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Wonder Woman #12 - Birth Right Review

5

Prepare yourself for more than one "did that really just happen?" moment in this awesome issue of WONDER WOMAN.

The Good

Where do I even begin? Even if you haven't been reading WONDER WOMAN since the beginning, and even if you aren't much of a fan of the character, you might want to consider going out and getting this issue -- especially if you're a big fan of what Jack Kirby did for DC Comics starting in the early 1970's. Okay, here's the thing you need to realize when you read this series: Azzarello is making zero apologies for changing Wonder Woman -- and he's changing her a lot. Now, even if you are a huge fan of Wonder Woman's origin story, to a certain extent, it does not do anything to integrate her into the DC Universe as a whole.

The whole idea of Gods and Goddesses and Hellenistic mythos is something that made Wonder Woman difficult to integrate into the DC Universe in general. Rather than doing away with all of that, Azzarello has roped in another major part of the DC Universe and connected the two concepts in a way that is kind of brilliant. When I read this issue I nearly smacked my own forehead and thought to myself, "of course, that just makes so much sense." Because it really does. What Azzarello has done here is combine two concepts that we have yet to see integrated into DC's New 52, without sacrificing Wonder Woman's Greek mythos.

Onto the issue itself. There are so many twists and turns in this issue that you will most definitely be left in awe of what happens. Characters do things and act in ways that are completely unexpected of them, and it's great. Diana is forced to question her alliances in this issue, and she does so in a way that is completely in her character. She won't stop until she gets her vengeance. Yes, this is still the hard-headed Diana that only sees in black and white and wants things done her way.

There's a great moment, mid-battle, where she's given the ability to fly and the way it is executed is just so cool. It's also interesting to see that her powers are a little bit different, too. Without giving much away, it does seem like Diana is stronger than she's ever been.

The Bad

Nothing bad here. This issue kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The Verdict

First off, Cliff Chiang does an incredible job on this issue. I absolutely adore his interiors and the way he portrays movement in his art. It's really well done. As if we couldn't get another mind-blowing moment, Azzarello delivers in this issue. More than any issue before it, you will be guaranteed edge of your seat excitement page after page. It's all executed so beautifully. While not the best jumping on point into WONDER WOMAN, I still think this is a comic every DC fan should read as it pertains to the future of the DC Universe.

47 Comments
Posted by RedQueen

Awesome review XD This series has seriously blown me away. It's absolutely perfect. This is why I read comics.

Posted by noj

SO good! I absolutely loved this series and the ending just blew my mind! I CANT wait to see where Azarello is going with this!

Edited by rym

Absolutely love this series and this issue, damn what an ending. I really thought Zeus would appear in this issue, but was shocked that he didnt, and her flying = Badass

Posted by Zeeguy91

I thought this was an awesome issue. The ending left me shocked and confused, but in a good way, you know. The way that you're supposed to feel when a piece of the puzzle is revealed and you desperately need to read the next issue to find out how it fits. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will say that Azz could've left that last line out. I think those of us who are fans of DC could recognize what was coming next. I'll just leave it at, I can't wait to see what happens next.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Awesome 

Posted by Jake Fury

This issue was indeed a blockbuster! Who was at the end putting on the helmet?

Posted by The_MVPs

@Jake Fury said:

This issue was indeed a blockbuster! Who was at the end putting on the helmet?

Orion

Moderator
Posted by Pbott

Great Issue I have to say this title is right next to JL dark and Aquaman as my best of the best DC books

Posted by Noctis

It. Was. Awesome!

Posted by TheGardener

Nice review, I completely agree. One of the best comics I've read all year for sure.

Posted by doordoor123
Posted by Dernman

Did that last scene have any connection to the WW story so far or was it just thrown in there?

Edited by KingofMadCows

I don't understand how that battle worked.

