One of the side effects to reading random trades is that even if I do like a series, I don’t always get back to it in a timely manner. And if it was something I fell behind on, well, good luck to me. So, while much of the New 52 was ultimately forgettable, there were a few runs I liked.
One of those was Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman. Hey, look! I am almost finished with that. I finally got to the penultimate fifth volume, subtitled Flesh.
Diana is in an odd place at the start of the fifth volume. Her battle with the unnamed god the First Born ended with his defeat, but she had to kill Ares to do so. The act of killing Ares made Diana the new god of war. This is Wonder Woman. The last thing she wants to be a god of war. Arguably, she doesn’t want to be any kind of god, but she’s the ambassador of peace for cryin’ out loud! Being able to conjure blades from thin air may be a handy power, but she doesn’t want it. So much so that when Apollo, calling himself the new King of Olympus, calls her to a meeting, she does her best to ignore the summons.
What could be so important that Apollo would call the gods to OIympus? Well, he has the First Born chained up there for one thing. And Apollo is the right kind of arrogant to assume he can torture the First Born into submission. And though Diana rejects Apollo’s demands, she doesn’t have many allies as everyone seems to scramble for Zeus’ throne. New mother Zola isn’t much use in a fight. Neither is the newly mortal Hera. Zola’s infant Zeke has power, but he’s a baby. Hermes is back in Diana’s good graces, but Orion has to rush off before the end.
However, she’s still an ambassador. Even if she can’t defeat the First Born, a god whose power grows with his unlimited hatred, she can make more allies along the way. Plus, she does have the power of the god of war in her hands now. She shows growth in this direction in this next-to-last volume, and she better. The book ends with the world in a bad place. Diana will need to use that growth to save the day next time around.
You know, I really do enjoy this run. It’s maybe not a classic Wonder Woman, but it is largely faithful to Greek mythology. Chiang’s re-imaginings of the Greek Gods isn’t really on display here with anyone new, but we do get to see a number of them hanging out together. Diana doesn’t fit in with them on so many levels. Not only is she uninterested in being a god, but as an ambassador of peace, she isn’t the type to get into the snipping and backbiting of the other gods. As it is, she’ll need to be more than that. I hope I get to the last book in this run sooner rather than later. 9 out of 10 wine critiques.