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Written By: Meredith Finch Art By: Miguel Mendonca, Dexter Vines, Diana Egea, Stephen Downer, Ulises Arreola, Rob Leigh Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: April 20, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Wonder Woman's been a big dope lately because she's decided that trusting the Goddess of Witchcraft and Necromancy is the best option she has in saving Baby Zeke from his illness apparently put on him from the Mother of The Earth, Gaia. Yeah, I understand that family usually fucks you over in the end and trusting them isn't the best option in most cases........... but Hecate is the Goddess of Witchcraft and Necromancy! That doesn't really inspire confidence in my mind and when she tells you that the only way to save Zeke is to fuck over your family and go on tasks....... Well, I'm a lazy man and tasks and fucking over family members just seems like too much work to me...... that's just me though, apparently Wonder Woman is all about it and is now on her way to Tartarus to free the Hecatonchires. Let's jump into this issue and see if Wonder Woman can smarten the hell up, or if Hecate is right and this book tells me to shut the hell up. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Wonder Woman literally going to hell to search out and free the Hecatonchires, but as we find out right away, that might be easier said than done........ well, it isn't easily said at all actually because I still have no idea how to pronounce Hecatonchires, but that's not the point. Wonder Woman works her way into the bowels of Tartarus and we see this place of torment and pain start working its magic on Wonder Woman by showing her things that she secretly and not so secretly fears. We start this horror show with our zombie segment that consists of a zombie Zola and zombie Zeke blaming Wonder Woman for not protecting them the way she promised and it just comes off really ridiculous because even though it might be a little off putting to come face to face with zombie versions of people you love, Wonder Woman just got done telling herself and us that Tartarus shows you things that you're afraid of and since she's just reminding herself, (and telling us for exposition reasons) this is something that she already knows and the majority of this book just comes off ridiculous because of how personal Diana takes all the visions she's shown. Like when she's shown how mean the other Amazon girls were to her as a child. This is nothing new and Diana is well past being hurt by people calling her clay and even when she's confronted by Superman, who wants to put a bun in her oven, it all just rings over the top because Diana is presented as someone who has the memory of a goldfish because she has to keep reminding herself that none of this is real. Yeah, this is a classic scenario that we've seen a hundred times, but even with that being the case, I think it might have worked better if maybe Wonder Woman was presented with a scenario that she knew nothing about........... like, if she didn't know about Tartarus, but since she does, it doesn't work very well.
After having herself a walk down "things I'm afraid of" lane, Wonder Woman is presented with Hera and Hera's wrath for Wonder Woman betraying her to Hecate. Now, this vision actually comes off really well because we've been led to believe that Hera will just smite the shit out of Diana for trespassing against her, but the fucked up thing is.......... It's actually Hera and she gets over what Diana has done almost immediately. One thing that we've been dealing with a lot in this series lately is the ghost of Hippolyta telling Diana that Hera may be her friend now, but she's a god first and trespassing against the gods is something that can't be ignored or forgiven........ until now apparently. So yeah, not a vision and Hera has just been magically trapped in Tartarus by Hecate, using the orbs that Diana stole, which aren't actually Cyclops eyes like we were led to believe, that was just some magic from the Goddess of Witchcraft and Necromancy, that Wonder Woman should have never believed!
In the end, even though Hera was supposed to be magically trapped in Tartarus, after being reminding by Hera that Wonder Woman has a lasso of truth, our pair immediately get out of hell because visions of lies don't mean shit when you have a.......... lasso of truth. Too bad that Hecate must have been watching and hightailed it from Gaia's temple before Diana could confront her and for some reason our issue closes with Wonder Woman coming back to Olympus to find that Zola has apparently eaten a poison apple......... I mean, she looks like she's playing Snow White and I'm not even sure if we're supposed to believe that she's dead or not and there isn't any sign of Baby Zeke or any indication if something has happened to him or not.
That's it for this issue of Wonder Woman and I don't know if this book is quickly winding down so that Rebirth can smack us all upside the head, but if that's the case then it's really hurting this story, which had its problems in the first place. The whole point to this issue just seemed to show us that Wonder Woman is vulnerable, but the things that it showed us didn't really ring true to be something that should shock us or Diana........ Especially since we heard over and over again in this book that everything in Tartarus is simply our fears presented in front of us. This whole story arc has seemed weird from its "Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover" subplot, but it's made even weirder when we find out here that covers are exactly what we should be looking at and judging the shit out of them. Luckily though, the art is as amazing as always and even though David Finch isn't on this issue, I just love Miguel Mendonca's Wonder Woman and hope to see a lot more of him in the future. That's about all I can say for this issue on a positive note though because the rest just comes off wrong from everything we've read up to this.
Bits and Pieces:
Everything that we've read from this story line up to this point just seems to be wrong now and because of this, this issue reads as a cliche of stories we've read a hundred times, while smacking us in the face for reading the arc up to this. The only real positive I really see in this issue is the art and the fact that we can just put this story arc to bed next issue.