Great Hera!


On Wednesdays I look at various chapters in Wonder Woman’s history. Click here for previous installments.

Having looked at the first half of Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman vol. 5: Flesh last week, now we’re back with the rest of the book. Cliff Chiang’s back on art duties for this batch, which is always nice.

I fall to pieces...

I fall to pieces…

Wonder Woman #27, DC Comics, March 2014

This issue of Wonder Woman is a kinky sex party from start to finish. First we have Apollo torturing his older brother the First Born to make him swear loyalty instead of just swearing to kill him all the time. In the meantime they make manly threats at each other. Like you do.

So tough!  So manly! Clench indeed!

So tough! So manly! Clench indeed!

Zola and her Zeus-baby Zeke have run off so as not to be a burden on Wondy and her friends (manipulated by Strife into doing so), and Diana and Hera whinge a bit about being left all alone together. (I guess Hermes is there too, but he doesn’t count.) But Zola’s having a lovely time, hanging out with Dionysus in France. She’s seemingly unaware that Dionysus is a pal of Apollo, who wants to take her baby and probably kill him so Zeke won’t threaten his reign, but in the meantime Dio (you can call him Dio) takes her truffle-hunting, which is quite possibly a euphemism for an orgy.

Told ya. OK, on the next page he turns them into pigs, but still.

Told ya. Sure, on the next page he turns them into pigs, but still.

Diana, meanwhile, enlists Artemis to help her find Zola and Zeke, seeing as how she’s the goddess of the hunt and all. This doesn’t seem like a very good idea, because Artemis is Apollo’s twin sister and closest ally, and she’s already tried to kill the baby more than once, but I’m sure Wondy has a plan. And the plan involves wrestling. The two half-sisters wrestle for a while until Diana admits defeat in “loving submission,” but with a sly smile on her face that makes it pretty clear she’s up to something.

Or is that some other kind of smile?

Or is that some other kind of smile?

Oh, and evil sister Cassandra, who’s also hunting for Zeke, has some kind of kinky sex minotaur in studded leather briefs and an iron mask. You know, because of reasons.

And yeah, sure, I guess the First Born breaks free and attacks Apollo, so I guess something actually happened in this issue. But by and large, it’s just a very in-betweeny issue. It’s as in-betweeny as Lucky Pierre.

He’s like, Rawr rawr rawr!

He’s like, Rawr rawr rawr!

Wonder Woman #28, DC Comics, April 2014.

In this issue:

The First Born and Apollo keep fighting!

The Kinky Sex Minotaur attacks!

Did someone say kinky sex party?!

Did someone say kinky sex party?!

Dionysus fights the KSM for a while, surprisingly defending Zola, but finally gets cold-cocked and captured by it!

Artemis helps Wondy and co. track down Zola and Zeke!

Hera eats a cookie!

Hera eats a cookie!

Cassandra tries to make Dionysus take her to Olympus, and he’s all, dude, I’ll do that anyway, just to see Apollo crush you!

Apollo and the First Born’s battle blows up the Olympus skyscraper, or whatever the hell it is!

And that’s it!

I know it’s Ares’s helm, but it reminds me of Loki’s.

I know it’s Ares’s helm, but it reminds me of Loki’s.

Wonder Woman #29, DC Comics, May 2014.

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, Azzarello’s playing a long game here, telling a single story over the course of three years, so this issue is also in-betweeny, but it’s also the end of a chapter, so a lot of shit goes down in this issue—at least relative to how little tends to happen in any given issue of his run.

For instance, Hera deals with a snobby French waiter. Which I know is redundant.

For instance, Hera deals with a snobby French waiter. Which I know is redundant.

First Hera gets hit by some kind of meteor. You know, like you do.

Then the great white hunter interrupts her hunt because she senses her twin is in trouble. And pretty much everybody arrives on Olympus at once. Cassandra in her airship, with her minions; Zola and Zeke, stowing away on the enemy craft for some crazy reason; Wonder Woman, following it for a more obvious reason; Artemis and Hermes, sensing trouble; and…well, I guess that’s it for the moment,

And what do they find? Well, Olympus is destroyed. Apollo is seemingly dead, or in any case missing. And the First Born? Well, he’s a mess, all burned up, but he’s taken charge, standing on top of a meat tower and grabbing people with his veins. Yeah, you read that right. It’s pretty gross.

That’s just not right.

That’s just not right.

So now his veins have the power to…suck gods’ lifeforce and make them shrivel up? I guess so.

Diana had to promise Artemis to grant her a wish in order to get her involved in the hunt, and now the goddess calls in her favor: “Stop denying your mantle.” If you’ve been following the last several issues of this story, you know exactly what that means. Wonder Woman is the god of war now. She’d better start acting like it.

But the one real badass moment here is reserved for Hera. That bolt from the blue was apparently Apollo giving Hera her divinity back, and she comes to Olympus to give her naughty eldest son a stern talking-to.

Great Hera! That’s what I’m talking about.

Great Hera! That’s what I’m talking about.

Oh, and also to give Wonder Woman an army to fight her big bad son. That army being the Amazons, who she turned into snakes many issues ago.

One thing that confuses me is the line, “not just you here in Themyscira…but all the Amazons of Paradise Island.” Is Azzarello drawing a distinction between Themyscira and Paradise Island, which have always been the same thing? Or is he just referring to Amazons that happen to be off-island at the moment?

In any case, you realize of course what this means. War!

But for that we’ll have to wait for the last book, volume six. I mean, sure, in the individual issues it’s been over for a couple of months, but this series moves way too slowly to read it that way.

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