How much am I loving this series? A-whole-fucking-lot! And Issue #12 of Azzarello’s Wonder Woman has everything: a child, creepy twins that give me an incest-vibe, and a Super Saiyan! This issue is getting four stars!
We left our beloved Princess of Themyscira finally facing Hera, Apollo, Artemis, and Strife in the battle for Zeus’ throne. And, like any Olympian family get-together, there was betrayal, conniving, scheming, and wheels-within-wheels of deals to be made. Wonder Woman takes on Artemis again while Hera throws Zola off a cliff. While diving off Mount Olympus to rescue Zola, Hermes sticks Diana with one of his feathers. This comic, it seems, is where Wonder Woman got her ability to fly. Interestingly enough I had never really noticed that she didn’t do it in the first 11 issues despite being able to fly since her introduction into Justice League. I’d rather not get caught up in what may be a continuity error has DC has already made several despite the entire point of the New 52 being to erase errors and give DC a fresh start. The point is Wonder Woman can now fly and she’s super awesome.
Hera has been planning on letting Apollo having the throne only because she’s convinced that Zeus will return and punish him. She’s mistaken and Apollo reshapes Olympus more to his liking. For her betrayal Hera is banished to Earth while Hermes and Zola escape after she goes into labor. This leaves Wonder Woman up against the gods of the Sun and the Moon. Fortunately she has a trick up her sleeve. The bracelets she’s wearing, while bulletproof and super-stylish, have another purpose: to limit her powers. The moment she takes off her cuffs she goes full blown Super Saiyan and kicks Artemis’ ass in a few panels.
Wonder Woman’s first year ends with more than a couple betrayals, heartbreaks, and a teasers of what’s to come. The last panel shows none other than Orion (the son of High Father of the New Gods) entering a Boom Tube and going who knows where. Azzarello has said that he wants to see Diana doing more. She has the power to save the universe but she often isn’t given that chance. He’s planning on having Wonder Woman dealing with more on the line in the future than just Earth and I can’t wait to see it and how he will incorporate the New Gods into the comic.
Strife is still a scene stealer in this. She is playing both sides of the field and it’s increasingly obvious that while she isn’t a villain she certainly isn’t a hero. Everything she does is simply to cause more tension and chaos. Being the goddess of chaos, after all, she is bound to want little else. She is still one of my favorite characters in this title and even Hera, who we’ve come to sympathize with from time to time, is fun to hate. It’s hard to see Apollo as an out-right-villain, really. He’s just making a grab for the throne and wants to protect Olympus. He seems more power-hungry than evil and Artemis is actually far more menacing to me. However, it’s Hermes’ betrayal at the end of the book that have me wondering who the real villain is. All this and we’re still left wondering what happened to Zeus and which of his children is destined to kill him and claim the throne. With Orion, the death of the Amazons, the male Amazon slaves, and the prophecy concerning Zeus’ progeny it’s easy to see that Azzarello has a lot in store for us.
Chiang’s art is flawless, as usual. His take on a modern Olympus after Apollo seizes the throne is glass skyscrapers and everything that a god of today’s world would want his kingdom to be. Before Apollo takes over the sky is black, blanketed with stars. When the god of the sun takes the throne the sky becomes crimson, fiery. It’s little touches like this that impress me about the art. From the ethereal glow that happens whenever magic is used to the fight scenes and display of emotions on the characters faces it’s no wonder I’m loving Chiang more and more. The look he’s given to this book is one of my favorites in the entire New 52. Unlike Teen Titans, Wonder Woman is easy to follow along with, not confusing or messy, and still doesn’t sacrifice any action. If you haven’t been following Wonder Woman I suggest you pick up the trade, Wonder Woman Vol 1: Blood and then check out the finale of her first story arc. It isn’t to be missed! And Azzarello has hinted at some amazing plans he has for her so I’m eagerly awaiting Issue #0 and beyond!
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