I can accept that the bracers held back Wonder Woman's powers but how did she become more powerful than Artemis when she took them off? They're both daughters of Zeus but Wonder Woman is only a demi-god while Artemis is a full god so Artemis should have more divine power. Artemis also happens to be several thousand years older than Wonder Woman, which should give her the advantage in terms of experience. Bracers or no bracers, Artemis should still have the upper hand.

Also,

Why did Artemis decide to hand to hand against Wonder Woman? That made no sense. She used projectile attacks against Wonder Woman before, so why did she stop using projectiles after Wonder Woman threw away her only defense against them?

Posted by zackattack529

wonderwoman is definitely top 10 to read comics. hands down. if ever they were to make a movie i hope the movie is similar to the style and tone of this comic. but if a movie is made i hope hades looks different

Posted by JonesDeini

LOVED this issue. Chiang knocked it out of the park and Azz kept a great sense of tension and intensity throughout. And Diana cutting loose?! YES!!! Hermes actions?! YES!!! That last page teaser?! OH HELLS YES!!!

Posted by Hatutzeraze

Really, really great comic.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: If you really must know, in the Greek mythos being a god and a demigod isn't that big of a difference and it doesn't lock the two into ranks. If you take Heracles (or Hercules) as an example, he was also just a demigod, but he was still stronger than all of the gods. And I think the relationship here is something similar, where Diana simply taps more deeply into a well of power to put herself above Artemis.

Posted by _Black

Orion? YES! I'm going to buy this just because of him.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

Wonder Woman was so great this month. The ending was just icing on the cake. Greek Mythology mixed with Azzarello style of writing has been nothing but success from the get go.

Posted by Zoch81

Good issue Ive been waiting for some kick ass action from Wonder Woman finally got it dont fully understand how her bracers and her powers work overall been good issue.

Posted by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: Except power is more than just strength. According to myth, Artemis possesses a bow that never misses and always kills, and she used it against mortals who believe they can defeat gods. There's also how the gods can't really die in the traditional way like demi-gods. If the gods could die then Cronus would have killed his children and Zeus would have killed the Titans. If they were following Greek myth, Wonder Woman snapping Artemis's neck probably wouldn't permanently get rid of her but if Artemis had been smart and shot Wonder Woman with an arrow, WW would be dead.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: Well, thats another thing, Artemis is a hunter, not a warrior, so she could be automatically limited in that sense. As for the bow, only two of the tales I know of involves Artemis using the bow on people, in this case the legends of Niobe (by shooting her seven daughters) and Chione (who was either shot dead or had her tongue shot off). Most of the other times it seems Artemis turned transgressors into animals, save one where she engineers the rape of the virgin goddess Aura because she had questioned Artemis' own virginity.

Posted by mrtrickster

orion and new gods, ohhh this is gonna be interesting

Edited by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: But her knowledge as a hunter can be applied in any situation where she must do battle. One of the most important things hunters must know is not to underestimate their prey, especially when that prey is cornered and desperate. It didn't make any sense for Artemis to become arrogant and go in for a hand to hand attack against Wonder Woman when WW had just discarded her best defense against projectile weapons. Not to mention the fact that in myth, Artemis is very crafty and likes to rely on trickery rather than direct action so getting into a fist fight with WW doesn't fit that personality.

Also, Wonder Woman is 23, Artemis is probably around 3,000 years old. Even if Artemis only hunted and didn't learn any other kind of fighting or warrior skills, she should still be more proficient at fighting and killing than Wonder Woman because I think that hunting mystical monsters for 3,000 years would make someone an excellent warrior, certainly a better warrior than someone who learned to fight through sparring had just recently gotten into real fights.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: Well, the problem of that logic is that Artemis have to think Diana will react like any other animal. As for age, well that depends on if Artemis have learned any skills at all in personal combat, according to the Illiade Hera beat her off with her own quiver and as you say, she is a peerless archer and I guess there are not a lot of her shots that aren't lethal unless she doesn't want them to be, so I doubt she rarely if ever have to employ hand to hand tecniques on the monsters she may hunt. I kinda picture her much like snipers in various games and such, great at range, rubbish up close.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@KingofMadCows beacuse if someone challenges you to one on one unarmed combat and you refuse your going to look like a punk to the other gods
Posted by buttersdaman000
@KingofMadCows:  
And if Artemis did shoot WW with a Bow that always kills then the story would be kind of......over. 
Posted by Booster_Bronze

