Covergirl: I love this series’ imagining of Hades as a child with burning candles atop his head (presumably the brainwork of Cliff Chiang) but here he looks kinda goofy. Not scary, despite his holding the rope that’s about to hang Wonder Woman. Who looks mentally miles away. Trying to decide which Hot Pocket to have for dinner, perhaps.
INSIDE STORY: In Damascus Strife tries to lure her uncle War to Diana and Hades' wedding, and at Mount Etna, the gang – Hermes, Lennox, Eros, Hephaestus, Zola — argues about Diana. Should they rescue Diana, or should they keep their promise to Diana to NOT rescue Diana but instead protect Zola?
Meanwhile, down in Hell, Hades’ ex Persephone helps Diana get dressed and dispenses wifely wisdom. Such as, “Don’t try to kill yourself, he’ll make your life Hell.” In Hell. Hell’s bells!
Diana is, in her (uncharacteristic) words, “freaked out.”
But Persephone, cursed to bleed forever from her suicidal wrist slits, is Suburban Normal when compared to Diana’s three canine bridesmaids, ugly six-breasted hounds, sharp fanged and silk gowned. I assume the three bitches are a riff on classical mythology’s Cerberus, Hades’ three-headed watchdog. Watch they do, threatening to rip Diana to shreds and feed her to hell-rats should she dare shame their master Hades.
Diana appeases them, playing the blushing betrothed to Hades' fretful groom. In lieu of a wedding ring, he offers up her Lasso of Truth, strung up into a noose. She must prove her love by placing it around her neck and professing her love. D’oh!
RAMBLE: I just love this comic book. The mix of superhero Kapow and Greek mytho-drama kills every issue.
And while I’m Cliff Chiang’s biggest cheerleader, I woo-hooed a bunch of Tony Akins’ moves this issue, including making Zola pregnant-puffy (right, though the image doesn't show how full her face is under Akins' hand). She somehow seemed more real to me than Chiang’s pixie-farmgirl-turned-baby-mama-of-the-gods (left).
Though I don’t like Akins’ Diana-face, I love his wedding gown: the W from Wonder Woman’s uniform transformed from the silver shield to the blood-red cowl, the disembodied hands clawing at her bridal skirt. The brilliant dress brings to mind everything deliciously creepy about Gothic horror. And Diana’s bitchy bridesmaids made me cringe.
My kids love the Frog and Toad adventure “Shivers,” in which Frog tells Toad a scary story about a cannibalistic frog and Toad delights in the shivery feeling the tale elicits.
By issue 9's end, I had the shivers.
WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Diana: Wonder Woman. Hails from Paradise Island.
Eros: Diana's nephew. Maybe cousin. In any case, part o' the gang.
Hades: New in issue #6; lord of the underworld; brother to Zeus and Poseidon; holding Diana captive and betrothed
Hermes: Wing-footed son of Zeus; Diana's half-brother and current guardian of Zola
Hephaestus: AKA the Smith, maker of mighty weapons and employer of Diana's multitudinous half-brothers, husband of Aphrodite
Lennox: New in issue #5; Diana's half-brother
Strife: Diana's trouble-stirring half-sister
War: Diana's uncle. Looks like Tom Wolfe. Also, Wonder Woman writer Brian Azzarello
Zola: Virginian, unknowingly impregnated by Zeus
Zeus: King of the heavens, disappeared, mostly likely into Zola’s womb
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? (AKA Previously on Wonder Woman)
Zeus has impregnated Zola, a Virginia farm-dwelling human. She is carrying Zeus' child who is, improbably, Zeus.
Hades captured Zola, but released her in exchange for Diana's hand in marriage.
A passle of Diana-kin aims to stop the marriage.