella—guest inker; Bolland—cover; Dan Thorsland—editor

cover to issue 65: Diana looks at herself in a mirror but sees Vanessa with Dr. Psycho standing behind herDiana comes across as pretentious in her thoughts and speech here, but it is not really Diana. In fact, at no point does the real Wonder Woman appear in this issue! But we get ahead of ourselves.

Purple prose shows us “Diana” (I’ll be forsaking the quotes from now on) being faced by a sandstorm in Egypt among the Great Pyramids while a narrative (which we’ll discover is by Dr. Psycho) tells us that Psycho likens himself “to a composer… one who plays variations on a familiar theme.”

Diana’s thoughts show us that she considers the presence of men in the world a source of betrayal and uncertainty in her life. The situation is made worse when a “sister… another woman” is the betrayer. In this case, Diana encounters Cheetah.

Cheetah outruns a flying Diana to enter one of the pyramids, whose treasures still sit out on display. There she grabs a cat-shaped “Mirror of Hatshepsut” (actually, Hatshepsut’s tomb is not a pyramid at all, and is quite a ways from the Cairo area) as her prize. Then she takes fistsful of daggers to throw at Diana, who shrugs them off with her bracelets. During a hand-to-hand fight, Diana spots her reflection in the mirror, and it is that of Vanessa Kapatelis.

Cheetah recites a spell over her mirror that makes two burly guards appear. She blinds Diana with a glare from the mirror, and the guards wrap Diana like a mummy.

Finally we’re told that all this is Psycho’s hallucination upon Nessie. “If I wish to strike back at Wonder Woman, the most efficacious way to do that is to attack her friends…. I set all this up MONTHS ago. It’s a dream TIME BOMB, activated all of its own accord!”

You wanna run that by me again? Psycho’s never shown that ability and hasn’t since. Oh well. Guest issue and all that.

Nessie sees herself delivered to her home, unable to move, but realizes that people think she’s actually a mummy sarcophagus. She begins to realize again that something’s off, and when she spots a picture of herself and her mother, finds her movement again as she owns her true self. Though she looks at her body and sees Wonder Woman, she looks in a mirror and sees herself.

So she uses lucid dreaming techniques to take control of this, her own dream (and a colorist’s error detracts from the reveal). Then Psycho’s image appears to her, floating in the air.

“The Dream Bomb planted in your subconscious was the FIRST… but not necessarily the LAST. ANOTHER may strike at any time!... Are you dreaming now… or are you awake? You can’t TELL, can you? Sooner or later… I will come for you… in REALITY!”

Nessie awakes, screaming. Her mother rushes in to assure her that dreams are only in one’s head. Nessie assures her that she is over her fright, but when left alone wonders if it will happen again, or if it might even happen to her mother.

This is an interesting use of Dr. Psycho, who blessedly is sporting his traditional full set of spooky hair. It’s a scary little tale once we get to the ending. The big problem with it is that, since Psycho wants to strike at Diana by striking at her friends, she doesn’t actually appear in the story in person so he can gloat as to the threat he makes to them.

A beautiful cover pretty much gives the entire plot away. The interior art is quite rough but gets the job done.

Letters: Bob Clinton, Eric Searleman, Jacques Viau, Ana Patel, Carl Pietrantonio, Robert J. Tolleson, Greg A. Caza, Neil Ahlquist.


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