Another god is introduced this issue, Eros, son of Aphrodite. He guides Wonder Woman and her allies to Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods, in an effort to locate the abducted Zola. Hephaestus’ cavernous lair is secreted behind a jewelry shop and is tended by what appear to be old school robots. Hephaestus attempts to give Wonder Woman a bullwhip type weapon, but she later proves that her golden Lasso of Truth is more powerful weapons in her hands. However, the very act angers Hades who sends a giant molten metal lizard against them. Two of Hephaestus’ “robots” are destroyed and the god himself is ensnared in the monster’s jaws, before Wonder Woman leaps into action, dousing the creature with water and then shattering it with her lasso.
Suddenly, the “robots” remove their helmets to reveal that they are real men underneath. Eros jabs, “Brothers.” To which Hephaestus adds, “Yours actually… The male children of Amazons.” He then unfolds a disturbing tale, stating that thrice a century, the Amazons went forth and captured ships full of men, used them to get pregnant and then killed them all. Then after they gave birth, the female babies were kept on to live as Amazons. The males were traded to Hephaestus in exchange for weapons. “To man your forge,” Wonder Woman concludes accusitorally.
Later, Lennox goes to check on Diana, and he ends up accompanying her back to Hephaestus’ realm, where she ensnares him in her lasso, then attempts to rally the men in revolt. “Brothers!” she entreats, “Amazons… It is time to rise. We are warriors!” One male Amazon (Manazon?) timidly entreats, “Please, release our master.” Wonder Woman is dumbstruck! The Manazon (I’m going with it…) explains, “If it wasn’t for him, we would have been thrown into the tide – to drown unloved.” Another chimes in, “He wanted us and he raised us.” Wonder Woman seems crushed by her poor judgement, but Hephaestus holds no hard feelings and tells her to get some rest.
Well, that’s an unexpected development. In the old continuity, the Amazons seemed almost asexual. A few were lesbians and a few had dalliances with men, such as Queen Hippolyta. But the though of them venturing forth, predator-like, and using men for their sperm and then killing them seems uncharacteristically evil. Sure, this is the ‘New 52’ and old depictions don’t count, but this seems very harsh. It’s also odd that Diana has no knowledge of it, considering she was their princess. This is definitely a darker world for Wonder Woman than past realities.
I did like the twist at the end, when Wonder Woman attempted to “liberate” the Manazons and it turned out that they didn’t need saving.
One thing that is bugging me about this book, is that Wonder Woman hasn’t shown much in terms of personality. She’s fearless, loyal, tough, but… what else? We’re seven issues in and still know very little about our title character!
Cliff Chiang’s art, as always, is stunning.
This series started very strongly, but it’s sort of slowed down and I’m seeing more flaws. Oh don’t get me wrong! It isn’t bad! But I’m feeling more mixed each issue. Hopefully things will come around. I’m interested in Wonder Woman having an adventure that doesn’t involve the gods. I’m sure that will be happening anytime soon, though.
WONDER WOMAN #7
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art and Cover by Cliff Chiang