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Comic Book Review: "Wonder Woman #11: Son Rise"
Diana’s mission to protect Zola (and her unborn child) just became more complicated in Wonder Woman #11. “Son Rise” written by Brian Azzarello with art by Cliff Chang, pits Diana, Hermes and Lennox against the combined powers of the Sun and Moon, literally. Hera, queen of the gods, in her quest for vengeance against Zola (for her coupling with her philandering husband/king), makes a desperate pact with the skies to finally get her hands on the meddlesome mortal. Wonder Woman and her team of protectors fight valiantly to defend Zola, but are defeated badly. This issue changes everything for Diana, Zola, Hera and the future of the heavens.
“Son Rise” begins on Mount Olympus, Strife returns in a bright thunder crash to her mother, Hera. She boasts about how Diana tricked Hades and saved Zola, her unborn child and herself from the underworld. Hera is not impressed. She tells Strife that everything comes with a price and she just made a deal with someone (one of Zeus’ illegitimate offspring) that will settle everything with Zola, the child and especially Wonder Woman.
In Coloma, Michigan, Artemis, (the moon goddess) comes down to the ground and, speaking through the animals, call out to her sister. Demeter rises out of the earth and meets her. Artemis tells her that the two need to talk about “a change of the guard”; they need to deal with Zeus’ empty throne. Chaos will ensue if his seat remains vacant. Artemis recalls the prophecy (one of Zeus’ children will kill and take the throne). Demeter says its, “not a prophecy … that’s an inevitably”.
In Oliveburn, Virginia, at a hospital Zola, Hermes and Diana are in the waiting room. Hermes wants to go in with Zola during her examination, but she won’t allow him to be that overprotective of her. He waits with Diana while Zola goes in to see the doctor. They go outside to sit with Lennox. Hermes has a bad feeling about it. Diana says that Zola is just trying to have some control over her own life for a change. She insisted they go to her own doctor for a check-up at this stage of her pregnancy. Lennox starts laughing. He muses, “What if her baby has a tail or wings?” Hermes and Diana give him a dirty look. Then suddenly there is an eclipse.
They see that the sun and the moon have merged. Apollo shows up on the back of a motorcycle driven by Artemis. He says things will get worse if they don’t give him what he wants.
Hermes says it’s odd that the sun and the moon would have any interest in one of “Zeus’ dalliances” since they were both born from the same type of thing. Apollo and Artemis say they have no interest in Zola or the baby, but they are a means to an end. That’s where their interest lies.
Apollo tells Wonder Woman that’s she done a lot lately: embarrassed his two uncles and the queen, but it’s time for her to step down. Diana says that she feels like stepping up. Apollo tells her to step into her grave.
He shoots a sun blast at Lennox, knocking him to the ground. Wonder Woman rushes Apollo and the two exchange punches. She tells him she’s promised to protect Zola; Apollo says he promised to deliver her. He lands a gut punch and knocks her to the ground.
Hermes and Artemis battle each other. She asks him what his interest is in the child. Is it the child of Zeus that will murder for the throne? Hermes says of so, it isn’t any different from her or her brother. Lennox appears behind her and punches her; literally breaking his hand. She is unaffected. She punches him in the chest, cracking it.
Apollo asks Diana, as she lies in the mud, how old she is. She replies that she is 23. He calls her choice to battle him an arrogant, youthful indiscretion, but she should know better. He has a destiny… and she won’t stop him.
Zola comes out of the hospital with a bunch of bystanders and sees the fight. She jumps into a pickup truck and runs down Apollo. The truck is destroyed and Apollo is untouched. She gets out and shoots him in the face with a double-barrel shotgun. Again, he is unharmed. He grabs her as she tries to run away. He tells Artemis that they have what they came for and they zoom off into the sky together.
Diana, Hermes, and Lennox pick themselves up off the ground. Lennox is it the worst shape: his body is physically cracked like broken stone. He says he’s, “Done. Barely holding together. No good now. To you… Or the girl.”
On Mount Olympus, Zola, wondering if she is dead, is welcomed to heaven by Hera, Strife, Apollo and Artemis. Hera tells Zola that she’ll wish for death by the time she’s finished with her. Apollo demands that Hera uphold she end of the deal: he gives Hera Zola and Apollo gets the throne. Hera agrees “I won’t stand in your way”. There is a flash of light at the throne. Hermes and Diana appear in Olympus. Wonder Woman says that she will stand in Apollo’s way.
This issue begins another chapter of challenges for Diana. She must face the gods of Olympus, banded together, to protect Zola; and she’s a man down. Interestingly, up to this point, Lennox’s “powers” are never quite explained (nor are they here), but some of his strength is. He appears to have skin of stone; literally. Also, two goddesses are introduced: Demeter, goddess of the harvest and Artemis, goddess of the moon. Chiang’s artwork and creativity with the look of the characters still is great. Demeter appears as a plant-like woman with hair of leaves, and skin of vines. Artemis is a living, glowing moon-like marble statue. Both designs are visually striking and clever. As for the next issue, Diana and Hermes face off against, Strife, Hera, queen of the gods, the Sun, and the Moon in a Battle Royale. It should be an interesting confrontation. The stakes are higher and the losses greater; with the future of all creation hanging in the balance.
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