This issue is a companion issue to “Amazons Attack!” #2.
Jodi Picoult continues to do a much better job than Allan Heinberg managed at analysing just who Wonder Woman has become. Who is the real Diana? The Amazon warrior? The Princess? The heroine? Picoult does this cleverly using Circe as her “mouthpiece”. Through the words of the witch as she battles Diana, Picoult manages to make observations as to just how different to her Amazon sisters Wonder Woman has become and where her true loyalties now lay. Of course the novelist only had one more issue to write before finishing her run, meaning that a new writer would be taking over writing responsibilities right in the middle of the “Amazons Attack!” story line – which would still have three more issues to run. Would this mean yet another writer’s take on the Amazing Amazon resulting in her acting and talking out of character from the preceding issues?
By now it had already been announced who the next long term writer on the book would be – a name many fans had often discussed as being the perfect choice for writing a strong female character like Diana. DC Comics in their wisdom had perhaps learned from the debacle that was Allan Heinberg and had chosen instead another female writer – this time none other than “Birds of Prey” regular Gail Simone. However, she would not be starting her run until issue 13 and so in the interim J. Torres would be handling writing chores.
At her camp based at the Smithsonian Institution, Queen Hippolyta prays to Athena for guidance regarding the war. The Goddess of Wisdom tells her that ironically the Amazon Queen seeks aid in fighting humans whom she in turn emulates by fighting. “The worst way to keep the peace is to start a war” Athena advises.
Hippolyta leaves the Smithsonian disappointed and announces to the waiting and expectant Amazon army that the Gods will not be aiding them and that they do not need the Olympians’ help. Raising her sword she orders the attack to recommence and a catapult launches a flaming projectile, striking the Washington Monument and felling it. However, as it crashes down to earth it is caught by Superman who has just arrived along with the rest of the Justice League.
Meanwhile, rubble caused by the toppling monument striking a nearby building tumbles down onto the street below. Tom Tresser moves quickly and saves a young girl who is standing in the path of the debris. She cries out for him to also save her pet cat but Wonder Woman swoops down and rescues the frightened animal before handing it to the grateful girl.
As Superman resets the Monument upright again Wonder Woman touches down together with Tom. She tells Superman and Batman that the war must be being orchestrated by a fake or doppelganger Hippolyta and that it cannot possibly be her real mother. She adds that she intends to confront this “Hippolyta” and is told that she needs to be quick because the battle is laying waste to the Capital.
Diana then says that she cannot understand why the Amazons are attacking America. Batman responds that they had assumed it must have something to do with her. She tells them that she had indeed been held captive for a short period by the Department of Metahuman Affairs and that Sarge Steel had questioned her about the Amazons’ Purple Death Ray. Superman replies that it does not make any sense. Batman agrees, adding that there is no logical reason why the Amazons would attack the United States, particularly given the superhero population there. It is a battle the warrior women cannot possibly win.
Seeing Tom is dangerously flirting with the nearby Black Canary, Wonder Woman grabs him and lifting off, tells her team mates that the first thing to do is get to the bottom of this by confronting her so called “mother”.
As they approach the Amazon camp Diana tells Tom that she intends to talk with this obviously false Hippolyta as her real mother would never start a war without a reason. Somebody must be impersonating her and trying to fool them – just like Circe had done by imitating Wonder Woman to capture Tom. They touch down and Diana demands to see the Queen. She is told by the guards that she has been expected and is let through, while Tom is told to remain outside.
Diana is warmly hugged by Hippolyta and the Amazon Princess begins to wonder if perhaps this really is her mother after all? The Queen asks Wonder Woman if she has been hurt by the authorities. Diana replies that Hippolyta has misunderstood and that she is free from the Government. The Queen replies that they had taken her prisoner. A puzzled Wonder Woman ponders how the Queen could possibly have known that fact when her incarceration was only known by a handful of people?
Hippolyta grabs a sword and holding it out to her daughter says that Wonder Woman should be joining her sisters in the battle. Diana declines the offer of the weapon and says that she will not attack innocents. An angry Hippolyta retorts that these so called “innocents” want the Amazon weapon technology! “All they crave is power!” Again, the Amazon Princess wonders how the Queen could possibly have known that this is what Sarge Steel had questioned her about when she had been held prisoner?
The Amazon Queen confirms Diana’s growing suspicions by stating that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. It had been Circe who had resurrected her and it had been Circe who had shown her all these things. Wonder Woman asks herself whether the witch is perhaps controlling both Sarge Steel and her mother?
A fuming Diana then tells her mother that this war is madness and that Circe is not the Amazons’ friend. This is also a war that cannot be won. Hippolyta smiles back that the witch has provided her with her a secret weapon in order to win this war – a toxin that only effects humans and not Amazons. As Diana asks why she would want to hurt “her people” the Queen reminds her daughter that the Amazons are her people – not the humans. Wonder Woman then says that if Hippolyta truly loved her then she would not do this. The Queen fires back that if her daughter truly loved her then she would not stand in Hippolyta’s way!
