War of the Gods – 1


War of the Gods – 1

General Info

Issue No:
1
On Sale Date:
July 1991
Cover Date:
September 1991
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Hellfire's Web

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
George Perez
Writer:
George Perez
Penciller:
George Perez
Inker:
Cynthia Martin
Letterer:
Albert De Guzman
Colourist:
Gene D'Angelo
Editor:
Karen Berger, Tom Peyer

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana)
Heroes:
Troia (Donna Troy), Zatanna Zatara, Captain Marvel (Billy Batson), Doctor Fate (Inza Nelson), Superman (Kal El/Clark Kent), Aquaman (Arthur Curry) - plus numerous other heroes
Villains:
Circe
Olympians:
Harmonia, Phobos, Eris, Hermes, Heracles, Artemis, Athena, Apollo, Zeus, Hades, Persephone, Demeter, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hera
Amazons:
Ipthime, Euboea, Hellene, Menalippe, Pythia
Other:
The Fates, Guillermo, Amaya, Doctor Kaslak, Ron Raymond, Pariah, Charon, Bashira, Halciber Filius (John Mann), Pluto, Ceres, Jupiter, Hercules, Mercury, Lois Lane, Mikos, Klarion, Darkseid, Lobo, Prince Brion (Geo-Force)
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Comments

This is issue one of a four part crossover event written by George Perez, who at that time was also responsible for resurrecting and re-inventing Wonder Woman after her “death” at the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. The villain of the story is Circe and Diana herself features very prominently in both this crossover and several other DC titles at that time. In fact, this is the only crossover to date that can be classed as a Wonder Woman crossover event and was intrinsic to the story line in the main “Wonder Woman” title, as well as tying up several loose end plot lines that had been cleverly woven into the book over the prior months. The plot is extremely dense and ambitious in scope, featuring a cast of hundreds including all the Olympic and Roman Gods as well as most of the heroes of the DC Universe at that time.
This issue is a companion to “Wonder Woman” #58, whose events mirror and compliment those depicted in this title.

Synopsis

Harmonia is summoned by the Fates once more and is told about the plans of the Witch Circe, who has allied herself with a group of Bana Mighdall Amazons living in the Amazon jungle. Circe has been collecting numerous ancient artefacts under the direction of Dr. Konrad Kaslak. She intends to create a spell summoning Gods from other pantheons in order to wage war against the Olympians. Eris and Phobos are also in league with the Witch and as Harmonia tries to locate her father, Ares, in order to speak with him, they plot their father’s downfall behind her back.

Meanwhile on Themyscira, the Amazons debate recent events and Ipthime in particular demands that they act to defend themselves. Euboea reminds her that the weaponry in Man’s World is too much for them to take on and Ipthime says that they Diana has the power to protect them. Having already lost their Queen and their Captain, she asks Wonder Woman how many others must be sacrificed before she takes action – especially as they had only opened their shores to Man’s World on her request!

Pythia suggests that mystical forces must be responsible for everything suddenly going so wrong so quickly but Ipthime is not convinced, especially as the Gods have been damning by their absence. Suddenly Menalippe appears and that the Gods have not abandoned them! As if in confirmation Hermes and Heracles appear before the shocked Amazons. Wonder Woman asks Hermes why he had suddenly disappeared after the Dr. Psycho incident and after all that has happened. Heracles tells Wonder Woman that she is to be summoned to New Olympus for an audience with the Gods and before she can protest is whisked away by the Messenger God, leaving Heracles to remain among the bewildered Amazons.

Arriving at New olympus, Wonder Woman asks why the Gods have taken so long to respond to her prayers. She is told that their silence was not of their choosing and it has taken all of their combined power to summon her here. Although the Gods new home is magnificent, there is a malignancy that courses through its veins. No communication in or out was possible and it took Zeus most of his power to enable Hermes to return to Earth. The Father of the Gods now lies in a coma and a grim figure hovers over him silently. As Wonder Woman recognises Pariah from her dreams she hears a scream of agony and looks up in horror to see Donna Troy, otherwise knoan as the heroine Troia, suspended above New Olympus, surrounded by coils of energy. The Gods explain that Troia had simply appeared just after Hermes return to Olympus and even the Gods cannot breach the nimbus that surrounds the girl.

