Apollo once again lures three women into becoming oracles to tell him about the First Born. We get a repeated history of First Born, but this time we find out what happens after Hera begs the witch to spare him. He essentially becomes an R-rated version of Tarzan as he is taken in by a pack of wolves, lives, hunts, and breeds with them, yet his “contempt ate away his contentment” and he eventually conquers the world. Normally, villains’ efforts continuously remain in vain as they always come so close to taking over the world and one minor slip up ruins it all, but First Born is a different story. He takes over the world in hopes that he will finally be acknowledged by his father, Zeus; however, after taking over the world, he still remains ignored so he declares war on heaven. While the oracle retells this tale, there is a constant insertion of “like” to capture the original identity of the girl being possessed, but it is super annoying and it makes the history of First Born, the greatest threat seem super like insignificant. See how that “like” changed the whole sentence?
Anyways, First Born arrives to Olympus, and with the aid of his brothers, Zeus drowns First Born’s army, leaving him”choking on his ambition.”Seeing more quotations than usual? That is because I “like” am obsessed with the constant wordplay in this volume. Rather than killing First Born, a powerful being fueled by his hatred for Zeus and his desire to rule Olympus, Zeus condemns him by erasing his existence and taking his pride that he splits among Hades and Poseidon (his weapons and army). That’s reasonable I suppose, but because Zeus is an arrogant ass, he promises First Born that if he were to ever abandon heaven, which will never happen because he is eternal, but is precisely what happened in the first volume, it was the First Born’s to take before burying him deep into the Earth. After hearing this, Apollo keeps First Born as a prisoner in Olympus, the very place that First Born, an incredibly powerful being, wishes to rule. A wonderful idea that will not backfire.
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman buys Zola a house because why not? The world is about to end and it might as well happen in some place that is furnished. Hermes appears and transports Wonder Woman to Olympus where she asks Apollo to restore Hera’s powers and refuses to take her seat as the god of war.
On Earth, Cassandra captures Milan and Hermes calls Wonder Woman, Orion, and Zola out on their bullshit. They were able to super easily forgive Hera for going on a murderous rampage and killing Zeus’ offspring as well as turn Wonder Woman’s entire race into stone, yet they are unable to forgive Hermes for trying to protect Zeke from Hera through kidnapping him.
After Wonder Woman leaves Olympus, Strife seeks to avenge the death of War while Apollo continues to torture First Born. Strife visits Zola, Hera, and Wonder Woman and gives presents to the three of them: Zola gets a blanket that conceals her location from the gods, Hera receives her cloak, and Wonder Woman is presented with War’s helmet, which she refuses. Siracca arrives and informs Wonder Woman that Milan is in danger. Not listening to Wonder Woman’s command, Orion takes off by himself while Wonder Woman, Hermes, and Siracca quickly follow, leaving Strife in charge because everyone makes excellent decisions in this world. Strife remarks that two friends have already sacrificed their lives for Zola and that she wonders how many more will continue to do the same. This is apparently something that Zola never thought about before despite the multiple times that she was in danger and people risked their lives to save her.
Milan refuses to tell Cassandra First Born’s location, so Wonder Women reveals it in an attempt to save Milan. Cassandra attaches a bomb to Milan and Orion takes him through the tube hoping that they will make it to New Genesis. After perhaps losing Milan and Orion, Wonder Woman returns to Zola’s home to find a note that reveals Zola has run away – “conveniently” Zola was just given a gift that hides her location so Wonder Woman is unable to find her. Instead, Dio approaches Zola and offers to give her truffles, and that is all it takes for Zola to accompany him.
Wonder Woman visits Artemis and offers her a rematch to gain her assistance in locating Zola. Wonder Woman throws the match and promises a favor to Artemis at her command and Artemis agrees to help her. First Born breaks “unexpectedly” free from his shackles and attacks Apollo. First Born is immune to burns because his hatred “burns hotter than a thousand sons,” and if that is not excellent wordplay then I don’t know what is.
Cassandra sends a Minotaur after Dio, and Wonder Woman, Artemis, and Hermes arrive once Cassandra has taken off. Zola is, of course, on board, because she cannot do anything to save Dio. Wonder Woman chases after Cassandra while Hermes and Artemis transport to Olympus.
Finally, everyone is at Olympus. Apollo is dead and First Born begins to attack Cassandra, Artemis, and Wonder Woman. Artemis begs Wonder Woman to assume her title as the god of war as the bargain between them because she fears that First Born will kill them if Wonder Woman refuses. Hera arrives with her newly restored powers that Apollo granted her through his death and she transports Wonder Woman and her team to Paradise Island. She restores the Amazons, and Wonder Woman commands them to follow her as the god of war.
This volume was filled with perhaps the most interesting fight in the entire series, as well as one of the best backstories. I found myself really intrigued by First Born’s history because it read exactly like a myth with a modern twist, something that I think the entire series is attempting to create. As I mentioned before the constant “like” inserted in the narration felt forced, but the plot for it was so captivating that I was able to look past it. I found myself relieved that there was a lack of Orion in this volume and that Wonder Woman could be herself without any explanations. Hera having her power restored at the end of the volume was expected because there was a ton of foreshadowing, but it also happened to feel sudden. The end of the volume seemed to try to encompass too much and then found itself unable to produce a satisfying ending. While Wonder Woman and everyone find themselves in the clutches of First Born, Hera just zaps on over, zaps them out and all is well. I would have much rather preferred the comic ending with Wonder Woman in peril and wondering how she will break free than have such a quick fix. Other than that, the volume read smoothly and had several moments of genius through its constant wordplay, something they could have been capitalizing on for a while now. I know that sometimes wordplay and puns can come off as cheesy, but that is only when it is overly done like with Jafar or Mr.Freeze yet I personally love them always. That being said, I am sure I will be AMAZed by the AMAZons in the next volume, and with that being said, I will leave the puns to the people who get paid to make them.