When last we left Diana of Themyscira, she was stirring up some shinola between Poseidon and Hera, the queen of the Greek Pantheon who just turned Hippolyta to clay for daring to bear the child of Zeus. Now, in Wonder Woman #6, we see what she was really planning – kicking Hera in the metaphorical junk. Or perhaps we can call it "lady business."
Last time, I groused that Brian Azzarello's Diana stories always leave me a little befuddled, but that could speak to my lack of familiarity with the Greek mythologies more than his lack of clarity. However, it took me a few reads to figure out what the hell was going on at the end of this issue, but once it finally clicked, it seemed kinda cool.
The whole run of Wonder Woman has centered around her efforts to protect this woman named Zola, who Zeus has recently knocked up before vanishing from the throne of Olympus, and last ish's sudden appearance of Diana's apparent half-brother Lennox ratcheted things up a notch. For one, they quickly concocted a plan, pitting both Poseidon and Hades against each other for the vacant throne, but it turned out the real plan was to lure her down to the confrontation and then zap to her house and kill her scrying pool. "Blinding Hera," as Poseidon puts it. The trouble in comprehension came from the fact that it looks like all that happens is that Diana grabs a candle off of the head of Hades (yes. His whole head is melted wax with candles sticking out of it. And a mouth.), grabs Hermes' staff and teleports away to make a giant black circle in her living room. I was convinced there was a legend I'd never heard of involving Candle-headed Hades and the black tar splotch of doom. I had to refer to previous issues to figure out that now, Hera can't track Zola to send centaurs to kill her.
What I'm growing to like about this is how fucked up Azzarello and prior artist Cliff Chiang and current artist Tony Akins are making all these deities. As I said, Hades, or 'Hel,' as he calls himself here, has a big glop of melted wax on his head with flaming wicks atop it. Poseidon is a giant tentacled green walrus-whale thing. Hera walks around naked with a peacock-feather cloak. It makes Diana's star-spangled swimsuit seem a little less lame by comparison, although I'd still prefer the pants we were promised. I also like the notion that the New 52 version of Wonder Woman isn't really about 'spreading peace and love' or what-have-you, but rather a woman who is pissed about what was done to her mother who is going to take it out on the gods. Hera's threat to destroy Diana means nothing to her. "Your actions already have, goddess, and I will spend my days making you regret them." That's a great line that really crystalizes what Diana's about.
Of course, by the end of the issue, she's traded one annoyed god for another, and has to go pull Zola's scrawny non-fat out of the fire once again, although this time, it's the fire of the underworld. Maybe Azzarello's intentionally obscuring things – making his readers do the legwork to figure out what's going on means they have to pay attention and not treat his work as forgettable. Or maybe I'm just dense and slow on the uptake. Either way, Wonder Woman isn't my usual bag, but I'm thinking of making room for a new bag.
CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 7.9/10