My fellow Wonder Woman readers, our long national nightmare is over. The ass slap heard around the world has been avenged, and Orion has been thoroughly shut down. Wonder Woman #19 wasn’t a particularly eventful issue, and I had some definite issues with it, but at least Orion got a well deserved and long overdue response from Wonder Woman. We’ll get to it all momentarily, but first:
Everything that happened in this issue will soon be revealed!!
If you haven’t read it yet, run away!!
Okay, so Orion got a beat down after digging himself into an even deeper hole with Wonder Woman. After making what was essentially an incestuous dig about Wonder Woman and Lennox, Orion suggested that he’d much rather be alone with Wonder Woman. Under the guise of a kiss, Wonder Woman got close to Orion and threatened to tear his balls off:
When RIGHT AFTER Orion said “You really are cute when you get mad” and this happened:
Then Orion’s face turned all weird and he got angry and boom tubed out of there.
So it’s fun that Wonder Woman finally did something about Orion’s actions. The guy’s been a sexist jerk since he arrived, calling Wonder Woman “Legs”, slapping her ass, and just generally harassing her. Many readers were disappointed when his slap went unanswered two issues ago, so a menacing threat and a mighty punch are good to see now.
However, the kiss was lame and generally unnecessary. I suppose we can blame editorial and their mandated “WTF” theme for that, but a) it took up two pages of kissing and whatnot to set up the threat when she could’ve just reached over and grabbed his man parts from the get-go, and b) Azzarello could have taken this “WTF” theme is any number of directions. This prolonged, tacky kiss prelude was a poorly executed and poorly thought out choice. She didn’t need to kiss that jackass, as much as I enjoyed the comeuppance that followed.
So I’m a little lukewarm on the Orion stuff. It finished well, but started off in a silly, unnecessary way. All in all, though, I’m more glad he got decked than annoyed he got kissed. However, the rest of the Wonder Woman section of the book bothered me. First, it accounted for only 9 of the book’s 20 pages. It’s called Wonder Woman, so you’d think she’d be in at least half of the pages, but no. Second, Wonder Woman is again shown to be bad at what she does.
It all starts off well enough, with Ares complimenting Wonder Woman for a change, which was very nice to see after his shoddy treatment of her in past issues:
Ares commends Wonder Woman for being a strong leader by keeping this bizarre, combative group all together and peaceful. It’s the first compliment he’s paid her since he showed up a few issues ago, and really the first time someone’s said something good about Wonder Woman in a while.
Guess what happens next? Later in that same page, Lennox announces he’s leaving. Then Wonder Woman and Orion get into a fight and Orion announces he’s leaving too. Essentially, the team falls apart and loses its two biggest heavy hitters outside of Wonder Woman. Everything Ares just praised Wonder Woman for is undone, which thus undermines the compliment and makes Wonder Woman look bad yet again. I don’t know why Azzarello feels the need to do this in almost every issue. Wonder Woman’s rarely allowed any kind of victory or positive accomplishment. Everything is constantly unraveling, often making Wonder Woman look foolish or ineffective in the process.
The rest, ie. the majority, of Wonder Woman #19 involved the gods. The First Born was trapped inside Poseidon in a very Jonah and the whale situation. And, much like Jonah, the First Born must be contrite and listen to a deity in order to escape his aquatic dungeon. In this case, it meant the First Born agreeing to not attack the seas or hell, the realms of Poseidon and Hades. In return, Poseidon gave the First Born his sword and Hades promised to give the First Born’s army back to him. He can only attack the heavens now.
The crafty Poseidon and Hades also steer the First Born into some big fights in hopes of others ridding them of this menace. The First Born was gunning for Apollo already, but they send him after Zola’s baby as well, ensuring that he’ll fight Wonder Woman as well. Poseidon and Hades are hoping that one of them defeats the First Born before he inevitably betrays his new allies and comes after them.
Speaking of Apollo, he’s hanging out on Mount Olympus with Artemis and Dionysus, blathering on about nothing and taking up 5 pages of the book for no good reason in particular. Ultimately, the book ends with Artemis going to steal Zola’s baby, but the conversation leading up to that isn’t particularly illuminating or visually interesting. It felt like a considerable waste of space to me.
On the plus side, it looks like Zola is naming her baby Zeke, which is a really fun name. I certainly like it better than Nigel or Steve. Plus, it starts with a Z just like Zeus, which feeds my rather unsubstantiated theory that Zola’s baby is actually Zeus himself through some sort of weird god magic. I mean, the dude’s got to be somewhere, right? He can’t have just disappeared entirely. And this seems like a rather coincidentally timed pregnancy. It’s probably totally wrong and Zeus is on New Genesis or something, but you never know.
Overall, Wonder Woman got to actually act like Wonder Woman for a few panels in this issue, which was a nice change. But still, her leadership skills couldn’t save her team AND she again appeared in less than half of her own book. We’ve got to take what we can get with this version of Wonder Woman, I suppose, and Orion getting socked in the jaw was a pretty good time. Plus, Zeke! It’s just fun to say.