I think WW is a great book for introducing the non-comic book reader into the world of comics simply because it draws so heavily on something they may already be familiair with: Greek Mythology. I love the modern interpretations of the Gods and the style in which they are drawn (Ares always leaving bloody footprints? How cool is that?!) Am I the only one who gets the impression that this book maybe takes place 5 years in the past, too? She doesn't mention the JL (to my recollection at least) and the fact that she's just coming into her own powers seems to sway me in that direction.

Posted by hyperman

mmm,I reckon Wonder Woman issues have gotten a bit boring. Everyone seems to praise the mythology interpretation of Azzarello. I prefer George Perez interpretation. It didn't take several steps away from the clasic interpretation (Both Wonder woman and greek mythology)

I'm glad to see Wonder woman flying , so does this mean that she didn't used to fly in the previous issues? Did she get this power from Hermes? It seemed to me that she could soar in some justice league issues.

Posted by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: It's not about Artemis thinking Wonder Woman as an animal, it's more about her thinking of WW as prey. Also, Artemis wouldn't have just hunted animals, she would have hunt all sorts of mystical creatures, including intelligent ones. Plus being a patron goddess of the hunt, she would have knowledge of hunters around the world. Not to mention the fact that there are quite a few comic book characters who are hunters and use their hunting skills to great effect against humans or other intelligent beings, characters like Catman, Congorilla, Stalker from Batman Beyond, and Kraven (although, he is Marvel so he may not count).

I think the whole thing could have worked out better if Wonder Woman had overestimated the advantage her strength would give her, Artemis used her knowledge and experience as a hunter to retain the upper hand, and WW had to think up of a clever plan to win the fight. Maybe she figures out a way to get a bracer on Artemis or maybe she calms her emotions so that Artemis's hunting skills are rendered ineffective since they're used to predict a prey's instinctive and emotional responses.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: I disagree, hunters are good at planning, shooting and setting traps thats where their strengths lie, it does not lie in ninja-like acrobatics and close combat. What Artemis got was what every hunter gets for getting in the path of a charging rhino or elephant (when you arent a comic book character that is). And I do think Diana went the only course she could go, because she cant out-manoeuvre Artemis (she would just end up dead or trapped), but she can overpower her through sheer brute force (which Artemis didn't even know she had or the heart to use against her). Added Diana wasn't in a berserker rage when she took off her bracelets, she was still thinking clearly.

Edited by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: And as a hunter, Artemis should have been smart enough not to put herself in that kind of a situation. Again, how could a patron god of the hunt, who has thousands of years of experience, not realize that it's dangerous to underestimate a prey that has been backed into a corner?

Also, Artemis would not be limited to a modern style of hunting. She would have the skills of every type of hunter throughout history and probably throughout the entire animal kingdom, which would give her all sorts of awesome physical abilities. Plus as I mentioned before, she can shapeshift, so she can take on the attributes of animal predators.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: Because she didn't know what Diana was capable of, no one was, it's like discovering the elephant you've cornered is impervious to your bullets. (Side note, elephants don't have natural predators once grown up, save man.)

Posted by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: And that's not really an excuse since if she was a patron of hunters then she would have knowledge of hunters that have been surprised by their prey, especially considering how she would be aware of the supernatural. I'm pretty sure that there have been plenty of instances throughout history where hunters were surprised that a wild hen had talons sharp enough to cut their arteries or that a silly looking creature like the platypus can produce venom capable of paralyzing.

