So this volume grants us with a little more back-story for both Wonder Woman and War.
It is young Diana’s birthday and she steals a Minotaur’s egg. Apparently, the custom of the Amazons is to bring Hippolyta a “suitable present,” or else the passing will not be acknowledged. Basically, birthdays suck for Amazons. They have to put their life in danger to give someone else a present on their birthday. Oh, and if the present is not good enough, congratulations, you will be referred to as a 12 year-old even though you are 13.
Yet because she is Wonder Woman, the present is deemed as suitable. Now the birthday festivities can commence. Oh, what is that? Someone challenges Wonder Woman to a duel? Well, how else would she celebrate her birthday? Aleka challenges Wonder Woman and takes the fight to far, she even calls Wonder Woman clay. This sends Wonder Woman into a rage and she begins attacking Aleka.
Talk about an awful birthday. Wonder Woman then does what any teenager would do if their birthday was ruined: cry alone. However, she is not exactly alone. War approaches
her, “I be blood. I be guts. I be iron. I be war,” (he be all the titles of the volumes thus far, what marketing!) and offers to mentor her.
A year passes and Wonder Woman must spend her 13th birthday attempting to prove herself. She battles a Minotaur (because everything must always come full circle), but she cannot kill him. Instead, she protects the Minotaur and draws her sword against War who claims that she is his biggest failure.
Now we are in Antarctica. We meet the First Born.
Now we are at Olympus. Enter War, Dionysus, Hep, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Artemis. Apollo has gathered all of them to discuss their newest threat (and sister): Wonder Woman.
Now we are in Manhattan. Enter Lennox, Zola, Hera, and Wonder Woman. Hera and Zola bicker with one another (because that is what happens usually between a wife and her husband’s mistress) while Lennox and Wonder Woman discuss finding their other siblings to aid in finding Zola’s baby.
Now we are in Libya. Siracca, the Wind, attacks Wonder Woman because she believes that Wonder Woman is working with Hera. In a true Hera manner, Hera attacked Siracca and ultimately killed her mother. As for Siracca, Hera spread her consciousness throughout the globe. Zeus, feeling bad for his daughter, but not bad enough to intervene, pieces Siracca back together.Wonder Woman manages to get Siracca to help.
Back to Antarctica. The First Born was fated by a witch to eventually rule Olympus. Zeus hears this and acts like a typical god by demanding the witch to kill his child. However, Hera begs the witch to spare him, to which the witch does.
A man named Orion is sent to Earth because it is believed that the last child of Zeus will cause the last days on Earth. He goes to Brooklyn to seek help from Milan. Lennox, Wonder Woman, and Orion fight, but Milan uses his abilities to unleash flies that suffocate the three of them. He agrees to help them because he trusts Wonder Woman. He removes his blindfold and is able to see everything. He locates Demeter, Hermes, and Zola’s baby.
Meanwhile in Antarctica, the First Born fights Hades to win back his skin and battles Poseidon to win back his strength (what family bonding).
At Manhattan, Hera and Zola decide to go to a bar in the meantime because Zola is constantly being kidnapped and Hera is now vulnerable to all the people that she has harmed. To no one’s surprise, they bump into Strife, Dionysus, and War there. Orion, Lennox, and Wonder Woman arrive to the bar. Earlier Dionysus tells Zola that War is there to kill Wonder Woman. When War approaches Wonder Woman, Zola grabs a knife and attempts to protect Wonder Woman by killing War. Zola, the mortal, attempts to protect a demi-god by killing a god. (Shockingly) War stops Zola and agrees to take Wonder Woman to Demeter’s lair.
While Wonder Woman and Orion attempt to flee from Hermes, War reaches into Demeter’s belly and pulls out Zola’s baby. Knowing his power, Demeter allows him to do so without fighting back. Wonder Woman checks on Demeter, the very same person whose house she invaded. I mean this is why War hates her, she checks up on her enemies, rather than fight them. Wonder Woman believes that War has taken the child for himself and becomes full of rage. For some reason this becomes a green light for Orion who uses this moment to tell her that she is cute when she is angry. Smooth.
Wonder Woman returns home to tell Zola the unfortunate news only to find Lennox, Strife, Hera, War, and Zola cuddling with the bundle of joy.
I am conflicted about this volume. Unlike the previous volumes, I did not find myself blown away. The new characters that were introduced, Siracca and Milan, seemed rather interesting but I feel like their potential as characters has yet to be achieved (perhaps they will be in future volumes?). However, I am not a fan of Orion. I found no reason for him to be included, the plot works effectively without him. I feel like he is just placed within the comic to be Wonder Woman’s love interest, and I really hope that that is not the case. Additionally, I think that the constant shift of settings and subplots ranged on a tad annoying. One minute I was in Manhattan, then Antarctica, then Olympus, then Brooklyn, then West Bumblefuck (okay, maybe not the last one, but you get my point). I feel like it could have been structured differently, allowing for a few pages in each setting before the constant shift. I am also a bit upset over Wonder Woman’s overly nurturing nature, her compassion, her tenderness, and her love that literally conquers all. It seems like a ploy for the writers to keep her feminine. Here we have this badass heroine that fights gods and trained with War, but she loves everyone, so you know, she is still a woman despite the previous things. My favorite scene involved Demeter’s lair and I just wish that there was more of it. I was intrigued by her relationship with War as well as the complexities behind his character, something that I am sure to find more about in the next volume (you know, cause it is titled War). I am also excited for learning more about First Born and how he will interact with the last born.