*NB: This issue picks up from the “Millennium” crossover. In issue #7, Wonder Woman confronts the Manhunter who posed as Pan. As they confront each other, Wonder Woman throws her lasso around the Manhunter. He says that if she were to stop him escaping, she would have to kill him. Wonder Woman then tightens the lasso around his waste and cuts his torso and rips in half. She is horrified in what she has done, though her friends tell her that the Manhunter was an android. With Hermes’ challenge completed, he teleports Wonder Woman to her mother in the Cavern of Doom and rescues her.*
Wonder Woman wonders how many senseless slaughters have occurred due to her challenges. She has completed Hermes’ challenge and she is on her way to rescue her mother. She only hopes that she is still alive, even though she is badly wounded. When she arrives at the Cavern of Doom, he finds Hercules in the form of a human in flesh and he holds the whole of Paradise Island on his back while Hippolyta lays unconscious near his feet. Heracles tells Wonder Woman that it is not safe here and that she should go, but Wonder Woman replies that her place is beside her mother. Hercules then realises that Wonder Woman is Hippolyta’s daughter and he tells her to take her to the ground above as he thinks that he can’t hold up the island any longer. Wonder Woman replies that she had read he was able to lift the heavens himself! He responds that the legends tend to exaggerate and that she must leave now. Just as Wonder Woman is about to leave, a voice says that she does not need to. Zeus and the other gods appear before them. Zeus apologises for his arrogance, and despite all this, the Amazons forgive the ones who have abused and exploited them. Through them, the glory of Gaea has been restored as Diana and Hippolyta have shown mercy as well as strength and courage. They have proven themselves as the true representatives of the Amazons. Diana therefore has completed all her challenges and the goddesses break the Amazons’ penance.
The Gods instruct Wonder Woman and Hercules to go now, as Gaea can hold up this up now. Wonder Woman holds Hercules in her arms and flies towards the exit. Meanwhile, the Amazons are running in fear as the earth trembles near the gateway to the Cavern of Doom. Light comes from the gateway and the Amazons fear that evil will escape from the Cavern of Doom, but Euboea reassures the Amazons that the light is good and it is just work of the gods. They are then surprised to see Wonder Woman carry Hercules through the door. Hercules greets them but the Amazons fear that the person who had doomed them has returned to do it again, but Wonder Woman assures them that he is a new person and that they must listen to him. Hippolyta is not far behind, and she backs up Wonder Woman’s statements and that they must not let fear and anger undo what they have done. They are not the only ones who have suffered a penance as she asks Hercules to address the Amazon Nation.
Hercules apologises for causing such pain as he betrayed their trust and really does ask for their forgiveness. There is a moment of silence as Hercules waits for a reply. With a cry of “All hail Hercules!” they swarm forward and hug him, welcoming him back. Euboea rejoices and is happy to say that the ordeal is finally over. Diana hugs her mother, also glad that this is over.
Up high on Mount Olympus, Zeus and his wife Hera watch this happy moment and she is glad that this has tamed his headstrong son. Zeus agrees and appreciates the patience she has shown. They declare their love for each other, and Aphrodite rushes off to tell everyone, and this is a time of rejoicing and unadulterated lovemaking. Athena adds that this is a time lesson to be learned and to never be weakened again. Artemis agrees but she says that this can wait for tomorrow, now is the time for celebrations. But when they see Hermes sit atop a column looking sad, they must also take the time to spare a moment for Pan. Despite their differences, Pan was always his son. They may take great pleasure in power restored, but there will be challenges that may challenge Olympus.
In Oklahoma, in the home of Edna and Everett Aanonson, Steve is in the attic looking through some old memorabilia. Etta comes up and tells him that dinner is almost ready. Steve comments on his father’s congressional hearings and how they almost ruined his career. Steve felt he betrayed his father, but he still stayed in the air force as he had his mother’s tenaciousness in him. Etta feels guilty for trying to convince him to stay in the air force and that he has to do what’s right for him. She confesses that she has loved him for a very long time, and their emotions take over as they embrace.
