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Comic Book Review: "Wonder Woman #10: Vows"
Diana Prince’s ordeal with the pre-marriage jitters continues in Wonder Woman #10. “Vows”, Written by Brian Azzarello, with art by Tony Akins, Kano, and Dan Green, begins at the altar of hell (created by everyone souls in the underworld) with Diana’s life hanging, literally, in the balance. At the end of the issue #9, Hades gives Diana an ultimatum: she must truly love him or she must die. With her Lasso of truth wrapped around her own throat, she must speak the truth of her feeling for Hades. Either way (love or not) it seems she is doomed. The honeymoon is over even before the marriage begins and Diana must her fight her way out of the underworld just like Orpheus.
“Vows” begins with Hades, at the altar of marriage, telling Diana that he needs proof that she loves him; her word isn’t good enough. The Lasso of Truth will give the answer. Threatened with death she answers that she does loves him. Hades is satisfied. The priest begins to “bind” Wonder Woman to Hades in unholy matrimony when Diana interrupts the ceremony, by grabbing her lasso and flying onto a horse. She tells Hades that she won’t be bound that way to any man, woman or god.
As Diana speeds off, Hades tells her that he will find her and Zola. The underworld city starts morphing into a monster and chases her. Wonder Woman says that he can try to kill them, but he will have to fight through all those that protect them first, and it won’t be easy. Hades won’t let Diana escape hell, because there is no escaping the underworld or his wrath.
The three dog-headed women attack Diana as she’s riding away, but she manages to fling them off. One of them lands at the feet of Lenox, Hephaestus, and Eros. She bites Lennox on the head, but his impervious skull shatters her sharp teeth. He head butts her and she’s out like a light. Diana tells them that they shouldn’t have come, they should be protecting with Zola. They tell him Hermes is with her.
A flood of blood rushes towards them through the narrow streets of the “soul” city and sweeps they all up. Hades (in monster-made-blood form) tells Diana that she will live in hell for eternity. She will be consumed by him over and over again forever. As he swallows her, a fist punches through his throat with Diana in its palm. It’s the hand of Strife.
She’s trying to help Diana, but she rebukes Strife; this is her fight. She doesn’t need or want help. Hades (returned to normal form) walks out of the gathered souls of hell, and says that Wonder Woman can fight her own battles, but she won’t win this one. Diana tells Hades that winning isn’t her goal, but she won’t loss. Hades claims she’s lied about loving him. She says, “No”. She does love him, because she loves everyone.
Hades finds it ridiculous, but Hephaestus agrees with Diana. Hades thought Hephaestus came to the wedding because of his hated for the rest of the family was stronger than his hated for Hades. He replies that “hatred” is the wrong word; he’s more “disappointed” by the family. They are capable of so much more than constantly fighting each other.
Hades thinks Hephaestus’ a semimetal fool. He doesn’t understand how Wonder Woman couldn’t love him, he even used Eros’ pistol. (Eros is the original Greek god of desire. The Roman counterpart is Cupid. Eros’ pistols are the equivalent of Cupid’s arrows of love.)
Wonder Woman tells Hades that “no one can love you unless you love yourself”. Hades asks if Wonder Woman really does love him. She says yes, but she won’t be his bride. She removes to embrace him, but he recoils, tells her not to touch him and to “just go.” As he walks away dejected, he drops Eros’ pistols on the ground and Eros retrieves them. Hephaestus gives Hades the wedding gift he made for him. He tells him not to let it go to waste.
As they are walking back to the Charon’s (the ferryman to the underworld) boat, Diana is talking to Hephaestus. She says he plan this whole thing, but he ask, skeptically, if plans ever really work out the way they are planned. Diana asks Eros for one of his pistols. He asks how her aim is, as she fires off one shot. She replies that her aim is true.
Back in hell, Hades is looking at the gift that Hephaestus gave him. It’s a mirror. Suddenly the bullet fired by Diana hit Hades square in the heart (the impact spark is in the sharp of a heart). The top of his melted-candle wax head covering flies off and some actual hair is seen.
This chapter of Diana’s mission to save Zola and her demi-god child seems to be over. She’s freed Zola from Hades’ grasp and freed herself from having to marry the ruler of the underworld. The end of this issue is a bit curious. What does the gunshot really do to Hades? What does Hephaestus’ mirror represent? Is Hades’ wax-cover head a manifestation of his self-loathing? Is the mirror meant to help Hades believe in himself? Is the bullet meant to help Hades love himself? Is this the last we’ll see of Hades in this as a bitter, miserable god? Time will tell on that end. But Wonder Woman’s mission to protect Zola isn’t completely over yet. Diana still needs to find out what’s going on with Zeus, Apollo, and War. Where are they? What are they doing or planning? Surely, more excitement for Wonder Woman and her friends is to come in this fascinating Greek mythological world.
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