Sigh. I kinda hated this comic.
Correction: I hated it up until the last page, but even that wasn’t enough to save this travesty of a story.
As has been mentioned in previous trades I’ve read, the Amazons have returned and are attacking the U.S. It begins with Hippolyta trying to rescue her imprisoned daughter, but quickly escalates into an outright war. In this trade, we learn that Circe is still alive, pulling the strings while she remains out of sight. There are some truly heinous actions taken by the Amazons, as they kill men, women, and children with reckless abandon. Ultimately, Circe is found to still be alive, and her motive is revealed.
So basically this entire war was started because of a custody battle?? Plus, she’s angry at the Gods for their inaction, so her reaction is to punish the Amazons by forcing them into war? It just felt a little forced, and made the battle feel petty. More importantly, it implied that the Amazons can so easily be swayed towards dark actions, with only a few seeming to question their queen’s sanity, and none acting on these concerns.
More upsetting than the Amazons’ actions are the artistic decisions made by the writers and artists, insomuch as some of their depictions were outright insensitive and unnecessary.
One would think that, am mere 6 years after the events of 9/11, such an image might not crop up in a comic. Even more surprising is that such a reference is clearly meant to compare the Amazons to terrorists, as the story even goes so far as to call the women such. It all leads up to the moment when Athena accuses them of failing in their duty, but it still felt too violent and unnecessary for the story. More infuriating still is the fact that it is the Amazons, a strictly women-only group who are the aggressors in this story. If I paused long enough to consider it I’m sure there’s commentary there about “man-hating feminists” and the danger they pose to society, but I’m choosing not to focus on that because, quite frankly, it will just anger me even more. The Amazons are meant to be a symbol of strength and peace, and while I get that their fall from grace is all part of the story, it felt overdone here. The Amazons show no redeeming qualities, and in fact their personalities and priorities seem to have shifted so dramatically that it’s as though they’re a brand new group. I didn’t care for this abrupt shift in their characterization, “part of the storyline” or not.
The comic closes with Athena banishing all of the Amazons; Hippolyta is sent back to Themiscyra, a queen with no one to rule, while all of her Amazonian subjects are scattered throughout the world, mindwiped into believing they are simply human. As the comic closes, we learn that it is not the true Athena behind this, but rather an entirely separate entity.
And it’s Granny Goodness out of left field.
I admit, this one page was probably one of the only things I liked about the comic. We learn that there are much bigger forces at work, for Granny Goodness only acts in Darkseid’s interests. What, though, does Darkseid have to do with Earth, and the impending “Final Crisis”? Nothing has been revealed yet, but I’d bet the story is going to pick up its pace from here.
Bringing Granny Goodness (and by extension, Darkseid) into the mix was great, but the journey the creators chose to take left me less than pleased with this trade. Was it really necessary to make the Amazons fall so far? Did it have to be that particular group at all? I just really disliked how this entire story was handled, and wish it had been scrapped in favor of something a little less extreme (and perhaps a little more sensitive). I’m glad the trade is over, and while I’m happy to keep reading about the lead-up to Final Crisis, I’m hoping I don’t have to read too much more about the “evil” Amazons.