Meanwhile, as per her instructions from the Fates, Harmonia makes her way to Olympus via the river Styx on a boat steered by Charon the ferryman. She sees Hades waiting at the shoreline to greet her but as she draws near realises it is not Hades at all. As she shouts a warning though Charon uses his staff to smash her with cosmic energy, sending her lifeless body toppling into the water!

Across the globe Super heroes begin finding their powers behaving wildly as Circe continues to prepare her spell…

In the gloomy depths of the River Styx Harmonia finds herself floating into the arms of Halciber Filius, the Son of the Roman God Vulcan. He saves her and once back on the shore explains that she must understand the differences between Roman and Olympian Gods if they are to work together. He tells the puzzled Goddess that he knows that is happening here and had tried to stop it. His Gods had desired a human champion but when he had proved uncooperative they had chosen another.

Back on New Olympus Persephone, daughter of Demeter, betrays the Olympians by leading the Roman Gods to it, headed by Pluto. The Roman God of the underworld announces that they are here to reclaim Olympus for themselves! As the Greek Gods prepare to defend their home Wonder Woman tries to reason with Jupiter, who demand she faces him in combat. But Pluto reminds him to stick to the plan and that just as the Olympians have their own champion, the Roman Gods have theirs. With that Captain Marvel materialises and the skies suddenly become wild with lightning. As chaos reigns Zeus emerges from his sick bed decked out in warrior amour and challenges Jupiter to a fight to the death! Jupiter replies that he is pleased to see the Olympians are going to make a fight of this as he had feared the “sorceress would be right that this takeover would be too easy!”. Wonder Woman realises he is referring to Circe but before she can intervene Captain Marvel attacks her!

Back on Earth Circe completes her spell and sends forth tendrils of energy across the entire planet. As Earthquakes and storms rip across the world the people think that the end has come! Satisfied, Circe leaves the altar of Hectate as Dr. Kaslak, who has been watching from the shadows, steps forward, pleased that his own secret plan is underway and hoping Circe does not realise what he has done! But he is stopped in his tracks by the Amazon Pythia, who demands to know where Julia Kapatelis is being held.

Meanwhile on Olympus the battle continues to rage and Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel go toe to toe. The Amazon Princess continues to try and reason with him, saying that the whole universe will be destroyed by this madness but he seems possessed and does not listen. She realises that his power is immense and she cannot simply stay on the defense as there is too much at stake. She begins to fight back, even if it is to the death! Zeus and Jupiter watch as Wonder Woman and Captain marvel fly towards each other and disappear in a burst of energy as a lightning bolt strikes!! Zeus demands to know why Jupiter has killed the two champions but a bewildered Roman God replies that it had not been his lighting bolt that had apparently vapourised the two combatants. They both then hear Halciber Filius explain that he had torn a hole in the fabric of Olympus so that Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel could pass through it, thus removing them from Jupiter’s influence!

In the Chaos Portal dividing Themyscira and Patriarch’s World, Diana and her opponent find themselves tumbling through the void. A blast of energy narrowly misses them and they turn to see Hermes and Mercury in combat with each other! Mercury orders Captain Marvel to destroy Hermes but he hesitates, seeming confused. Wonder Woman sees her chance and wraps her magic lasso around Captain Marvel. In one flashing, terrible moment even the unstable essence of chaos is torn apart by forces beyond description. The Amazon Princess knows she is in some inexplicable way responsible, together with the convulsing form of one of Earth’s mightiest mortals! She sees images of tortured spirits whirling around Captain Marvel, wailing. She recognises one of the voices but before she can respond Hermes uses the distraction to blast Mercury and the resulting shockwave sends Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel flying off in opposite directions through holes in Chaos’ firmament! Wonder Woman lands back on Earth while Captain marvel is flung far out into the reaches of the Universe, only to crash land in the middle of an Alien Bar frequented by Lobo!