Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon’s The Legend of Wonder Woman continued today with its fifth issue, and tensions are building. With an unknown looming darkness disrupting the harmony and prosperity of Themyscira, the Amazons are frightened and are blaming their queen for all of their troubles, resulting in some serious drama over who will lead them. There are several competing voices with different motivations, all of which highlight the complex world De Liz has put together in just a few short issues.
So let’s break down what’s going on. The Amazon council, comprised of the immortal Amazons, want a new leader; they think that Hippolyta is to blame for their current troubles because she’s lost the favour of the gods. In this is a hint of lingering distrust of Hippolyta. Centuries earlier, her choice to follow her heart instead of leading her people led to a terrible war, and the immortal Amazons haven’t forgotten that. Nor has Hippolyta, who continues to carry guilt over her actions. Thus, when the council wants her to step down, she is more inclined to do so; deep down, she’s always felt like she wasn’t worthy to rule.
But there are other factors at play. If Hippolyta steps down there must be a new queen, and the obvious choice is Diana. But to be queen, one must be immortal, and so Diana would have to beseech the gods for immortality. This is what Hippolyta has wanted since Diana was born. She’s terrified of losing her daughter and wants her to share in the immortal life that she enjoys, and everything she’s done since Diana was born has been meant to prepare her for this step. There’s definitely a part of Hippolyta that’s glad to be forced off the throne, because it finally means that Diana can become immortal.
Diana, of course, is having none of it. She doesn’t want to be the queen OR immortal. Plus she’s angry at the council for not trusting her mother. Basically, she wants nothing to do with any of this throne room drama because she feels her destiny lies outside the walls of the city. Lucky for Diana, the issue ends with what could be a huge change for the Amazons, as fire streaks across the sky. Is it Steve Trevor crashing? Is it a sign from the gods? Is it perhaps both? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
Aside from all of the political drama, there were some nice moments between Diana and Hippolyta before they started arguing about the immortality scene. It turns out that Hippolyta had known about Diana training with Alcippe all along, and allowed it because she was glad to finally see a smile on Diana’s face. It was a lovely revelation; their relationship has been a little frosty on the outside thus far, even though both mother and daughter clearly love each other more than anything.
We also learn a couple of fun things about Alcippe. First, she’s Phillipus! That was her name before she joined the Amazons. I enjoy that De Liz worked in this fan favourite character even under a new guise. She also continued the romantic inklings between Hippolyta and Phillipus that has been hinted at several times over the years but never made official when Hippolyta declared, “She is my true… friend.” That is a very telling ellipsis. Both fans and creators have suspected there was more to the duo, and Gail Simone was planning to marry them during her run on Wonder Woman but wasn’t able to do so before she left the book. It’s nice to see the suggestion of their love carry on.
All together, it was another great issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman. If you’re not reading this series, you’re missing out on the best Wonder Woman out there right now! This story will be collected in the February print edition of the series, and be sure to pick up the debut print issue this January!