Posted by rawr

Great issue. After 12 issues of the New Wonder Woman, I have learned to love Wonder Woman after decades of being super Meh about her. It isn't about just the backstory change, its about giving her a new saga drenched in mythology and really letting her dig into those Greek Gods background. She can be the more typical WW on the JLA pages but in her own book it is nice to see something really different. Seeing Chiang and Azzarello's interpretations of the Greek Gods in modern society and how this book really tosses their status quo on it's head has been delightful from the very first issue. Also this 12th issue puts a great cap on the story thus far and then completely twists it in ways I didn't see coming and excites me for the next 12.

This that what every 12th isssue of the new52 should be, some bits of closure in the story thus far and new avenues of story to get excited about with great art on top.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: Well, knowing she can be surprised wont really help her. I'd have agreed with you about the matchup if Artemis had been a goddess of combat, so if you ask me, Diana managing to plant an axe in Ares' head is way more off than this.

Edited by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: But she wasn't just surprised, she foolishly charged Wonder Woman with a melee weapon. That just made no sense for a goddess who is known for her craftiness and unerring accuracy with the bow, especially considering how Wonder Woman had just dropped her best defense against projectile weapons.

Although, the fight didn't really make any sense anyway. If Apollo thought that Zola's child was going to be a threat then why didn't he just blast Wonder Woman while she was fighting Artemis? If he didn't think the baby was a threat then why bother with WW at all? He got what he wanted, Zeus's throne, his quarrel with WW was over.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: Gods move in mysterious ways, Apollo may still have a ploy he counts on WW to perform (killing of the baby could after all be dangerous to a god that might be the one the prophecy is about). As for Artemis, we haven't actually seen her (or Apollo) with a bow yet, only the pendant, also she had just traded blows with Diana so she probably thought it just got all the easier.

Posted by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85: There's another reason why they should have had Artemis gain the upper hand, it would explain why Wonder Woman didn't just use that power to defeat Hera in the first place. Think about it, the main drive of this whole arc is about Hera trying to kill Zola and the good guys trying to outwit her. But if Wonder Woman was always powerful enough to defeats gods then why didn't she just have Hermes teleport her to Hera's palace at the very beginning so she could beat the crap out of Hera and force her to stop hunting Zola?

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: I figure Diana couldn't take the time to engage Hera because that would mean Zola would be left with Poseidon and Hades, not to mention Diana couldn't know if Hera had asked them to off Zola or had something other than the centaurs coming for her. Not to mention there may be a power difference between God-Queen and just God. But you could easily turn that question on it's head and ask why Hera didnt just off Zola when she was 10 feet from her in London?

Posted by ChernobylCow

I read Wonder Woman #1 and didn't like it. I found it to be nonsensical and with little to no character development and a plot that did not interest me at all. I've been sticking with Batwoman, she's grounded, has an interesting family and love life, she deals with her on mythical things (urban legends, classical monsters) and has the amazing style of JH Williams (when he gets around to drawing it).

The recent issue of Batwoman has some pretty sweet sections of WW slaying some beasts, so I read that and was like "maybe I should see what's going on with WW." Readers on here are saying that this issue of WW is one of the "best" issues they've read all year...wow. Hyperbole. I think it's a decent issue. I could discern what's happening pretty well, but nothing seemed that groundbreaking. Hasn't anyone ever played a God of War video game?

I don't have anyone to really discuss comics with and want to know what particular things make you dig this series so much?

Edited by KingofMadCows

@Outside_85 said:

@KingofMadCows: I figure Diana couldn't take the time to engage Hera because that would mean Zola would be left with Poseidon and Hades, not to mention Diana couldn't know if Hera had asked them to off Zola or had something other than the centaurs coming for her. Not to mention there may be a power difference between God-Queen and just God. But you could easily turn that question on it's head and ask why Hera didnt just off Zola when she was 10 feet from her in London?

Wonder Woman could have gone after Hera even before that. She could have done it at the very beginning, after Hera tried to kill Zola the first time.

It wouldn't have been in Hades or Poseidon's interest to stop WW from going after Hera since they wanted Zeus's throne. In fact, instead of trying to trick Hades and Poseidon and pissing Hades off, WW should have used that as a part of the deal. If WW had defeated or killed Hera then Zeus's throne would be empty for Hades and Poseidon to fill. It would have been in their interest to help WW.

