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Comic Book Review: "Wonder Woman #7: Il Gangster Dell'amore"
Wonder Woman issue 7, “Il Gangster Dell’amore”, is the first issue after the “Blood” story arc of the first six issues. Wonder Woman AKA Diana Prince and her team of Greek deities set out to save Zola from her kidnapping at the hand of Hades, the god of the underworld. This issue explores a little bit more of the Greek mythological world of this series and introduces us to a couple more characters. “Il Gangster Dell’amore”, written by Brian Azzarello with art by cliff Chiang, gives us a glimpse of the dirty underbelly of the world of Greek gods and how they interact with each other.
Issue 7 begins in Firenze, Italia, (Florence, Italy) two men are arguing in the streets outside of the Club Eros. One man is trying to explain himself to the other (Eros). As Eros is walking away, the other man grabs him by the shoulder. Eros pulls out a pair of golden guns and he backs off. Suddenly, Wonder Woman, Lennox and Hermes show up and ask Eros for a favor. He agrees and embraces his Uncle Hermes.
The four are walking down the street discussing the fallout from the trick they pulled on Hades, Hera, and Poseidon (issues 1—6). Eros says it was a bad idea; Wonder Woman says it was needed to blind Hera. However, Zola was kidnapped by Hades and they need Eros’ help to get her back.
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They need him to help get an audience with The Smith, Hephaestus; he doesn’t like unexpected guests. He agrees and takes them through a secret passage to Mount Etna. Hephaestus and his workers are forging weapons. He tells them that they will need more than weapons to deal with Hades. Eros thinks it is a good place to start. Wonder Woman says that when her mother gave her the Lasso of Truth she told her that he had made it. He says it’s not a weapon.
A lava demon arises out of the smelting pit, and starts attacking the workers. Hephaestus says that Hades is mad that he’s helping them and sent an abomination to disrupt his studio. He rushes to attack it. It grabs him up in its teeth. Wonder Woman knocks a huge tank of water onto it (turning it to stone) and then whips it with her Lasso of Truth. The demon shatters into a million pieces.
Some of Hephaestus’ workers are killed in the onslaught. He tells Wonder Woman that they are actually her brothers. They are the male offspring of the Amazons. Three times a year the Amazon Women would go out and find sailors to mate with. Nine months later they would give birth; if they were girls, they would be future Amazonian warriors. But if they were male, the Amazons would trade the unwanted boys to Hephaestus for weapons.
Wonder Woman feels a bit offended that her brothers are used for slave labor, and storms off. Lennox tells Hephaestus that he’s hit a dangerous nerve with her; the tongue can be more dangerous than a hammer at times.
Wonder Woman and Lennox hatch a plan to free the workers from Hephaestus’ forge. That night they tie him up with her lasso as he sleeps. She says that her lasso makes people tell the truth. That’s how it is a weapon. He tells her that her intimidation is the weapon, not the lasso. She calls out to the slaves, calling them her "brothers". She says that now is the time to rise up against the evil slave master and be free; to break to shackles of bondage.
They ask her to release him; she’s making a mistake. Hephaestus took them in when they were unwanted and unloved. If it wasn’t for him, they would have died. They are artists here and they love him. Wonder Woman is shocked at their reaction. Hephaestus says that his mother had done the same thing to him, left him to die. He couldn’t let it happen to others. That’s why he took them in. He raised them like family.
Diane realizes that she made a grave error thinking that he had enslaved them. She releases Hephaestus. She tries to apologize, but breaks down in tears. He is sympathetic. He tells her to get some rest, because tomorrow she’s going to face Hades.
This issue is a short, but clever little story that shows a dirty little truth about the Greek mythical world; Amazons trading their unwanted male children for weapons; the differing views of what love and family are. Wonder Woman is so set on freedom that she doesn’t see that, even though her brothers are traded to Hephaestus as workers, it doesn’t make them slaves or unloved. In fact, it’s the Amazon mothers who were in the wrong. They, like Diana, were so focused on the final goal that they don’t see pain they can cause. Although this issue is a small portion of the ongoing story about Diana, Zola, Hades, Zeus, Hera, and all those member of the Greek pantheon, this little view of the dirty underbelly of their interacting with each other is quite interesting. It makes the anticipation for the next chapter of the story that more tantalizing.