A disappointed Hippolyta adds that Diana could have been the greatest Queen the Amazons ever had, before turning and heading towards the exit. She points to a convoy of military vehicles approaching and asks Diana if she intends to let the humans she seems to love so much attack her Amazon sisters?
Wonder Woman however realises that the troops are in fact after Tom! He is quickly surrounded and ordered to come quietly in order to be placed under arrest for assisting Wonder Woman to escape. Tom confronts Sarge Steel and secretly tricks his “boss” into revealing to Tom that he is an impostor. Before Tom can act though two Amazons attack and there is an explosion. Wonder Woman moves quickly to disarm the Amazon warriors and as the smoke clears the troops find themselves staring at two Sarge Steels! As they are both led away for further questioning to determine which is the real Sarge Steel, one of them gives a secret signal to Diana indicating to her that he is really Tom in disguise!
She hopes he knows what he is doing as he is lead away, but her attention is quickly refocused on Circe who she sees smiling down at her from a building above. Wonder Woman grabs a spear and launches herself up at the witch, demanding to know what she has done to Hippolyta? The witch uses her magic’s to shatter the flying weapon as she replies that the Queen is acting on her own volition and is not possessed. As Diana in turn uses her bracelets to deflect magical energy blasts, she tells Circe that her mother would never willingly slay innocents but Circe responds that being dead makes people weird…
Meanwhile back at the Department of Metahuman Affairs the two Sarge Steels are being questioned. Tom uses a pen to demonstrate that the supposed metal prosthetic hand of his counterpart is actually flesh and blood. As the impostor howls in pain and clutches his bleeding hand, he is led away and Tom exits the room having convinced everyone that he is indeed the real Sarge Steel!
Not far away across the city Diana and Circe continue to battle each other. Circe deflects Wonder Woman’s razor sharp tiara as she explains that if it were so easy to posses people then she would simply possess the Amazon Princess. Diana asks how Sarge Steel is being controlled and is told that it is not the real Sarge Steel at all but is simply a doppelganger…
In the detention centre of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, Tom still disguised as Sarge Steel orders the guards to leave so he can question the prisoner alone. He then demands to know who the impostor really is, who he is working for, what their plan is and where the real Sarge Steel is being held? The prisoner replies that his name is Everyman. Before Tom can react however he reaches for a small button on his glove and pressing it, begins to dematerialise. As he escapes he tells Tom that Sarge Steel is safe for now, but that what is happening in the control room above is going to raise a lot of hell very fast!
Realising there is more going here than meets the eye, Tom rushes up to the control centre as he pulls the pieces together in his mind like a chess game. First move give the government a reason to fear the Amazon’s power. Second move give the Amazons reason to fear the Government’s power. Third move get rid of Sarge Steel and put a mole in his place…who seizes Wonder Woman and sets the plan in motion. What’s left unprotected?
As he runs into the control room he sees that a nuclear warhead has been armed and is in pre-launch countdown – targeted into an empty space in the sky at a co-ordinate simply designated as…Themyscira!
Back at the fight, Wonder Woman flies at Circe who dodges her charge sending Diana crashing into the wall behind. The Amazon dusts herself off and says that her mother would never do these things. Circe asks “Not even if she believed her beloved Amazons were in danger?”. As Wonder Woman presses home another attack Circe continues to taunt her by adding “Did you ever think that it’s not your mother who’s different? That maybe…it’s you?”. The witch adds that the Queen has always been ruled by her duty to her Amazon sisters and that Diana once used to be ruled by duty too. But Diana is no longer like her mother. Her feelings have instead driven her here to the humans…to desperation…and as Maxwell Lord would attest…to murder. As Wonder Woman throws punches at Circe who blocks them with her magic’s again, the witch explains that everything so far has gone according to her plan….
Meanwhile, Tom has located where the fight is taking place and races there in his car. As he races to the rooftop he tells Wonder Woman that Circe is behind all of it. She has replaced Sarge Steel with an impostor and intends to destroy Themyscira. The Amazon Princess replies that this is impossible as only the Gods can grant access to her homeland. The smiling Circe responds that she had already been granted access to the island in order to resurrect Hippolyta. When the nuclear warhead is launched up into the sky she will at the exact moment cast a spell to open the dimensional portal just wide enough for it to slip through and destroy Paradise Island forever!
Wonder Woman realises that without their homeland the Amazons will be at the mercy of the humans. As a gleeful Circe enjoys the look of horror on Diana’s face the witch feels a spear impale her through the chest! As the slain sorceress begins to fade she sees Hippolyta standing there snarling “Die traitor!”. The witch whispers to Diana that Hippolyta is no longer the person she had once looked up to as a mother. “Usurp her throne and you can call off the war…” she rasps. Wonder Woman replies that in order to do that she would need to slay her own mother. As Circe finally disappears from view for good she replies “You know it sucks when I’m right!”.
At that moment Wonder Woman and Tom find themselves under attack from a hail of Amazon spears!