Who's Aegeus?

Who's This? Greek dude I missed first time around, in Who's Who vol.I, page 5.
The facts: Though you'd think him older, this Wonder Woman villain only showed up in 1982, when Diana's book was at a very low ebb. They had two encounters, the first in WW #297-299, the second little more than half a year later in #306-307.
How you could have heard of him: Aegeus took his time and returned only in Wonder Woman #600 (2010) as a terrorist who attempts to hold Washington D.C. hostage, only to be defeated by Diana and Superman.
Example story: Wonder Woman #297 (1982) by Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
In Aegeus' return engagement, he manages to destroy one of Wonder Woman's bracelets, which she needs to keep hold of her sanity (I didn't know that!), but Don Heck fails to make the villain look cool and the story ends with an anti-climax. So while Gene Colan has always seemed an odd fit for Wonder Woman, I'd much rather look at his stuff, which makes Aegeus look much more promising. Even before this guy is given weapons from myth, he's a cold-hearted bastard.
Running from "the pigs" after murdering an ambassador, he and his multinational terrorist cell hide out on a Mediterranean island that's not on any maps. And in its old ruins, a Greek God, who proclaims himself Aegeus' new master and equips him with Pegasus' bridle and a quiver of Zeus' lightning bolts. It's interesting that though George Perez is credited for putting Greek mythology at the core of the series when it had more or less become just "the female Superman", other writers had already started Diana's book on that path. As a result, the Aegeus story feels a lot more modern than the stories surrounding it. And Aegeus looks damn cool attacking Wonder Woman's jet from out of the sun.
Hit by some of that lightning, Steve Trevor disappears and Wonder Woman must send her invisible jet to bond with his jet and land it safely. She then finds she can't take control of Aegeus' winged horse with her magic lasso before he himself lightnings out of there... a mystery. One with deadly intentions towards Steve! (Actually, he wants Steve to tell him where Amazon Island is, so he can attack it.)
And the issue's done already. A sure sign that Wonder Woman was on the wane is that she had to share her book with Earth-2's Huntress. But if we skip ahead a couple of issues, just for closure, here's how Diana eventually defeats the terrorist: After a destructive battle between Aegeus' forces and the Amazons, Wonder Woman realizes that lasso or bridle, the real contest for Pegasus' soul is one of wills...
Buck, Pegasus, buck!!!
And it does. Aegeus seems to fall to his death, but disappears in a crackling flash of lightning. He would return, but only the once before taking a quarter-century sabbatical. I would have thought he'd have made a good opponent for Diana in the Perez era, but no. They probably didn't want anything to do with the early 80s era, but still, he would have fit.

Who's Next? There's a lamer Wonder Woman villain in that issue of Who's Who...


American Hawkman said...

Personally, I think Aegeus is a spectacular Wonder Woman villain, and, really, villain in general. But I actually liked this era of Wonder Woman in general, what with the Amazon Rainforest Amazons, and the like. Great character.

Erich said...

I'm guessing that next is Angle Man, who got the dubious distinction of having the tiniest entry in all of Who's Who (if I recall correctly)...

Siskoid said...

Certainly the smallest pic!


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