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Welcome back, superheo enthusiasts, 1980s arts and culture enthusiasts, DC Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the late 1980s to explore a part of the DC Comics shared universe through a tale of the Queen of Superheroes herself…Wonder Woman!
In my previous retro review, Wonder Woman’s spiritual superior Hermes makes his presence felt on Earth as she continues her interaction with members of the local society. Unsurprisingly, a great disturbance happens with the people as they let their guard down after witnessing something supernatural. This made things more complicated with Wonder Woman who has been trying her best doing her duty as Themyscira’s representative while maintain the personal relationships she established with certain mortals. And then something wrong happened with Hermes.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at Wonder Woman #24, published by DC Comics in 1989 with a story written and drawn by the late George Perez.
The story begins Vanessa Kapatelis at home watching news on TV about the strange attack on Hermes. In the city of Boston, two police officers find a man sitting with junk at a wall who cannot help but be very scared of something. The man points to a certain building very nearby.
Beneath the foundation of the building, the earth rumbles with very eerie sounds. The gorgon Euryale and Ares’ son Phobos are on top of a pit and below them is Ixion, the first mass murderer to have ever walked the earth. It turns out, Ixion has long been chained to a large wheel that not only restrained him but also tortured him. The generations of torture disfigured Ixion as well. Hermes, who was defeated very recently, cannot help but be shocked at the sight of Ixion whom he left imprisoned in another place. Phobos tells Hermes he could thank his foolish Olympians as they were so busy with the cosmic migration, it paved the way for him (Phobos) to sneak into Hades and pull out Ixion.
It turns out, it was Hermes who forged the unbreakable chains holding Ixion and only he could break it. Euryale, who wears Hermes’ mystical hat, mocks Hermes. Phobos reveals that he has Hermes’ caduceus all to himself and then uses it to capture and harness energy which he uses to free Ixion.
Suddenly, the building crumbles and Ixion emerges with Hermes caught firmly by his oversized hand. The rise of Ixion terrifies the people of Boston…
Wow! This is one epic Wonder Woman tale that has a nice blend of fantasy, action and 1980s American culture. The stakes within this comic book are so high as a result of the disaster caused by Ixion who really put many people’s lives in danger. Ironically, the huge scale of disaster did not attract the assistance of other superheroes within the shared comic book universe of DC and this only made Wonder Woman’s involvement more significant. Not only would you see Wonder Woman really struggle with fighting Ixion, you will also see her struggle emotionally and logically when she deals with the helplessness of her superior Hermes (who is rather pathetic here and he really looks like a reject from Olympus) and facing the raging evil of Phobos while trying to prevent any further loss of life. By the way, Ixion here is more than just being one large monster for Wonder Woman to face off with.
While this is indeed a tale heavily loaded with action, the script by Perez sheds light on key themes that are indeed worth thinking over. For one thing, how should Wonder Woman handle herself upon realizing her lord Hermes becomes vulnerable and unworthy of godly authority? How should people deal with idolatry (which is foolish and unholy) when they realize a mythical figure like Hermes is so helpless not so long after he convinced them with his amazing display of the supernatural? More on relationships between mortals and powerful beings, how can an ordinary human like Julia Kapatelis really maintain a sisterly bond with Wonder Woman whose powers and responsibilities are so tremendous and are beyond the reach of humanity? There definitely is something engaging to reflect over in this comic book and the richness behind the writing (as opposed to the visual spectacle) is undeniable.
Themes aside, Perez also crafted very rich dialogue which is very evident near the end of the story. I won’t say which characters engaged in the rich conversation but I assure you it is worth getting this comic book for. The said conversation is not only philosophical but also marks another step in the development of the characters involved.
Wonder Woman #24 (1989) is indeed a great Wonder Woman tale and it is a significant improvement over issues #22 and #23 with regards to storytelling, conflict and characterization. This comic book is a lively reminder about how great George Perez proved to be when it comes to writing. It has lots of superhero spectacle to keep readers entertained but ultimately it is Perez’s writing that made this one a great read. It certainly has aged well and by the time you read this particular comic book, you will really miss the late Perez. Lastly, this Wonder Woman tale should serve as a lively reminder to you all that Zeus, Hermes, Aphrodite and all those so-called gods are all false and you should never fall into worshiping them. You engage in idolatry, and you will go to hell. There is only one true God and He has a Son named Jesus who redeemed humanity, established a living covenant with the faithful, died on the cross, overcame death, met with the faithful again and ascended to Heaven with a promise to return.
Overall, Wonder Woman #24 (1989) is highly recommended!
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