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‘Wonder Woman #56’ (review)

Written by James T Tynion IV
Illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino
and Ray McCarthy

Published by DC Comics

 

“Oh Diana… I’m terribly sorry. It’s going to get so much worse from here.”

In this issue, finally, we get some answers.

Which OK, maybe leaves me a little confused still.

So, alright, let’s see then, the power that Hecate embodies is a power other than, but in equal measure to (if not greater than) the power that the Otherkind have come to our world from their domain to reclaim for themselves. Gotcha.

Hecate’s is a power, the power of the primordial woman personified, that once moved unfettered and glorious across our world… “Before the gods walked the earth. Before all the pantheons of all the cultures of the world.”

Ok, I can get behind that. The Goddess, Divine Feminine, Shakti, Goddess of the Moon herself… and it even makes sense to have the heroic namesake of divine Diana herself, be one of those now who bears the brand of the Goddess’ mark. Check.

But all of that magic… Hecate’s magic… is not the magic that has dominated the world since the Lords of Order caged their own magic, and wrote its rules for their use? So… both powers are ‘magic’, but they are not the same magic. Hecate’s power it seems, has been hiding in mortal vessels, down through long generations for an unknown time, since the day when the ways of man and all their wielders of a foreign, blasphemous magic, sent Hecate into hiding and dormancy and a growing rage of suppression, such that only those motivated from a similar depth of contempt and scorn could even hope to draw upon her powers and her name.

Magic wielders such as Circe, sorceress of Aeaea, she who takes delight in transforming men into swine…

Yeah no, never mind, we can go with that.

It’s a… bit of a repurposed cobbling, and it feels a little bit muddled, as surely then, not all the magic of the world is indeed the magic being corrupted by the Otherkind, or… maybe it is?… but ok, once we learn how the history stacks up and how the players all line up on the field, it does help to understand the nature of our current crisis.

Seems Hecate is fed up, and in the face of our current nightmare from the Otherkind, does not feel particularly inclined to lose her ground of power to a foreign invading horde of magical horror. Better then, to simply burn out the foundations of a magical order she never acquiesced to in the first place and replace it with one more in alignment with her own power – one that she seems quite certain will be sufficient to deal handily with the Otherkind – better that wholesale destruction and violence, than to simply accept that affront, or that fate.

Enough.

After all, is not her power that of all change itself; of birth, destruction, death and… rebirth?

Time to change the rules then. Even if it means burning all magic as it is currently known and used, from the face of the earth. Even if reclaiming her magic from its dormancy, and her mortal vessels, burns through them all, and all the world about them.

Now, why she hasn’t bothered to do any of this before now, perhaps remains a question. But let’s not (ahem) get into the question of why it’s taken so long to make her grievances known.

Suffice to say that her patience is at an end. And she is angry. And she is looking to clean house. Or burn it to the ground.

Comics are a funny thing. Almost like a little magic themselves, the way they ebb and flow with the times.

So, we’ll give Mr. Tynion some credit for this extremely timely story arc… even if Constantine is still learning his manners, even if Circe seems to have an agenda of her own, even if we don’t yet rightly know whether the power of the Goddess will ever be used for more than destruction and fire in these pages, even if Diana is taking on a price and a power she does not fully understand…

Looking good though. Careful, don’t get too close.

At least we have Manitou Dawn and Deadman gracing these pages now. With more to come I’m sure. Hopefully they’ll survive their cameos. Hopefully Nanda Parbat does as well.

Check in back here next week, as we all see whether there’s anything good still from the hypermasculine dharmas that may be worth rescuing from a vengeful goddess full of divine wrath.

Surely, there must be. Right Diana?

Diana?

…Hello?

Next Issue: Holy Orders

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