Strife returns to Olympus, giddy after her recent adventures and expressing a newfound enthusiasm for her sister Wonder Woman.  She is startled when Hera tells her that she has placed a bounty on Zola’s unborn baby.  Hera makes a vague reference to “one of them.”

Diana and her allies, Hermes and Lennox accompany Zola to the doctor’s office when what appears to be an eclipse occurs in the sky above them.  Diana surmises that what has really happened is that the Sun and the Moon have become one, meaning this is a physical manifestation of Artemis and Apollo joining forces.  Surely enough, the twin gods appear.  Of course a fight breaks out and of course Hermes gets his ass beat again.  Finally, a god steps up with Hera’s approval to claim Zeus’ throne… but not if Wonder Woman has anything to say about it!

It looks like Wonder Woman and Hera will finally come face-to-face next issue. (Well issue #12.  Next issue is #0.)  I’m looking forward to finally getting to this confrontation and hopefully a resolution to this storyline.  Twelve issues isn’t unheard of, but considering this is a relaunch, I would have maybe preferred one shorter story arc before this sprawling one.  But… that’s just me.

Overall, this series is well-written.  Wonder Woman is a lady of few words, so it’s up to her supporting cast to inject the real personality into the book.  Zola is scrappy and strong-willed.  Strife is a real party girl with a dark side.  (But also, a light side.)  Lennox is a tough guy with a street-smart attitude.  And the gods are all basically children with too much power.  The political goals and coniving are pretty interesting.  And their designs, presumably by artist Cliff Chiang are all really interesting.  This issue nicely builds to, what I hope is, the big finale of this storyline.

Cliff Chiang does a fantastic job across the board here… this may be his best work ever and I’ve been a fan for years!  But every character in this book looks unique– different body types, different faces, different postures, different body languange and movement.  Strife’s movements are broad and extreme, her facial expressions animated.  Hera in contrasts conducts herself with grace and poise, befitting a queen and her facial expressions remain stoic at times, but even when angry, she remains composed.  There’s a shot of the normally tough Zola, where she registers real fear and you can totally read it in her eyes.  His storytelling and page lay outs are great as well.  The fight sequence is impactful and full of energy.

This series has drawn some heat for some of the whole-cloth alterations to Wonder Woman’s mythos, but it’s also garnered a lot of praise and it deserves it.  It’s one of the better selling runs Wonder Woman has enjoyed, so it’s connecting on some level, right?

Verdict: Buy

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art and Cover by Cliff Chiang