First off, how awesome is the cover to this issue? Cliff Chiang’s covers are pretty much always great, but this one may be the best yet, it’s just so fucking metal (well duh, it’s a Frazetta homage), and nicely reflective of Wonder Woman’s new status as the God Of War.
And that’s what this issue is mostly about, reflecting that massive change in Wonder Woman’s life. With the First Born defeated, Apollo is finally starting to take charge of Olympus, and so he calls a meeting of the whole Pantheon, but there’s one seat empty… War’s. Wonder Woman is back in London, buying a new house for herself, Zola and Hera. I was amused by the implication that Diana and Orion may share a bed, I know this book isn’t going to reflect the Superman romance, but I expected it to just ignore it, not outright refute it. It’s great to see Azzarello just do his own thing and not give a fuck about the rest of the DCU.
I also really liked Hera’s role in this issue, she wants to display Lennox’s severed head on the mantelpiece, and her breakdown at really, truly realising she was mortal was actually rather touching. Azzarello really has done a great job at turning her from a villain into someone sympathetic, without being obvious about it, and he looks to be doing the same thing with Hermes. who shows up to take Wonder Woman to Olympus, and the conversation she has with Apollo is fascinating, with Diana not yet fully accepting her role as God Of War, and even asking for Apollo to restore Hera, which he refuses.
This book has become really quite complex, with so many different villains up against Wonder Woman. There’s Apollo of course, and the other Gods around him who are not to be trusted, and tied up in the middle is the First Born, who you just know is going to escape. Throw into that Cassandra, who it turns out is the woman with the robotic neck who freed the First Born, and who in this issue attacks Milan for some unknown reason, perhaps to steal his powers of prophecy?
This issue was mainly set-up for the next stage of Azzarello’s story, but it was necessary, intriguing set-up, and I can’t wait to see what the various villains arrayed against Diana have planned.
The artwork here is from Goran Sudzuka, and whilst it’s always a shame when Chiang can’t draw an issue, they have similar styles, and he gets the tone just as well. And hey, at least we got that cover.