Comic Book Review: "Wonder Woman #12 Birth Right"
Diana’s battle to save Lola, her baby and the fate of Olympian throne come to a head in Wonder Woman issue 12. “Birth Right”, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Cliff Chiang, brings Diana to the cliffs of Mount Olympus to face the triumvirate of angry gods: Hera, Apollo and Artemis. The finally battle for Zola’s safety is fought, the throne of the gods is claimed, the fate of the old gods is thrown into turmoil, and a deep betrayal occurs before the end.
“Birth Right” begins on top of Mount Olympus. Diana and Hermes are confronting Apollo, who believes that the throne is his by birth right (being Zeus’ son). Strife, Artemis and Hera (who has captured Zola and plans to kill her for getting pregnant with her husband, Zeus’ child) watch the standoff.
Apollo won’t allow anyone to stand in his way to the throne; Diana won’t allow Zola and her unborn child to come to harm. Apollo and Artemis attack Hermes and Diana. As they fight, Hera drags Zola off. She’s going to finishes her, and her child, off once and for all.
Strife asks if Hera really thinks that the throne of heaven is less important than revenge. Hera tells her that Zeus believes everything is his. So when Apollo sits on the throne, Zeus will return to “wipe that STAIN off his seat”.
Hera picks up Zola, whose water just broke, and throws her off of Mount Olympus; Hera tells Zola that she will be falling for eternity, “bouncing off the cliffs”.
Diana sees this and stops fighting Artemis and runs after Zola. Hermes throws a feather at Diana, which sticks in her leg, allowing her to fly. She quickly and deftly saves Zola from her eternal fall.
Artemis subdues Hermes. Apollo readies himself to take the throne. He tells Hermes that he hopes he’ll serve his new king despite siding with Wonder Woman. As he sits down on the throne, there is a massive lightning crash that shatters part of the mountain. Hera screams in delight that Zeus has returned just as she knew he would.
Falling rocks plummet toward Diana and Zola. Zola has gone into labor and Diana uses her own body to shield Zola from the rock. She tells Zola to “push”.
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Hera rebukes Apollo for trying to take the throne: there is only one king of Olympus. Apollo tells Hera that she’s wrong: Mount Olympus—his New Olympus will reflect its new king. The lightning has transformed the old classical-world buildings into modern 21st century buildings; showing Apollo is now the true king of Olympus. Hera is dumb with shock. Apollo exiles her from Olympus and she vanishes.
Strife asks Apollo if he ever considered that Zola’s child was “the child of Zeus that would murder for the throne”; not Apollo. Diana appears with Zola and rebukes Strife for creating more trouble. Strife nonchalantly leaves.
Diana tells Hermes to take Zola away from Olympus and the two teleport off the mountain; leaving Diana, Artemis and Apollo alone. Diana removes her bracelets and Artemis mocks her for tossing aside her best defenses. Dina tells Artemis that “my cuffs were yours”, as Diana’s eye begin to glow.
The two goddesses charge each other and Diana easily, and brutally, defeats Artemis. She’s about to snap her neck when Apollo offers to make a deal.
Diana tells Apollo that he must never come after Zola or her child. If he does, she will personally fulfill the prophecy; (by killing Apollo, since she is also a child of Zeus). Apollo agrees on the condition that if Zola’s child is the one who is meant to kill for the throne, she (Diana) will kill it.
Diana returns to earth to find Hera sitting on the curb weeping, Lennox bandaging himself up and Hermes delivering Zola’s baby. After giving birth Zola wish to see her child, but Hermes disappears in a blue flash—taking the baby with him.
Hera mocks her, and Zola throws a tray at her, cutting her and making her bleed. Hera is surprised that she can bleed; Lennox mocks Hera, telling her that she is now mortal. Diana swears to Zola that she will find her baby. She will find Hermes and make him pay for betraying them all.
Far away, Hermes has delivered the baby to Demeter; he says that is will have plenty to cry about later. “There will be betrayals and death”. The entirety of Olympus might fall and there could be a new beginning with “New Gods”.
Somewhere in a distant snow-covered land, an arm frees itself for the ice and a figure dons a warrior’s helmet and teleports away.
This episodic chapter of the ongoing conflict between Earth and Olympus (with the gods fighting amongst themselves for the throne) appears to end, and yet it takes the story in a new direction. Why did Hermes betrayal Diana and Zola? Who is the mysterious being at the end of the issue who escape the snow? Is it possibly Zeus or a new god? Is Hera truly mortal now that she’s been exiled from heaven? These questions must have answers and they are surely to be found in the coming issues. Diana will have her plate full of revenge; and it’s a dish best served cold.