As you can see from this cover, Strife returns, and while she is certainly plotting something– she oozes with false sincerity– she never actually does anything evil here, so obviously this cover is a ruse. In the meantime, Hermes continue to try making amends for his earlier actions when he kidnapped Zola’s baby Zeke. There’s some cute “family bonding” as Wonder Woman, Zola and Hera grab lunch and Hera describes how her life has changed since becoming mortal. Orion meanwhile still believes Hermes to be evil and attacks him. (And there is the possibility that he’s right.)
Elsewhere, Dionysus and Apollo torture First Born, another possible threat to Apollo’s newly acquired throne.
Cassandra’s plan continues to unfold, using Milan. After Strife presents the others with gifts, Wonder Woman learns of Cassandra’s doings and goes off to stop her and to help Milan.
Brian Azzarello continues to solidify Wonder Woman’s adopted extended family. Some are completely trustworthy, others not so much, so that mixes things up. But Strife is certainly not pleased that Wonder Woman killed her father, War, and is clearly up to something, although we don’t know what yet.
This is in something of a contrast with the gods, who literally are family, but none of whom are really trustworthy. (A few of them seem loyal to one another though.)
Goran Sudzuka has illustrated this book before and he does a fine job. It’s got a clean look that mimics that of regular penciler Cliff Chiang, but he does his own thing. The layouts and angles are dynamic where needed. His facial expressions are great and convey a lot of motivations as well as personality.
This issue was light on action, although we do get the fight between Hermes and Orion. It was more character building and set up, but I think that sort of thing is what makes things really matter when the fur does start flying. You’ve got to care about the characters and why they are doing what they’re doing and why they take certain sides. It was a good solid issue, which may seem like filler, but I think it does a nice job accomplishing what the creators intended.
WONDER WOMAN #25
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Goran Sudzuka
Cover by Cliff Chiang