DC Comics Presents #76

    DC Comics Presents » DC Comics Presents #76 - Living Clay...Killing Clay... released by DC Comics on December 1984.

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    When weapons-laden monstrosities wreak havoc in Metropolis, Wonder Woman and Superman team up to confront the culprit behind the creatures in "Living Clay...Killing Clay…"

    Major Diana Prince oversees a series of military tests, on the resiliency and regenerative properties, of Doctor Terhune's gene splicing experiments. After the military razes a forest treated with Terhune's gene splicing process, the flora rapidly grows back. Suddenly, an enormous serpent breaks up through the ground, being ridden by a trio of men, manning gun turrets. Amid the sudden chaos, Prince switches to Wonder Woman. Terhune is taken by force, by the serpent's riders. Wonder Woman, focused on rescuing Terhune, is hit by turret fire. In the time it takes for her to recover, the serpent has burrowed back beneath the Earth, taking Terhune with it. Wonder Woman pursues the creature down it's hole, finding it coated in the serpent's residue. Said residue gives Wonder Woman a clue as to the creature's origin point. At that moment, in Metropolis, Superman is battling against an enormous tentacled horror, similarly outfitted with armaments like the serpent. The monstrous creature is seemingly intent on reaching a scientist, Christina Cade. Grappling with the writhing monstrosity, the Man of Steel carries it out to sea, where it suddenly dissolves into melting clay. Superman returns to Metropolis, only to come under attack from pterodactyls, armed with laser cannons. A stray shot brings a statue down on the streets of Metropolis, leaving Superman vulnerable to attack, while he rescues civilians.

    Watching the entire affair from an undisclosed location are the Monitor, and his assistant, Lyla. Wonder Woman arrives to lend the Man of Steel a helping hand. Once the two pterodactyls have been defeated, they, too, dissolve into melting clay. Superman and Wonder Woman crash through the wall of CC Biotechnologies to confront Cade, the likely culprit behind these attacks. Cade counters with the same clay that composed the creature's makeup. Though it proves no obstacle for the Man of Steel, Wonder Woman is unable to free herself from Cade's living clay. Wonder Woman, still struggling against the clay, reveals that she and Cade have history. Cade, the sole survivor of a shipwreck, had washed up on the shores of Themyscira, when Wonder Woman was just a girl. The two became fast friends. Both shared an aptitude for science, but while Wonder Woman reveled in the simple thrill of discovery, Cade's interest was of a more ambitious nature. Cade learned the rudiments of giving life to clay. Knowledge forbidden to mortals. Athena appeared before Cade and Wonder Woman with a warning for Cade to abandon her studies. The next day, Cade left Themyscira. With the scientific knowledge imparted to her by the Amazons, Cade dominated in the field of biotechnology, eventually founding the CC Biotechnologies corporation. Cade never stopped her experimentations with the living clay.

    Cade's living clay creatures can only remain animate for a short period of time. It is Cade's hope that the answer to extending their life expectancy lies with Terhune's gene splicing research. Having heard enough, Superman tears into Cade's living clay minions, which crumble under his assault. Cade reconverts Wonder Woman back into the living clay she was sculpted from, turning the Amazon Princess into her thrall. Wonder Woman engages Superman in battle. Their conflict spills back out onto the streets of Metropolis, where the power of their blows begins to damage the city's infrastructure. Superman lassoes Wonder Woman with her own Golden Lariat, and frees her from Cade's dominance. Wonder Woman's clay body returns to flesh. After rescuing the people they put in jeopardy with their battle, Wonder Woman and Superman return to CC Biotechnologies, to confront Cade. Superman rescues Terhune, then assists Wonder Woman is taking down the rest of Cade's living clay soldiers. Wonder Woman grapples with Cade, who transforms into a half human/ half living clay nightmare. To Wonder Woman's horror, Cade has used the process, to give life to clay, on herself. The two battle for several moments, while Superman finishes destroying Cade's living clay army. Wonder Woman bests Cade, whose living clay body dissolves in Superman's arms. Shaken by Cade's horrific death, Wonder Woman, with Terhune, part company with the Man of Steel.


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