Absolute DC Part 2: Deadly Virtues
There was a daring, brazen bank robbery attempt in the city of Athens, Greece one day. The masked assailants had made it all the way to the vault when they had realized they tripped the silent alarm. As the police surrounded the building, the criminals made the mistake of grouping up when who should swing in? The Wonder Woman, defender of this fair city! She trounced them almost easily until the last one took a hostage. Then, an arrow shot from nowhere and got the criminal in the shoulder, leaving him open to one last attack without harming the hostage. The police arrested the suspects while Wonder Woman left with the arrow. It didn’t belong to her Justice League teammate Green Arrow, and it has a crude drawing of a landmark she recognized attached. That evening, Diana followed up on the drawing and met an unfamiliar figure. She looked like a living marble statue, clad in ancient armor and brandishing a bow and arrow set. A group of similar women attacked Wonder Woman from the shadows, but she defended herself easily. The first woman called off the attackers, impressed with Diana’s combat abilities. The first woman introduced herself as Artemis, a warrior of the Themyscirans. She then opened a portal to Themyscira, an ancient city-state hidden beneath the Earth. Diana was introduced to Phillipus, incumbent queen of Themyscira. They explain that the Themyscirans are an immortal, all-female race liberated millienia ago from the Dark Side, demonic tyrants of Earth. When the Dark Side were finally imprisoned by the Lords of Order and Chaos, the Themyscirans relocated their kingdom to the underground. To combat the global corruption of the Dark Side, the Themyscirans created the Crystals of Virtue to imprison the corruption within their greatest warrior. The warrior was contained within the bowels of the palace, but now the crystals had disappeared! Diana, as the long-lost descendant of the late Queen Hippolyta, sister of Phillipus, has the power to help the Themyscirans recover the Crystals and return them before the corruption can finally escape. Using their magic, the Themyscirans connected Diana’s mind to the first Crystal, the Vigilance Crystal, and she saw it’s point of view. She couldn’t hear, but the visage was of a board room meeting somewhere in the modern world. She could see a laptop with the words “Eclipso” and “Hong Kong” and she quickly determined the location. In Wonder Woman’s jet, she and Artemis traveled to Hong Kong, to the Asian chapter of the Eclipso Archaeological Society. In the dead of night, they investigated the building and discovered that all 7 Crystals were being kept in a personal safe in the main office. They found it, but it was empty! They were then attacked by the security personnel, led by Dr. Phil Reardon, an American Eclipso scientist. The guards were defeated, but Reardon himself confronted them after unsheathing his cane sword and summoning 10 ghostly eyes around himself. The eyes gave this blind man full, 360 degree sight, allowing him to anticipate any attack from the two women. They couldn’t destroy they eyes either, since they were phantoms. The only way they were able to defeat Reardon was by destroying all sources of light in the area, cutting off his powers of sight. Artemis searched the downed man and found the first of the 7 Crystals, “Vigilance”, which gave Reardon his power of sight. Wonder Woman and Artemis went their separate ways, with Artemis taking the crystal back to Themyscira and promising to contact WW when they find the next crystal.
* As I said, Oliver Queen is now with the Justice League full time, and now using the codename “Green Arrow.”
* The Themyscirans being living marble statues is based on a Wonder Woman redesign. I forget the name of that artist, but his webcomic is called “Dresden Codak”.
* The idea of villains based on the 7 Virtues instead of the 7 Sins just came to me.
** The villains wielding the Crystals’ powers will manifest their abilities as ghostly images, based on my new obsession with Stands from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
* Phil Reardon is based on the mainstream villain, The Ten-Eyed Man.
** Reardon and the Vigilance Crystal originally appeared in “Absolute Infestation”, the Batgirl story from part one of Absolute DC.