Gail Simone hits her stride and in this issue and demonstrates her intent to portray Diana as every bit as formidable without her powers when posing as Agent Prince as she is as Wonder Woman. She also shows what a fierce warrior Hippolyta can be too!
Queen Hippolyta appoints four of her most loyal subjects as her royal guard – Myrto, Charis, Philomela and their captain, Alkyone. These four Amazons swear their undying allegiance to the Queen and call themselves the “Circle”. They even sleep in four compartments surrounding the Queen’s private chambers, with at least one of them awake at all times guarding their precious Monarch. The Captain of the guard, Philippus warns Hippolyta that the four Amazons are over zealous and brutal minded but Hippolyta assures her that they are suitable for the role.
One day rumours reach the ears of Alkyone that Hippolyta has pleaded with the Gods for a child of her own. Alkyone refuses to believe that the Queen would be so irresponsible because such an act would destroy the Amazons. The women of Themyscira have lived on the island for centuries and still the ache of an eternally empty womb is almost unbearable for some. Many carved infant-shaped totems out of wood and carried them about with them – pretend hope – the foolish dream of a sterile race perhaps. But for some it is a receptacle, a forum for thoughts they no longer have any capacity to express – for a kind of love they have no space to fit. The Queen would surely never bring a child into the world amongst an island of women who could never experience motherhood themselves – it would be inconceivable.
One day the Circle hear that one of the Amazons named Gennes has had a baby daughter! They rush to her dwelling to see how the impossible could have happened and are shocked to see Gennes cradling what looks like a baby in her arms. She is singing a lullaby – one that had not been sung for centuries. Alkyone acts in fear and snatches the child from her arms, sending it toppling to the floor – only to find that it is in fact merely a puppet doll. She immediately orders that no dolls resembling children are ever to be allowed to be crafted again on the island. As they watch Gennes pick up the broken doll and begins cradling it again, Alkyone tells her sisters that the Amazon has gone mad and that they cannot allow it to spread. She then orders Gennes to be put out of her misery and begs forgiveness from the Gods!
End of Prologue
As Captain Nazi grabs Diana by the throat holding her up against the wall, he taunts her about whether he will kiss her before or after she dies. She sees that Tom is still out cold and assesses her situation. She notices that the drywall behind her is old and gauges that the Nazi does not know his own strength. She suddenly slams her head back into the wall, breaking open a hole through which they tumble through into the next room. Diana however uses her legs to hurl the Nazi over her using his own momentum. As he struggles to get to his feet enraged she removes some explosive putty from Tom’s sack and throws it into his face, covering his eyes. She remotely detonates it and the room is rocked with the resulting explosion. Bloodied and with his clothes in tatters, Captain Nazi hauls himself up out of the debris only to find himself now confronted by Wonder Woman! She grabs him by the throat and slams his head against the wall. As he tries to punch her she effortlessly ducks his swing before grabbing him by his uniform and head butting him with her tiara!
Meanwhile on Themyscira Hippolyta uses the magical mirror in her chambers to watch the advancing Nazi storm troopers wade ashore. She dons her amour and prepares for war! “No more conquerors here!” she resolves…
Back in Toronto Captain Nazi comes round to find himself in a darkened room, bound to a chair by Diana’s lasso. She orders him to tell her everything about the invasion of Themyscira and while he tries to resist, his efforts prove futile. Wonder Woman via the lasso can see deep into his soul; how his mother was a prostitute; how his father was her pimp; how he killed her over a sack of stolen groceries; and how he beat Nazi and his brother every day of their young lives. She cannot help feel sympathy as he desperately pleads with her not to make him face his past and how it is ungodly of her. She tells him that there is no evil here but that which he brings himself. She then forces him to reveal his plan – his shadowy society contact, their intelligence regarding how defecseless Themyscira is, how they had given Nazi’s powers to nearly one hundred young and motivated volunteers and of their plan to wipe her culture clean. And even for him she follows the Amazon code when facing a vanquished foe, as she places a gentle hand on his shoulder as he sobs. Punishment for the adult…empathy for the child. Even for him.
Less than an hour later after checking Tom in at the hospital, Diana races back to her apartment. As she prepares to go to Themyscira she explains recent events to Tolifhar. Although he wants to go with her she tells him that although she appreciates his offer, she must do this alone. Also, there is the small matter that Athena has cordoned off the island to all Amazons. She then shows him the winged sandals of Hermes and says that she hopes these will aid her in her cause!
Back on Themyscira the storm troopers are searching the island for any inhabitants. Hippolyta emerges from her hiding place and deals with the half dozen troops before moving on towards the stables. Inside four more troops are preparing to slay the Unicorns residing there. Again, Hippolyta’s stealth takes them completely by surprise. Now armed with a flying steed, she sets off to engage more of the invaders…
Meanwhile Wonder Woman uses the sandals to traverse between the various pantheons, seeking assistance in getting through the mystical barrier preventing her setting foot on Paradise Island and saving her mother. She asks the Norse God Odin if he will help but he replies that he will not go against the will of Athena. She next asks Raijan but he tells her that the last time he crossed another God he was almost destroyed. Next she visits the Egyptian Goddess Lady Bast and although finds a sympathetic ear, is told that the Goddess never really cared for the Amazon Queen.
Finally the Amazon Princess visits, Kane Miohai, God of the Sky and Heavens. He tells her he understands her predicament but cannot help. She kneels on the ground before him and subjugating herself, swears that if he aids her she pledges her allegiance to him. No god will come before him in her eyes she assures him, and when he needs a weapon she will be his fiery sword. She continues that she gives her life to him of her own free will if it will help save her tribe and her mother. She gives him her word as an Amazon and says that he is her last and only hope. He smiles down at her and asks her to rise, agreeing to her terms and offering her a red arm band to wear as his battle standard. She hugs him in gratitude and he tells her that she reminds him of what a daughter’s love means.
He then gives her a small sea shell and says that it will grow into a vessel which will take her anywhere she needs to go. As he asks her if she is ready to depart she says with a twinkle in her eye “No, My Lord. There’s something I need to pick up at home first.”
On Themyscira meanwhile the storm troopers have discovered Alkyone’s dungeon. She tells them from her cell that they will never find Hippolyta. She has a thousand hiding places so cunningly camouflaged that they could pass right by on a sunny day! The Amazon Queen will pick them off one by one and they will not survive the night. Unless of course they free her and together, she and her three sisters will hunt Hippolyta down and help them slaughter her!