Last week, if you’d believed the cover of Wonder Woman #32, you’d have thought she’d been off doing an homage to Lone Wolf and Cub. She wasn’t, but we did get to learn what the new goddess of war can do: be a bit daft.
Artemis and Eros visit the underworld and discover that it’s somewhat empty – and seeming to be emptying itself – thanks to the First Born’s deposing Hades from its throne.
Meanwhile, Strife is trying to ingratiate herself with the First Born.
After attacking death, the First Born has his targets set on life itself – and Hermes, Cassandra and the First Born’s Minotaur are along for the journey, one less willingly than the other.
Fortunately, Artemis, Eros and Wonder Woman have decided to help. Unfortunately, the First Born shows up.
He sucks Demeter (aka Harvest) dry. Artemis and the others beat a retreat, leaving Wonder Woman to fight the First Born with her new powers as the goddess of war.
Is that the end for Diana? It looks like it. But look who pops up at the end.
Is it any good?
In case you’ve misplaced it, here’s my Azzarello scorecard for your enjoyment. How many points did you score this issue?
- Minimal action
- Everything feeling like set-up for some future action that never happens
- Bad puns
- Confusing dialogue
- Hints at some higher plot arc that never happens
- Wonder Woman being weak and generally being pushed around or subservient to everyone else
- Wonder Woman apologising to a man about something
- A poor grasp of Greek myth
- The gods hardly being god-like at all
- General gross out ideas
So some strikes, but actually not as many as normal. We have fights; we have action, rather than set-up; there were only a few puns; there was no higher arc; the gods were slightly godly; and there wasn’t much gross outness.
Pretty good in all, then. While we could once again quibble about Artemis being Moon, Demeter being Harvest, etc, we did have one decent mythic quality – the need for κλέος or fame. Although normally something sought by the Homeric heroes rather than gods, given that gods live forever so don’t need people to remember them after they’re gone, Strife’s discussion with the First Born about what will happen after everyone is dead does at least pass a nod to myth.
Unfortunately, though, this is another ‘Diana is dumb’ issue. We’ve already seen what happens when the First Born is exposed to fire: nothing permanent, even if the whole of Olympus gets blown up. We saw in the same issue that Diana doesn’t have much by way of defences against the First Born’s ‘sucking’ attack. So why is her cunning plan to attack the First Born with fire, other than it looks really cool? And did she have a plan to defend against his sinews of doom?
At the very least, a call to the Justice League might be appropriate at this time, giving that the end of both death and life on Earth is now a very really possibility – look at all the fuss that’s happening with Superman now he’s been infected with Doomsday: you’ve got Red Lanterns, Supergirl, Lex Luthor, Steel, Batman and pretty much anyone you care to name helping out there. You’d think Diana might be thinking it’s a bit more to handle than it first appeared.
And then, of course, Orion arrives to say the day. Oh boy. Apologies next issue?
But this is a cliffhanger and it’s been easy to jump the gun on Azzarello before now. Diana could have a cunning plan to deal with the First Born that will be revealed next issue or maybe she knows Zeke is going to doing something amazing (he does seem to like that sword, doesn’t he?). She’s already showing more gumption than in previous Azz comics, giving Zeke to Aleka to guard.
She took down the Minotaur easily. She is on the verge of being wondrous in her own comic once again.
Fingers crossed, anyway.