Published on April 2nd, 2015 | by Brad0
Wonder Woman Recap – Part Two
Welcome back! I hope you all picked up some Wonder Woman yesterday. The sixth and final volume of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s run on the character, entitled Bones, is out in the world now, and it’s great. Really strong ending to a really strong series.
Continuing from Tuesday, here are some selected highlights from the second half of the series, War, Flesh and Bones. After the first half focussed primarily on protecting Zola and her son Zeke, Zeus’ last-born, the second half concerns itself with the rise of the First Born, Zeus and Hera’s first child. The First Born is one of my favourite new villains introduced in The New 52. He’s this very simple, very straight-forward monster, but he’s such a compelling and destructive force. His quest to conquer Olympus and the battle to stop him are some of the best comics I’ve read over the last few years in any genre, from any company. Again, spoilers will follow;
Volume 4: War
In which Wonder Woman meets the New Gods, and an old god dies.
#19 – Diana puts Orion in his place
That moment’s just hilarious, frankly. At this point Orion had been a bit of a boorish frat boy at times, and kept on making sexist remarks to Wonder Woman. So she leaned in for a kiss, and, well, that happened.
#21 – Orion kicks the First Born in the face
I’m a sucker for a big action shot like that. It’s dynamic, it’s exciting, it’s just damn awesome.
#21 – The First Born holds open a Boom Tube
You want power? This is power. A Boom Tube is essentially an artificial wormhole which the New Gods use to travel the Universe. Their localised gravity is strong enough to warp space-time. And the First Born is pushing it open like it’s nothing. It’s about this point where you started to get the sense that this guy really is something else.
#22 – Highfather of New Genesis
There isn’t nearly enough time for me to go into how amazing Jack Kirby’s work is. Obviously his Marvel legacy is legendary, but on a personal level, my favourite of his creations are the New Gods. They’ve been dotted around the New 52, but Orion and Highfather, the two main heroes of that world, were both brought into play in Wonder Woman, and they’re brilliantly done. The whole issue set on New Genesis is fantastic, but there’s something about Highfather’s regal arrogance in this scene which I really like.
#23 – You and whose army?
This is War’s retort to the First Born asking him “What soldiers would follow you, old man?” It’s awesome. This army is made up of any hero who ever survived all their wars and lived to grow old. Ares is the best character in this run, this is the high-point his character arc had been building to for four volumes, and it’s glorious.
#23 – The death of a god
The First Born is about to kill Ares and claim his throne as god of war. So Wonder Woman stops him, the only way she can. This sets things up for the final movement, and leads to a heart-breaking end to the issue. Issue 23 is probably the best of the entire run, and that’s largely down to Diana and War’s relationship and the way he goes out.
Volume 5: Flesh
In which the new god of war grapples with her throne, and the tale of the First Born is told.
#23.2 – The First Born kills a dragon
Yeah, those gauntlets he wears? Dragon hide and teeth. Just in case you’d forgotten how awesome he actually is.
#24 – Hera’s eye for decorating
Honestly? I just think that’s really funny. His head never leaves that mantelpiece, either.
#25 – Apollo and Dionysus eat the First Born
Little bit of Prometheus in this one. After the First Born’s defeat in #23, he spends much of volume 5 being tortured by Apollo. It honestly started to get a little tiresome, but this particular one, where Apollo has Dionysus carve bits off the First Born and serve them to him as gourmet food is splendidly dark.
#29 – Olympus falls to the First Born
Burnt, battered but unbroken, the First Born breaks his chains and defeats Apollo. Rather than allowing his brother to kill him, Apollo gives his life, restoring Hera’s power and burning the First Born to a crisp. Even the power of the sun doesn’t deter him from his grim purpose.
Volume 6: Bones
In which everything ends.
#30 – The First Born takes down Hades
Simple. Evocative. Bloody terrifying. Not sure what else there is to say, this dude is such a good villain.
#33 – Wonder Woman stands alone
For all that I’ve raved about how good a villain the First Born is, a comic like this lives and dies by its hero. And this version of Wonder Woman is as good as I’ve ever read. And this image of her stood alone against the First Born is near enough as good as it gets, give or take the cover to Volume 5 which I have a signed print of on my wall. Diana is a strong, powerful badass, but she’s also compassionate, loving, funny, confident, a natural leader and, at heart, a good soul.
And that’s a good point to end on. I don’t want to spoil the ending! This run on Wonder Woman is one for the ages. I really, highly recommend that you get it.