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Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman! Previously I reviewed a story in which the stakes were raised for Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons as a result of egos among the deities of Olympus with Zeus being reckless to show himself to Diana. Eventually the deities issued their challenge which Diana accepted but the effects were not limited to her alone. Queen Hippolyte is very disturbed by the challenge issued to her daughter as she believes that as ruler of the Amazons, she should be the one to meet the challenge. The queen expressed her view the the goddesses who bore the Amazons surrender to every whim of Zeus. While Hippolyte remains very uneasy, the Amazons support Wonder Woman’s mission and escorted her to the demonic lair beneath their island.
That being said, the Challenge of the Gods storyline continues in this look back at Wonder Woman #11, published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story written by George Perez and the late Len Wein. Perez’s art was inked by Bruce D. Patterson.
The story begins deep within the lair as Wonder Woman encounters the large 7-headed beast called Hydra. Zeus and the other deities of Olympus carefully watch the conflict happen. Zeus thinks Wonder Woman won’t survive the encounter and Pan (the Satan-like figure) states that the destruction of the Amazon will make her sisters more compliant to Zeus’ wishes. Queen Hera however believes Diana would not fail.
As the conflict underneath Themyscira goes on, the deities discuss what would happen should Wonder Woman fail or succeed. In the heat of battle, Diana analyzes carefully her situation and strives hard to defeat Hydra which is blocking the portal to her next destination…
I can start by saying that the story here is more spectacular in terms of presentation highlighted with a strong sense of discovery and wonder mixed with high-octane action here and there. To put it short, this comic book is yet another big pay-off executed following the intense build-up in the previous issue. The Challenge of the Gods storyline really started to move in high-gear with the spectacle while successfully defining the fantasy and mythology elements in Wonder Woman’s realm. This is not your typical superhero tale rather it is presented with a much strong element of fantasy laced with suspense and even a bit of horror. As the story unfolds, you will not only witness Wonder Woman struggle with the challenge of the deities, you will also relate with her on a personal level.
Along the way, the creators made one page that followed the experiences of Steve Trevor who in the post-Crisis universe is a much older character still serving in the military. The slow Steve Trevor scene provided a short break from the high-tension of Wonder Woman’s scenes. Not to be outdone in sharing the spotlight is Queen Hippolyte who takes action in connection to the challenge Wonder Woman is handling. Through the queen, her views and personality got developed even further by the Perez-Wein and her struggle on leading the Amazons while being a mother made more sense literally.
As it was made with the usual high-quality from the Perez-Wein creative team, Wonder Woman #11 (1987) is a very dramatic, action-heavy and dynamic read that kept on defining the Queen of Superheroes (and even Queen Hippolyte) while keeping the narrative fresh with revealing fantasy elements. Wonder Woman’s bravery here is really tested a whole lot, and her uncompromising desire to accomplish the challenge of the deities. While this comic book is a great pay-off to the build-up done in issue #10, it also builds up to something very unexpected on the final page. I should also state that the story is very unpredictable and at times it played on my expectations.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #11 (1987), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.
Overall, Wonder Woman #11 (1987) is highly recommended!
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