On the Island of Healing, Hippolyta rests as her wounds are healing. Philippus enters and the Amazon Queen tells her that she looks well and is glad that the battle did not injure her. Philippus replies that the only wound is her heart and promises to never cause her queen such shame. Hippolyta reassures her that she was only doing what the captain of the Amazons should have done and that she could not have asked for anyone better to protect Paradise Island. Since Doom’s Doorway has been destroyed they no longer need to fear for their sisters guarding it.
Days later at the Coliseum everyone is having a good time and in the centre stands a bier with weapons and armour. Each piece of armour or weapons has been contributed by the Amazons in hoping that they will never need them again. Euboea addresses the crowd, saying that this destruction should be remembered in honour of the Amazons who died guarding the doors which led to evil. In the royal box, Diana asks Hercules if he is enjoying the festivities. He happily replies but he asks how they will survive if they have no army? She replies that on Paradise Island, there is no need for them.
The following day, Diana flies through the skies gracefully. Below, Hercules and Hippolyta watch the Princess as she flies through the clouds and he tells her that Diana is truly a wonderful person. He tells her that he can see Hippolyta’s spirit in Diana and questions if she is perhaps his own seed? She informs him that she had Diana long before he raped her. Hercules is relieved from this truth as it would have been such a mockery if such a graceful daughter was born from such an act of violation, though time has done nothing to diminish his respect for her. Hippolyta admits that when he first said those words, she knew they were dipped in venom, but now she senses her sincerity. He then takes her hand and tells her and asks her for a kiss of forgiveness. Hiding above the branches is Diana as she watches them kiss for several moments. Hercules prays that someday her memories of his sins can be erased and that she might see the true feelings he feels for her. She agrees with him as she is still a woman and it has been a very long time, but she is still the queen of Themyscira and there is still much to do. She bids him farewell and adds her love for him. Hercules steps back and looks upwards as a shaft of light and asks his father to take him back. He has at last cleaned his plate of sins and with his final farewell, he is gone.
Days later in the Amazon Senate Chamber, a meeting is taking place. Hellene addresses the chamber and comments that man has set foot on Paradise Island and that she is fearful for doing so. What has Man ever done for the Amazons? Someone replies that Man is now hoping to create peace, but Hellene replies that they are more likely to bring weapons rather than peace. Diana says that it is possible, but how can they create peace if they continue to isolate themselves? A fellow Amazon agrees with Diana, but she also adds that they are treading on thin ice if they do so. Hippolyta then speaks, saying that they have learned much about Man’s World, but she fears that they must learn more. She then asks her daughter to return to Man’s World and learn even more.
The next morning in the Temple of Hades, Hippolyta waits starring at the closed door which leads to the honoured shrine of an Amazon warrior to perish – she who is also the namesake of Hippolyta’s daughter… Diana Trevor! Wonder Woman stands before the statue, and says that she did not understand what the armour meant, but now she understands and she shall carry on Diana Trevor’s work. There is so much she can learn from Man’s World, and even though she wears the armour, it is a sign of peace and she hopes that she will still be worthy. Diana makes her way towards the exit and is greeted by her mother. Hippolyta asks her if she is ready, but Diana worries for her. The Queen reassures her that she will be okay and that she is not only the daughter of her, but the daughter of the world. When the gods gave her the sandals, which was a sure sign that she was the one. With that, Diana flies to the skies and she travels through the void and emerges over the night sky of Boston. She passes the offices of Myndi Mayer, who is entertaining.
At the Kapatelis house Vanessa exclaims the light has gone out. She begs her mother, Julia, to see what is wrong and so she climbs upstairs. As Julia steps inside Vanessa’s room, she is shocked and stunned to see her old friend, Diana, standing at the back. Julia is overjoyed as Vanessa reveals her surprise. They hug each other, and Diana tells her that there is much to do. She asks if she can stay for a while, and Julia replies that she would not let her stay anywhere else. “Welcome home Diana, welcome home!”