Who ever thought they would see Wonder Woman in a wedding gown, walking down the isle to meet Hades, no less? Not to mention, willingly. Of all the qualities that Azzarello captures, Diana's honor is probably the best executed in this series. She made an oath to save and protect Zola, and she does. Even if it means walking down the isle and lying to Hades, confessing her love to him.
I say honor because she stands by her promise to Zola, doing whatever it takes and sacrificing her pride in order to protect her. But she does it dishonestly. Would Diana lie? Would she put her sword down? She is a warrior after all; deception and cunning aren't attributes I am used to seeing as part of her nature -- particularly not if it means winning a war; and she is at war with Hades.
Whether it is in character for her to act this way; it's certain that her portrayal here is entertaining. The story is good. The writing is interesting, even if it is different, and even if this isn't the Wonder Woman that we are used to.
Finally, can you really deceive the crown prince of death? And if you do, and he finds out; you might have even bigger problems on your hands.
Tony Atkins does a phenomenal job in this issue taking over for Cliff Chiang; and I did find it funny that Atkins used Azzarello's likeness for the God of War we see at the beginning of the issue -- particularly since some of the dialogue seems to match Azzarello's demeanor perfectly. Atkins' artistic style and Matthew Wilson's colors will not take away from the story when it's collected; the artistic style is similar enough to Chiang's that it won't matter. Atkins does a great job capturing the expressions of these characters and the excitement of the story. His pencis compliment the writing perfectly.
The only question I really had about this issue was whether or not the events here are out of character for Diana. Yet, does it matter? Often we see Diana put her cunning and smarts to the side and instead focus on defending her cause in a physical battle of brute force. That's not to say she is unintelligent, it's just that I've never her seen her so deceptive before in all of her past appearances. Is this a bad thing, though? Is it bad to have these changes made to Diana's character? Would she lie? The lie and deception is (in itself) a contradiction to her honor. Is this something she would do in order to beat Hades? Then again, is it for me to judge? If it's a good story should it matter that it feels as though the character has greatly deviated from the way we're used to seeing her act?
This is a great issue, and it has been a consistently great series. Yet; this is not the Wonder Woman we knew and grew up with. This one seems to have many levels to her character, and things are not as black and white as we are used to. So is this a good thing? At this point, it's hard to change. Is the essence of Wonder Woman's book even still the same? Is she still even the same character? Get rid of the costume, and can we really call this a Wonder Woman series? Then again, it's such a great story, so should that really matter? Should continuity really factor into the equation? That's the biggest conflict I had with this issue and with this series as it moves forward.