When last we left our heroes, they were out at sea, atop a cargo ship that had just fired off a stolen missile!
Now, SPOILER ALERT! I’m going to reveal super secrets of the this issue!
To stop the missile, Jaime (who once posed as a stewardess) pilots Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, despite her inability to see the invisible controls and questions Diana’s choice of timing for a costume change. Giving chase, Wonder Woman lassoes the missile from the plane’s wing and throws it off course with some Amazon acrobatics. We’re off to a delightfully goofy high-stakes start!
Meanwhile, the terrorist group CASTRA has freed Wonder Woman’s very very old foe, Captain Radl (John Saxon), from prison. During Wonder Woman’s World War II adventures, Radl and his Nazi team had invaded Paradise Island before being defeated by Wonder Woman and her younger sister, Drusilla (Debra Winger). The Amazons wiped Radl’s memory, but it returned during his incarceration.
Now we learn the full scope of what Diana and Jaime are up against. CASTRA consists of Wonder Woman villains, Captain Radl, Dr. Solano, and his companion, Dr. Cyber (aka Gloria Marquez), and Orlich Hoffman, who have joined forces with the Bionic Woman’s adversary, Dr. Carl Franklin, creator of the deadly android femme fatales known as Fembots, and his robotic “son”, Carl Mark II. The series of expository monologues in where we learn this info is punctuated by Hoffman, who comes dangerously close to breaking the fourth wall, once again bringing the self-aware charm that is a signature of this comic.
Back at sea, Wonder Woman and Jaime have CASTRA’s hired henchmen all tied up, but discover that some of them are actually Fembots (…er, Masc-bots?) Anyway, they defeat all but one, which escapes overboard after a battle sequence studded with stars and bionic sound effects. Assuming that the robot sank to the bottom (and inexplicably not going after it), the super partners check in at the IADC, where Jaime calls her parents, inspiring Diana to pay a visit to her own mother.
Then it’s off to the OSI to visit Dr. Rudy Wells (Marin E. Brooks), the bionic surgeon, who is examining a captured Fembot (er, Manbot… whatever.) The Fembot creeps Jaime out, which perplexes Diana. After all, Diana points out, Jaime is part cybernetic herself. Dr. Wells points out that though there are technological similarities the Fembots are computers and not at all sentient. (And for the record, the Fembots creep me out, too.)
The discussion of human vs machine is interrupted by fan favorite, Max the Bionic Dog! Diana smiles into his eyes and the two become instant friends. With the new team formed, the two women and their dog leave the OSI. And as they do, Rudy finds himself at the mercy of a team of Fembots!
Wonder Woman Meets the Bionic Woman #3 is a balancing act well-executed, combining action, exposition, and an exploration of the Bionic Universe while retaining its sense of nostalgic fun. Again, Andy Mangels balances wit and action, keeping the story moving, remaining true to the star characters, and using the supporting cast to deepen our understanding of them. I love this series.