I love it when a plan comes together. And I love that Wonder Woman isn’t just beating the hell out of everyone (though two centaurs had a pretty bad time of it). It’s really cool that she’s crafty and clever too. Wonder Woman’s fought her way out of a lot of bad spots, but it’s been a while since we’ve had a Wonder Woman who used her brain as well, who planned things out instead of just reacting. I absolutely love the DCnU Wonder Woman.
Before we get into the details, SPOILERS AHEAD.
Seriously, if you haven’t read it yet, go away. This isn’t for you.
And if you haven’t read it yet, get on that!! It’s only the best comic on the stands right now. Get it together.
Okay, let’s go.
So that plan was kind of great. Wonder Woman deals with Poseidon, Lennox deals with Hades, and they come up with some fake deal where they co-rule the heavens alongside Hera. All of this is just to annoy Hera and bait her into popping by, which she does. With Mount Olympus empty, Lennox grabs one of Hades’ head candles and tosses it to Wonder Woman, Hermes throws her his caduceus, and she teleports to Mount Olympus and smashes Hera’s window on the world. Now Hera is screwed because she can’t follow everything that’s going on, and Zola is safe. Or is she??!!
Of course she isn’t… Hades is irked, has her dead mother appear, and then sucks Zola into the realm of the dead. Bad luck for her.
I liked the plan a lot. As I just said, I love a clever Wonder Woman, and it’s pretty awesome when you can outsmart three gods at once. Pissing off two of them isn’t great though. That bit her in the ass right away.
The Zola thing I knew was coming because of the previews for the next issues. Zola getting kidnapped by Hades was pretty clearly spelled out, so that’s kind of a bummer. Thought I suppose I get annoyed when previews are super vague… there’s just no pleasing me with previews. Regardless, I enjoyed how Hades sucked her in. Her dead mother showing up was a nice, twisted touch. Hades is an evil little dude. And, of course, mothers are a huge theme in this storyline. As much as it’s all about Zeus on the surface, what it really seems to be about is the character’s relationships with their mothers, from Diana to Strife and now to Zola. That seems to be driving the action more than the Zeus stuff, I’d argue.
Tony Akins got a lot more to do this issue, which was nice. His first issue was a lot of sitting around and chatting, but there were fights and crazy gods and general excitement throughout this issue, and he did well. I still miss Cliff Chiang, but that’s no knock on Akins. I miss Chiang on books he’s not even on… I think “Man, this book would be a lot better with Cliff Chiang!!” about most of the comics that I read. Anyway, the art was okay for me.
Brian Azzarello killed it storywise, though. The last issue I found a bit draggy and set-up heavy, but Azzarello made this one a lot more fun. I like that Hades is such a little jerk, that Poseidon is the sort of dude who finds the whole scene hilarious, and just how Wonder Woman’s master plan played out generally. It was well orchestrated, and was a good time to read.
I’m still not keen on Lennox, though. I’m sure Azzarello has a reason for bringing him in, but he hasn’t done anything that someone else couldn’t have yet. Personally, I’d rather have Hermes in the sidekick role. He’s a character we have some familiarity with, and Lennox feels a little shoe-horned in. Plus that accent is just rough. But Azzarello is a damn fine storyteller… I’m confident that Lennox will be an integral part of the bigger picture. I’m just not seeing it yet.
I also still miss Strife, because Strife is super cool. I hope she comes back soon.
Zola didn’t have much to do, but I appreciated her sporadic snark. Wonder Woman was the real star, though. She wrestled with Poseidon, tore a centaur apart, and tricked three gods at the same time. Plus, sweet revenge on Hera!! It was a pretty productive issue all around for Wonder Woman.
Azzarello’s approach to Wonder Woman has been interesting so far. She really doesn’t say much, and gets talked at a lot, but when she does speak she’s very direct. Everything she does say just feels like Wonder Woman to me. She doesn’t talk just to talk… when she says something, it’s for a purpose, and these purposes seem like very Wonder Woman things to do. She’s either joking with a friend or challenging the gods or making sure someone is protected. The rest of the time she’s running around, fighting and getting stuff done while everyone else yammers on.
I’d also like to single out the fine lettering in this issue. Jared K. Fletcher is always great, but he had a lot of weird sound effects to deal with this time and he integrated them seamlessly into the comic. I mean, of course there’d be a creepy looking “SHLORK” when your dead mother turns into phantasmic tentacles that suck you into Hell!! Sound effects can be really tricky to fit in without them getting lost or sticking out like a sore thumb, and Fletcher really balances it well. He also excels at what should be the basics, like different font sizes for different sized characters… I see things like that look wonky a lot in other books, but Fletcher is a pro.
Overall, they got sweet revenge on Hera but paid a terrible price. I am ridiculously excited for Wonder Woman’s journey into Hell AND the return of Cliff Chiang in Wonder Woman #7. Plus I think we might get Hephaestus next issue!! That’d be so cool!!