"The Armageddon Aria": Though stronger than ever before, the Silver Swan's cry fails to dislodge Wonder Woman, who stubbornly keeps her lasso tight around her winged adversary. The cry does, however, short out every nearby electronic - including the headset that Armbruster and his men use to com
Appearing in "The Armageddon Aria"
- Henry Cobb Armbruster (Flashback and main story)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Armageddon Aria"
Though stronger than ever before, the Silver Swan's cry fails to dislodge Wonder Woman, who stubbornly keeps her lasso tight around her winged adversary. The cry does, however, short out every nearby electronic - including the headset that Armbruster and his men use to communicate with the Swan. Thinking that Armbruster has rejected her, the Swan panics and takes flight.
Still puzzled by the situation, but determined to help, Wonder Woman subdues the Swan by flinging her into a lake, then properly binds her with the lasso and regroups with Maxine and the unconscious Buchman. While the Amazon reexamines Buchman's wounds, Maxine hurriedly explains how Armbruster (and his associates at To-Choi Industries) had converted her friend Valerie Beaudry into the savage Silver Swan, and how she and Buchman had stolen records of their operations in hopes of breaking Armbruster's hold.
These explanations are cut short by a squadron of gunships, piloted by more of Armbruster's men. As they demand the records from an apprehensive Wonder Woman, the Swan wakes, and finds Maxine pleading for help. Though unable to believe that Armbruster would harm innocents, the Swan honors their old friendship and - once untied by Wonder Woman - orders the gunships down. This enrages Armbruster, who commandeers one of the gunships' speakers and tries to warn the Swan away; when she presses the issue, he orders his men to open fire.
While Wonder Woman deflects the bullets, the Swan is overcome by shock - then rage. Heedless of everything else, she unleashes a cry that shatters the whole squadron. As the few surviving gunships retreat, the exhausted Swan plunges from the sky, and is saved by Wonder Woman; now fully convinced of Armbruster's menace, the Amazon Princess flies Buchman to the care of her fellow Amazons in Themyscira, before taking Maxine and the Swan to the best codebreaker she knows: Etta Candy.
Though forthright about her lingering jealousy of Wonder Woman, Etta agrees to help decode Buchman's records. Most prominent among these is a security tape documenting the Swan's first kill - Buchman's father, the technician behind Valerie Beaudry's original conversion. For her part, the Swan insists the elder Buchman had tried to perform further experiments on her, and attacked Armbruster for objecting; she had only killed to defend herself, along with the only man willing to love her despite her birth defects.
Disturbed at just how far Armbruster has warped the young woman's psyche, Maxine and Wonder Woman try to reason with the Swan, but only succeed in reigniting her guilt over "betraying" her beloved. Meanwhile, Etta uncovers something even more troubling: two readouts on the Swan's physiology, though taken only a few years apart, display differences sharp enough for two separate individuals.
Moments later, the four women are besieged by a fresh squad of Armbruster's men. To Wonder Woman's horror, the guilt-stricken Swan joins them, while Maxine and Etta are quickly taken hostage.
- No special notes.
- While recounting her origins, the Silver Swan briefly likens her conversion procedures to those depicted in the 1980 film Altered States.
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