Posts Tagged ‘Eirene’

Wonder Woman #46 Review OR Dysfunctional Family Squabbling, Just In Time For Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015

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So here’s the thing: Wonder Woman is not a good comic book right now. We all know this. Neither of the Finches are well suited for the book, and it’s just been a chore to read since they took it over. Trust me, I’ve read every issue. They’ve ranged from full on terrible to blandly bad. That being said, this issue definitely felt like Meredith Finch was really trying. The end result still wasn’t great, but you could see the effort. There were, at the very least, some potentially interesting ideas in the mix here, and that’s not something you can say about most of this run. We’ll get into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I am about to discuss ALL of the things that happened in this comic!!

If you have not read it, look away!!

Following up on the big reveal at the end of last month’s issue, the big bad behind Aegeus’ attempts to kill Wonder Woman and take her mantle of the god of war is Eirene, the god of peace. The initial explanation of the conflict is somewhat interesting: Wonder Woman hasn’t been a very war-like god of war, and it’s upsetting some kind of divine, cosmic balance, with Eirene bearing the brunt of it. Wonder Woman shirking her mantle is causing harm to Eirene.

What followed was a lengthy conversation on the nature of war. I feel like Meredith Finch was trying to be thought provoking here, but garnered very mixed results. I was actually intrigued by the first angle, a visit to a sweat shop with child labourers where Eirene explained that without the power of the god of war active in the world, the children had lost the will to revolt and fight back against their oppressors. That’s kind of a cool idea, and one I would’ve liked to see explored further. It was less about war itself than about a fighting spirit, something Wonder Woman could definitely get behind. She may not be a fan of outright warfare, but people standing up for themselves is her kind of thing.

But instead of delving into that, Eirene ramped up into different scenarios and took on more of a distinctly villainous vibe. Whenever someone starts talking about “the beauty and tragic glory of war” and “war in all its bloody, beautiful glory,” you know they’re on the bad guy side of things. Eirene tried to explain that peace needs war, that a lack of war doesn’t automatically create peace but that war is a necessary exercise for then creating peace, a balance that perpetually tips back and forth. Wonder Woman rightly decided that Eirene had gone off her rocker, and they punched it out for a while. Poor Eirene was pretty hung up on Ares, and seems to have gone a little bit crazy after his death.

This whole discussion took up more than half the book, which really isn’t particularly interesting comic booking. In the end, it all just felt like a pretense for Zeke to use his powers to bring back Ares and Apollo, as well as Donna Troy, who got shot and turned into stone last month. Apparently Donna is the new Fate now, because the Fates are dead, and the gods are immortal again or something. That part all kind of unspooled quickly without much in the way of detailed and/or sensible explanation.

The annoying part is, they were on to something kind of cool here. Wonder Woman fighting with a crazed, war-hungry deity is pretty old hat, but exploring a more nuanced take on war that would force Wonder Woman to confront her lack of engagement with her divine status could have been interesting. I mean, it’s a comic book; we want the punching and the action and whatnot. It’s a staple of the genre. Thoughtful re-examinations of one’s choices don’t bring that so much. It’s a lot easier when Wonder Woman’s opponent is clearly crazed and villainous and they can just duke it out. Nonetheless, I feel like the Finches let an intriguing idea slip away here.

I will say this: the book did a lot of heavy lifting in twenty pages. Donna’s alive again, we know all about Eirene and how she’s wacky for war, Ares and Apollo are back. The latter is particularly significant, because the obvious question now is with Ares back, what does that mean for Wonder Woman’s god of war status? And with Apollo back, what does that mean for Hera’s rule on Olympus, since last time we saw him he’d seized the throne? There’s a bunch of new stuff in play. I’m not optimistic that it will pan out to be anything interesting or fun to read, but things happened and big changes are afoot. There have been several issues of this run where it seemed like nothing really happened at all, so all of this activity is something at least.

Ultimately, this was yet another not great issue of Wonder Woman. Things happened, but they weren’t all that exciting, and some potentially interesting stuff quickly fell by the wayside. I got more out of it than most of their previous issues, though; I was slightly less bored than usual. Nonetheless, the book is still a long, long, long way from good, and Wonder Woman’s New 52 incarnation is absolutely crying out for a revamp.

