Wonder Woman’s world is shocked to its core when her eldest brother, the First Born, is freed from his slumber. Now, with her family in ruins and her friends scattered, she must turn to Orion and the New Gods of New Genesis to save herself and Zola’s newborn from the First Born’s wrath! Collecting WONDER WOMAN #19-23.
Brian Azzarello (Writer),
Cliff Chiang (Artist),
Goran Sudžuka (Artist)
On Sale Date: Mar 12 2014
I really enjoyed the first three volumes of Wonder Woman’s New 52 story, so I made a b-line to acquire the last three, reading the fourth and fifth volume back-to-back.
Most of this collection serves as a cat-and-mouse game; Wonder Woman and her “band” try to protect the life of Zeke – Zola’s baby – first from Artemis, and then the First Born, who, along with Cassandra, has come to kill the Olympian Gods and claim Zeus’ throne for himself. That being said, I’ve come to not really like The First Born, because his character does tend to confuse me at times. For one, he at least has the clear aim of claiming Zeus’ throne, killing any God who poses as an obstruction to his objective. But why? He claims to hate Zeus and the other Olympians on one hand, and on the other hand, I’ve honestly failed to see what difference it makes in the DC Universe if anyone claims Zeus’ throne.
I mention that because it’s obvious from Volume 1 that these Greek Gods are still quite capable of death. Zeus is already dead at the start of this series, and Ares is ultimately killed by Wonder Woman, in an attempt to take down the First Born (think Piccolo killing Goku in order to stop Raditz in Dragon Ball Z). What does Apollo even gain from securing Zeus’ throne, let alone the First Born? They can still be killed, and given that both Zeus and Apollo seek out clairvoyants, there always seems to be some promise-child that’s going to steal the throne away from its current occupant. I’m sure that this issue could be easily remedied if the Gods became anti-natalists, but I digress…
Maybe I should be convinced that these “Gods” are more like extremely powerful meta-humans, such as Darkseid or Marvel’s Apocalypse. In Volume 3, Ares tears a hole inside of Demeter to retrieve Zeke, but when he gets impaled, he dies.
Those nitpicks aside, it was a decent adventure story, but I couldn’t help but notice something that actually began the volume before.
In the previous volume, Orion makes an appearance, where he repeatedly refers to Wonder Woman as “Legs”, which she obviously detests. But the interesting part begins towards the end of Volume 3, right before Ares takes WW to Demeter’s realm to retrieve Zeke; Orion slaps Wonder Woman on the behind, presumably to retrieve her DNA.
The “laughable” irony is that, on the last panel of the last page of the final issue of Volume Three, Orion labels everyone as “sexist”, which I’m guessing was meant to be some kind of joke.
But it gets worse.
In this Volume, some off color remarks made by Orion prompts Wonder Woman to kiss Orion smack on the lips – in front of her entire posse – only to then grab him by the testicles (see featured image), demanding respect from Orion if he wants to keep his testes where they are.
Normally I wouldn’t care about something like this, but given how “mainstream” comic writers and artists nowadays tend to insert their ideology into their comics, something tells me that I’m not just reading into this scene. Then again, this was written by Brian Azzarello; the guy who wrote 100 bullets and Hellblazer: Hard Time. Plus, if that was the case, I’m sure Chiang would’ve drawn WW as androgynous as possible.
I guess these nitpicks are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but it wasn’t anything that would rob a reader of the pleasant experience, nor deter them from picking up Volume 5.