While the story is very flawed, the art of this arc has been fantastic, and this issue is no exception. Jesús Merino continues to show off his mastery as an illustrator with the battle against King Best. The design of the leader of the Dark Gods is terrific, and the Amazon twins have never looked better. Jason, in particular, looks great as the details in his powers make him appear more powerful than ever. Even if next issue falls apart, I do not doubt that the art will still go above and beyond.
On occasions Wonder Woman has employed a magical sword of unknown (though presumably Amazon) origin. This sword has been used most specifically against those with the power of invulnerability as invulnerability generally does not work against magical items. It is generally represented as a short sword. In Wonder Woman (vol. 4) #15, Hephaestus modifies Diana's bracelets so that she can manifest two short swords from them during battle.
The story then focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series. The male children of the Amazons are introduced and Diana learns about the birth of her "brothers" – the Amazons used to infrequently invade ships coming near their island and force themselves on the sailors, before killing them. After nine months, the birth of the resulting female children was highly celebrated and they were inducted into the ranks of the Amazons while the male children were rejected. In order to save the male children from being drowned to death by the Amazons, Hephaestus traded weapons to the Amazons in exchange for them.
As Zola defeated Poseidon, the First Born returned to Olympus and ordered the Minotaur to attack Wonder Woman. The Minotaur, however, refused to kill her and the First Born killed him instead. Upon seeing the unmasked Minotaur, Diana discovered her foe was the creature she had spared in the labyrinth. Wonder Woman furiously threw the First Born into the abyss he was originally trapped in while Zola placed Zeke on the throne. Zola revealed herself to be Athena and Zeke to be another iteration of Zeus himself. Both had planned for Wonder Woman to fight the First Born and accept her destiny as a goddess. With the conflict ended, Athena planned to put an end to her human identity and become a goddess once more, but Wonder Woman convinced her to allow Zola and Zeke to live without godly interference.
Born to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Diana lived a serene and joyful life until the intervention of Steve Trevor upon the island of Themyscira. A tournament was held among the Amazons to determine the representative that would return to Man's World along with Trevor. Diana defeated the other Amazons but was tasked with the final challenge, deflecting a bullet fired from a gun by her mother. After winning the contest Diana was awarded a suit of armor and the Lasso of Truth and left for the United States, though upon her arrival she was arrested and detained in a cell. Falling into despair, Diana was visited by the Gods of Olympus in their animal forms: a peacock, deer, owl, mouse, eagle, dove and tortoise, who granted her the gifts of strength, speed, endurance, empathy and flight.
Following the events of the Darkseid War, Wonder Woman is told by the dying Myrina Black that on the night of Diana's birth, Hippolyta gave birth to a twin child. This child was revealed to be male, known as Jason, and is said to be incredibly powerful. Wonder Woman makes it her mission to find him. At the same time, she finds the truth behind her origin and history is now cluttered, as she remembers two versions: the pre-Flashpoint one, and the New 52 rendition. She cannot locate Themiscyra or her fellow Amazons and the Lasso of Truth does not work for her anymore.
Ares told Diana that he had been imprisoned by the other Gods of Olympus and bound in chains that were secured by Aphrodite through the power of her love. He also told her that years ago, Phobos and Deimos had implanted false memories of Themyscira into her mind, and these had caused her to imagine aspects of her past that had never happened in reality. Meanwhile, Phobos and Deimos entered Themyscira and battled with the Amazons. Diana knew what she had to do, and called Ares to unite her with Phobos and Deimos. He teleported them to her, and using her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman bound them through the power of her unconditional love for them, as Aphrodite had done to Ares. With the twin gods defeated, Diana attempted to leave Ares' prison along with Veronica and Izzy, however Izzy's essence had been attached to the realm and could not return to Earth. Izzy was forced to either live out the rest of her days in the prison or live in Themyscira as an Amazon for eternity. She chose the latter and Veronica said goodbye to her daughter. Diana was briefly reunited with her mother, for the first time since she left the island.
A day before Whedon's departure from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures purchased a spec script for the film written by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland. Set during World War II, the script impressed executives at Silver Pictures. However, Silver stated that he had purchased the script because he did not want the rights reverting; while stating the script had good ideas, Silver did not want the film to be a period piece. By April 2008, Silver hired Jennison and Strickland to write a new script set in contemporary times that would not depict Wonder Woman's origin, but explore Paradise Island's history.
Athena immediately set Diana on a quest into Hades' realm to free the god Hermes. She descended beneath Doom's Doorway with Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) and Ferdinand the Minotaur and was confronted by Zeus' alliance. Ironically, she might not have succeeded but for the machinations of her constant nemesis, Ares. Ares acted as a double agent and gained Zeus' trust, but when the opportunity arose, he killed his uncle Hades and assumed control of the Underworld. Diana then used Hermes' caduceus to revive him. Back on Olympus, Zeus asked for Athena's forgiveness, which she granted. Athena then also restored Diana's sight, but bound it to her own.
Aquaman has also had run-ins with the Olympian sea deities. Poseidon had long relinquished the title of Sea King to Orin of Atlantis, but when Aquaman's subjects lost faith in him, Poseidon arranged a challenge with his son Triton. Aquaman bested Triton and the godling fell from grace with his father. In anger, Triton slayed Poseidon and claimed his power. Aquaman freed Poseidon by appealing to Lord Hades. When they returned from the dead, Poseidon slew his son in turn. Disgusted with mortal affairs, Poseidon bequeathed his trident to Aquaman. Aquaman somehow lost the Trident, though, as it was last seen with Queen Clea.
A Blackfoot demi-god, and a smuggler who trades with both sides of the war and knows how to get people across the front lines. On his casting, Brave Rock said, "I had no idea it was for Wonder Woman. I lost it when I showed up and I couldn't remember my lines. I didn't take it literally until a month later, I got a call saying I got the role and they wanted me to fly to London for a fitting." Brave Rock raised several concerns with Jenkins over the representation of the character in the film, particularly that he was not comfortable playing into stereotypes and that he was not keen on his character being simply known as "Chief". Jenkins responded by giving him some extra creative control over his character which Brave Rock says was "unprecedented".
Impressed by this unknown woman's self-sacrifice, the Amazons entombed her with honors and clothed her in armor displaying the American flag pattern on her uniform, which they assumed were her heraldic colors. Trevor's legacy was also the primary reason why Ares arranged for Steve Trevor to bomb the island, as he could not resist the irony of the heroine's son unwittingly killing her admirers.
Hermes Action Comics #267 (August 1960) Hermes is the Messenger of the Gods, and the God of Thievery, Speed, Travel, and Commerce who is based on the god of the same name. Post-Crisis, Hermes was one of Wonder Woman's earliest allies. He was eventually killed by Circe during the War of the Gods, but Wonder Woman freed him much later from Tartarus. In the New 52, the bird-like Hermes was a close ally to Wonder Woman and aided in protecting Zeke, the reincarnation of Zeus. Post-Rebirth, Hermes took the form of a tortoise and aided Wonder Woman alongside several other gods.