Wonder Woman #8 (June, 2012)



Mount Etna. Hephaestus opened his arsenal up to Diana, but found her choices of blades and armor archaic. “It’s how I was raised…” Lennox and Eros were ready to join her in storming the underworld, but were refused, if for no other reason than as a safeguard if she and her escort Hermes failed to return. Against Eros’ protestations, Hephaestus took his golden twin automatics. “She’ll bring them back. Won’t you… Wonder Woman?”

Diana and Hermes were surprised to find themselves in a seemingly desolate replica of London with gloomy red skies. “The underworld is governed by Hades’ whims and imagination. As they change, so does his realm.” So the underworld was never the same twice over Hermes’ many visits. Further, all the matter in this realm were made up of the souls of the dead, laid down like brick and mortar. Most were serene about the matter, but some statues shed their metal shells to become skinless centurions riding muscle-horses to charge the intruders. The hands of the souls making up the streets grabbed at Diana and Hermes’ ankles. The god didn’t need help from the Amazon, and so sent Diana to find her missing friend Zola while he held off Hades’ forces. Wonder Woman was too busy facing a swarm of Hades’ proxies to get far, so the duo fought their way to a brief respite before continuing on together.



Following a light, the heroes found a dark reflection of Zola’s farm, which she was prepared to defend by shotgun. The friends were reunited, but because of the difference in the passage of time in the underworld, Zola was much further along in her pregnancy than when she left Earth. Hades arrived, demanding that he be given a queen he’d been promised in an earlier negotiation, preferably Hera. Diana had lied about that, but Hades offered her forgiveness and free passage for Zola and her unborn child in exchange for Eros’ love guns. Diana agreed, only to be struck by a bullet that passed through her guarding bracelet and into her chest. Hermes and Zola departed, while Hades stated his intention to marry what was left of Diana…



“Casting Shadows” was by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang. I can see what all the fuss is about this book. The art is very pretty, and the story is solidly cinematic. I just don’t care for the choices the writer has made with regard to interpretations of characters established three quarters of a century before this run. Also, the storytelling is decompressed to the point where even if I did like the places being traveled to, I'd still whine after each briskly read issue “are we there yet?” I’ve said it before, but once again, Wonder Woman chopping up a Bodyworlds exhibit and having an adolescent with a candle for a head plotting conjugal relations with her corpse is not the book I’m looking for.

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