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Wonder Woman #45 Review OR Oh Fun, More Death and Anger

October 21, 2015

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Since the New 52 Relaunch four years ago, Wonder Woman hasn’t been the most upbeat series. Everyone’s mad all of the time, including Diana herself for big swathes of the series’ run thus far, folks are always getting killed, and the world around Wonder Woman is one of constant drama and betrayal. Frankly, it’s exhausting. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang found a way to make the darkness work a lot of the time, turning the Olympian gods into a twisted horror story that was often unique and engaging. Meredith and David Finch have continued the darkness, but with none of the panache. Their stories are both bleak AND badly told, to the point that reading the book each month is a chore. At a time when there are so many fantastic comic books on the stands, I’m becoming increasingly annoyed at plunking down four bucks a month to not be entertained in the slightest. Anyway, let’s talk about this issue or whatever, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

The contents of this month’s Wonder Woman are about to be revealed!!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!!

Unless you’re one of the many folks who read these reviews instead of the comic!!

If you are, you’ve made a wise choice!!

So the reason I’m particularly down on the book this month, other than the fact that it remains joyless, is because they killed off a new character that I really liked. Last month saw the introduction of Violet, a blue haired London street urchin who befriended the newly escaped Donna Troy. There wasn’t much to the character, really. She hooked up Donna with a new costume, and in this month’s issue they toured London together and Violet gave her some much needed advice. But she was friendly and fun and had blue hair and she seemed like a kind person. In this book, a pleasant character is rare indeed.

And she got killed. She was a thief in the employ of a tough named Link, who slapped her around and then killed her when he threw her to the floor and split her head open. This was all done to further Donna Troy’s angry journey; she flipped out, beating Link soundly before Wonder Woman arrived to stop her from killing him. Wonder Woman tried to dissuade Donna from the violent life she continued to lead, but she was too furious to listen to her.

Even worse, Violet’s death came in an issue that was rife with women getting beaten up by men in graphic ways. The second and third pages of the books were a double page spread of Aegeus punching Wonder Woman in the face, with her head snapping back and blood flying out of her mouth. He continued to punch her on the next page, with similar gore. Then Violet got viciously backhanded by Link before being thrown to the ground. It’s all just so unpleasant. These aren’t things I want to see over and over, much less in a double page spread.

So Violet is dead and Donna is angrier than ever. Oh, and also turned to stone. Aegeus showed up at the end of the book and shot her with an arrow, trying to help Wonder Woman, oddly enough. She and Donna were fighting in the street, so Aegeus took down Donna because he’d realized the error of his ways and wanted Wonder Woman’s help in escaping the hold of the goddess he was working for.

As the book’s final page revealed, this goddess was Eirene, the goddess of peace. It’s a bit of a deep cut, Greek pantheon-wise. Eirene’s not an Olympian, though in some stories she’s the daughter of Zeus, and she doesn’t play a huge role in Greek mythology. She’s more a goddess that’s invoked because of her association with peace rather than a goddess that actually gets involved with the stories as a character. She was big in Athens, with a statue and everything, but again, that was mostly a symbolic thing about peace in Athens rather than a monument to any great Eirene story.

Anyway, she’s the big bad. The Finches seem to be setting up a connection between her and Ares, perhaps in a romantic way that plays on an “opposites attract” dynamic. And boy oh boy, is she ever mad that Wonder Woman killed Ares and took the mantle of god of war.

I don’t know if this is a coincidence of not, but Eirene played a key role in those terrible Futures End one-shots DC put out last September. After failing to beat the mythological foe Nemesis through her god of war tactics, Wonder Woman merged with the remnants of the dead goddess Eirene to become the goddess of peace herself, with a new white costume to go along with the change.

In that story, Eirene still represented peace. In the world of Meredith and David Finch, the goddess of peace seems to be all about anger, murder, and vengeance, because why not? Everybody else is.

At the very least, we got some story progress in this issue after the absolute standstill of a book we got last month. We know who’s behind Aegeus now, Donna’s got herself in a real pickle being turned to stone and such, and Wonder Woman is in the middle of it all. It’s never a good sign when the best thing you can say about a comic is, “Well, something happened.” But that’s a big plus for Wonder Woman. The plot moved forward! In extremely unpleasant ways, though. So long, Violet, one of the only not terrible people in this book! You’ll be missed.


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