The last time we saw Wonder Woman she was stuck in a situation she could not easily escape. Our hero was trapped at the mercy of Hades; her own Lasso of Truth tied into a noose and slipped around her neck. How will she get out of this one? This entire series has been consistently good, and this issue is no different. Azzarello does a great job building momentum in the story and and eventually brings about a logical explanation to the story.
I think one of the most difficult qualities to convey for any Wonder Woman writer is the marriage between Diana's warrior spirit and her sense of compassion. Both characteristics seem so different, that its sometimes hard to see her as both. Azzarelllo does this effortlessly, however, and this issue is a perfect example of that. Diana is clearly led first and foremost by her sense of compassion for others, and that is what fuels her battles. She's fighting for what is right, not to "win" as she clearly states in this issue in a confrontation with Hades.
The cover to this issue is really stunning, and Tony Akins' interiors are equally as beautiful. He does a great job helping the story flow the way he lays out his panels. His ability to capture emotion and excitement is very well demonstrated in this issue, too.
This isn't so much a bad thing as it is a little bit confusing. I don't really understand Strife's motivations. Does she simply want to cause "strife," and make people's lives miserable? If so, why would she show up to help Wonder Woman during the fight with Hades? It's something that I'm just not buying.
Overall, this is a great issue. It serves to tie up some loose ends, closes out the story with Hades; but I think it's good that Azzarello left it sort of open ended. This is clearly not the last we've seen of Hades, and there may be room yet to develop his character further in the future. I think that it's interesting to see so many characters team up with Wonder Woman, all to save Zola. I think it's great that they all have their individual motivations, and that's important. I would have liked to see a bit more of that in this issue. The art in this issue is gorgeous; I'm a big fan of Akins on this series and I think he did a stellar job in this issue. This issue wraps up the current story and the next will likely be a good place for new readers to start this series; although this issue is pretty easy to read as well. This is a consistently good series, and I am looking forward to the next issue.