Wonder Woman raids Hephaestus’ armory, selecting swords, daggers and a shield, for which Hephaestus teases her for not choosing something more modern, since he has a full arsenal of guns.  Wonder Woman simply replies “It was how I was raised.”  Lennox and Eros offer to accompany her, but she and Hermes are going to the underworld alone.  Hephaestus snags Eros’ two golden pistols and gives them to Diana.

Once in Hades, Hermes states that it looks different every time he goes there.  This time, it is a bleak counterpart to London.  He explains that everything there is made of the souls of the deceased.  Wonder Woman thinks that is horrible, but Hermes explains that it’s a blessing in its own way.  They are then assaulted by Hades’ soldiers, who looks like skinless humans (and horses) and burst forth from inside of statues.  The ensuing battle sequence is amazingly drawn by Cliff Chiang!  Hermes, fully recovered, unleashes his powerful talons to great effect as Wonder Woman proves that her lasso isn’t the only weapon she’s is an expert at wielding.

The fight ended, their journey through a forest (notice the trees are made of people… another genius touch!) until Wonder Woman spies a replica of Zola’s cabin.  Zola steps out, shotgun in hand, and threatens whoever is out there, but when she spots Hermes and Diana, she rushes out and embraces Diana.  Time passes differently in Hades, as she indicates that she’s been there for months and is almost at full term in her pregnancy!

(Wonderifical Spoilers from here on!)

Wonder Woman sporting armor designed by Cliff Chiang

Hades himself then appears, stating that he desires a bride and was promised either Diana or Zola.  Everything around them comes to live and separates into featureless humanoids, which surround them.  Hades then spies the pistols and says he will let them leave in exchange for them.  Wonder Woman is wary, but hands them over.  But just as they go to leave, Hades fires at her.  Wonder Woman instinctively raises one of her bullet-proof bracelets, but this is a weapon of the gods, so the bullet pierces not just her wrist, but her chest!  Hades smugly announces, “Inform our family, there will be a wedding!”  Zola goes to Diana’s side, but Hermes grabs her and whisks her to safety.  Hades has a wedding to plan.

Last issue was a tad rocky, and quite controversial.  A lot of fans have reacted quite negatively to the Amazons essentially raping and killing seamen and then turning around and trading away their male children to Hephaestus.  I’ve even read some fans say they will never read another Wonder Woman comic!  While I wasn’t a fan of the plot point, I wasn’t offended by it either and just moved on.

Like I said, last issue was kind if a miss for me, but the series is back on track this issue.  We get a lot more action than we have been getting lately!  As I said, Wonder Woman and Hermes’ battle with the skinless soldiers looks amazing and flows excellently!  Cliff Chiang really delivered on the horror and gore!  His facial work also really shines this issue.  (For example, look at that sneer on Diana’s face on the cover!)

This was a solid issue of a series that’s been reasonably strong, but not flawless.  I’m glad things are back on track!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art and Cover by Cliff Chiang