There’s a wedding in the works and the bride is none other than Wonder Woman! Her groom? Prepubescent Hades, ruler of the underworld and human menorah.
Strife tries to scare up a date in the form of Ares, but he has a strict “first wedding only” policy. The sequence is very well paced and morbidly hilarious.
New artist Tony Akins, overall, does a great job, except in one area; his Zola looks like a ten year-old boy. In the following sequence, Zola is determined to rescue Diana from Hades. She is angered that Hermes refuses to help, but he swore to protect her and he can’t do both. But… there are other ways. Hephaestus is invited to the wedding and decides to bring tough guy Lennox as his plus one. Eros is also invited and plans to attend if only to get back his pistols, which Hades used to shoot Diana through the heart last issue.
As for that, did Eros’ bullets magically force Diana to fall in love with Hades? the question isn’t answered definitively but it seems that way. Hades has prepared a gift for Diana, presented to her by his former wife Persephone, a replica of Paradise Island, which upsets Diana rather than delights her.
Hermes and Zola meet another goddess, Aphrodite, who cleverly is never shown fully. Ironically, Zola says, “I’ve never felt more ugly in my life.” And though you’ve only existed for nine issues, you have, in fact, never looked more ugly. Sorry. The big reveal of this interlude is that Hermes informs Zola that the stunning Aphrodite is the wife of Hephaestus, a hulking monster. Zola is understandably floored.
In Hell, Hades is disappointed that not all of the gods will be attending his nuptials. He has a disturbing conversation with his father/throne/wine keg, Chronus. (Hades is shaping up to be the Joffrey of this book.) Strife arrives early and has some wine… from Chronus’ eyes! Ew!
Hephaestus, his “date” Lennox, and Eros arrive in the underworld. Lennox wants to know their plan of attack, to which Hephaestus responds, “We find our seats.” As for Diana, Eros dryly states, “We already know where she’ll be.” They find the “chapel” filled with every dead soul in Hell.
Wonder Woman gets all dolled up in a mostly pretty cool blood red gown with a big W logo on the front. Oh and dead zombie hands on the bottom. And a cape made of chains. Is that a Vera Wang? As they ride horses to the altar, Hades questions Diana’s true feelings. She assures him she truly loves him, but he asks her to break tradition and don her golden ring before the ceremony… her golden Lasso of Truth around her neck!
In general, this is a great book. It’s interesting and well-written. There have been three artists, but they’ve all been solid to fantastic. If you sense some trepidation on my part, it’s simply that despite the titling, this is really just a continuation of the first storyline. We haven’t progressed. It’s been nine months! Three quarters of a year, and we’re still on the first story line. And though it is well-written, is it gripping? Is it must-reading? Is it even one of the better Wonder Woman stories? Honestly, not really. When it’s all said and done, maybe, but the snail’s paced storytelling is really weighing it down at this point.
But I’m not going to “Burn” it. It’s slow but good. So is ‘Mad Men’ and that usually pays off. (I know weird comparison.) But with all my reservations, I can’t vote “Buy,” so…
WONDER WOMAN #9
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Tony Akins
Cover by Cliff Chiang