As for the power difference between WW and Hera, if Hera was so powerful then why did she need Apollo and Artemis's help in the first place? Besides, WW wasn't just a little bit more powerful than Artemis, she's way more powerful. She kicked Artemis's ass without even breaking a sweat.

And it didn't make any sense that Hera didn't kill Zola in London. In fact, that whole thing made no sense. Why Hera was so mad about the suggestion of Poseidon and Hades sharing her and the throne of Zeus when later she was convinced that Zeus would never let someone else touch his throne? Hera should have just turned that whole thing on WW and promised to let Hades and Poseidon share the throne in exchange for them killing Zola.

Posted by Outside_85

@KingofMadCows: Diana couldn't risk leaving Zola alone for any length of time simply because she doesn't know how much Hera has put in motion to get to her.

Despite how much they dislike one another, I should be pretty clear that the Gods don't have an expressed interest in murdering each other or seek the others demise, or else they would have done so already. Added I am pretty sure you don't 'just' take the seat, however vacant it is (or Apollo wouldn't have bothered getting Zola as a bargaining chip).

It should be pretty obvious why Hera needed a deity of hunting to track down a target she could not longer track on her own.

For the last bit, obviously Hera doesnt like either Poseidon or Hades and has no intention of sharing Zeus' brothers in any way or form, not to mention those two are his brothers and probably the only two in her mind that could claim and keep it, should Zeus return...Apollo on the other hand is of a lesser rank than those two. Not to mention Hades and Poseidon would be hard pressed to share it with each other.

Posted by Grimoire

The issue was great. I'm guessing but it could be there is a downside to using that ability she used to beat Artemis so that's why she only used it when it was absolutely necessary or last resort of sorts.

Posted by Delphic

@ChernobylCow said:

I read Wonder Woman #1 and didn't like it. I found it to be nonsensical and with little to no character development and a plot that did not interest me at all. I've been sticking with Batwoman, she's grounded, has an interesting family and love life, she deals with her on mythical things (urban legends, classical monsters) and has the amazing style of JH Williams (when he gets around to drawing it).

The recent issue of Batwoman has some pretty sweet sections of WW slaying some beasts, so I read that and was like "maybe I should see what's going on with WW." Readers on here are saying that this issue of WW is one of the "best" issues they've read all year...wow. Hyperbole. I think it's a decent issue. I could discern what's happening pretty well, but nothing seemed that groundbreaking. Hasn't anyone ever played a God of War video game?

I don't have anyone to really discuss comics with and want to know what particular things make you dig this series so much?

I like the series and think it's pretty good as an action/adventure series, with a strong female lead. This week I was low on funds, and I was going to try and avoid comics whatsoever, but after all the hype surrounding this issue I decided to give in an go pick it up. I don't believe either that this issue lives up to all the hype that surrounds it. That doesn't mean it's not good though.

What I enjoy though is the insight into the wonder woman character, and the story of adventure. For me, it's just my sense of curiosity and wanting to soak up as much as I can about the character.

Posted by cbishop

My computer's down, I'm at a library computer now, and it's lacking, so my review on this is going to be late. Two things though: 1) What did the cover have to do with the interior?, and 2) the change that happened when WW took off her cuffs left me scratching my head, and going, "Ehn?" It's the only thing so far I haven't been completely in love with, for this series.

Posted by Miss_Garrick

I liked this issue, but I feel compelled to point out a problem with the cover. Wonder Woman and Apollo kissing. Since DC has decided to have Diana be a daughter of Zeus, that makes her and Apollo half-siblings. That means the cover is showing incest. Did DC realize that and it was too late to fix the cover in time, or did they not care? Granted, incest is something that has never bothered the Ancient Greek gods before, that doesn't make it okay in the 21st century. I'm not trying to grandstand, I just felt this had to be pointed out. Still a good read.