Gail Simone brings us a brief respite from the dramatic and serious “Rise of the Olympian” story arc with a more light hearted two-parter featuring Diana and Black Canary – posing as cage fighters!! This may have been inspired by the popular “Justice League Unlimited” TV episode “Grudge Match” in which Black Canary, Huntress, Hawkgirl and Vixen found themselves facing a mind controlled Diana in a ‘fight to the death’ cage fight.
This issue sees Diana discovers by accident that she has a new, unexpected power.
After her traumatic farewell to her Amazon sisters in last issue, Wonder Woman gathers her thoughts and flies to the North Pole. She has been raised surrounded by the unbreakable love of her own mother and multitude of sisters and now that she has turned her back on that she already feels desperately lonely. She aches to return. To apologise and beg forgiveness. She could again become sister, daughter, disciple, princess. But then she would not be Diana. So she must make her own home and family.
She returns to her apartment in Washington DC and is greeted by her gorilla friends. Tolifhar gives her a welcoming hug and as Diana removes her costume and prepares for a shower she is told that Tom had been around several times saying it was urgent.
A short while later she meets up with Tom and Dr. Morrow on a rooftop. She begins to try and explain herself after Genocide’s revelations but he stops her in her tracks and says that they can talk about this later. Right now Morrow has some important information for her. Morrow then tells Wonder Woman that Genocide is not dead. She asks how can he be sure and she replies that he still has some friends in bad circles. Genocide is broken but Doctor Psycho won’t quit until he can repair it. She remembers how Psycho had inhabited the body of Sarge steel and escaped during the massacre at the Department of Meta Human Affairs. Morrow continues to add that Psycho is hiding out in Japan using an illegal meta-human arena operation as a cover.
Wonder Woman ponders whether she should even trust this man and that she could use the lasso on him – or she could trust to faith and hope. To show mistrust to a man who is trying to do the right thing goes against her nature entirely. She asks him why he is telling her this? He replies that she hates the creature as much as he does and also because of all the justice league members she had always treated him like a human during their previous encounters. Even so, she asks, why he is still prepared to destroy his own creation? He responds that his real name is Tomek Ovadya Morah. His family was from a small town outside Warsaw and he can no longer be any part of something called Genocide. “Destroy that aberration.”
Some time later Wonder Woman visits the apartment of Dinah Lance, better known as Black Canary. She knows a lot more about shady arena operations than Diana does.
Black Canary tells Wonder Woman that the Asia district falls under the territory of a villainess named Roulette. No one else would dare stage a major meta fight there.
Wonder Woman thanks Canary for helping out in what may prove to be a dangerous mission but Dinah revels in the thrill of it. She tells Diana that they cannot go as themselves and will need to go under cover. She starts to rummage through her closet looking for some suitable outfits. She tells a bemused Wonder Woman that the sexier the outfit the better in order to blend in but that will mean exposing the superhero community’s “second most famous bosom.” She goes on to explain to a further puzzled Diana that there are hundreds of web sites devoted to the subject of how Power Girl is number one with Wonder Woman a close second. “Trust me on this, those things are considered like a national treasure.” Black Canary at last finds a suitable outfit and surprised that Diana is so oblivious to the perception of her body, says that she must know about all of this stuff or else why would she wear the American flag on her behind? “Might as well draw a target for nerds on it.”
Wonder Woman replies that her costume is not an American flag. It’s a typically American idea that white stars on a blue field must belong to one country. The truth is that Betsy Ross got her inspiration from the Amazons. “It’s a long story.”
Finally they are both dressed in their new costumes and Diana cannot believe how impractical her own one is. Nevertheless they quickly board her invisible jet and make their way towards Tokyo…
Meanwhile on Themyscira Achilles address the gathered Amazons. He tells a scowling Philippus that Zeus has declared that after three thousand years of duty, the Amazons will not take kindly to the gift of peace that he has given them. So he asks that they all relinquish their weapons to aid in their retirement from eternal vigilance. Phillipus tosses her sword at his feet and snaps back “Take it then. But you will never replace our queen upstart. Sword or no, oath or no.” She then storms way adding “This is your first test as our leader male. How do you feel you rated?”.
A watching Alkyone calls out if Achilles means to castrate them as well? He turns and removing his helmet tells her that he had seen how well and how bravely she had fought. He adds that he is a stranger here and he needs allies but as he places a reassuring hand on Alkyone’s shoulder Charis, Philomela and Myrto draw their swords. He continues that it appears he will have to earn their faith, adding that he needs a personal bodyguard and more than that a teacher and trusted advisor. “Will you do me the honour of becoming my Queen?”.
Soon in Tokyo, Diana and Dinah approach the warehouse where the illegal cage fighting is taking place, dressed in their new costumes. They are met by two men who take their names as “The Orphan Sisters”. They are told that Diana’s fighting prowess will need to be tested first and one of the men transforms into a large raging beast. She effortlessly punches him high up and over the building. The other man seems satisfied and signs them in.
Once inside they proceed to the changing rooms to await their call into the arena. Dinah assures a still slightly skeptical Diana that if Steel and Psycho are under Roulette’s protection then the only way they are going to get close is to hit the ring.
Just then a dwarf enters dressed in a jester costume and announces that they are up next. Diana looks at Diana surprised and asks if that was Psycho. Diana replies that it’s Sarge Steel still trapped inside the body of Psycho.
They then make their way into the cage arena as their two opponents , the undefeated tag team Lira and ‘Muck the Unknowable’ enter. Dinah whispers to Diana to try not to knock them out too quickly as they must not raise suspicions.
But before Diana even has time to prepare Lira charges at her and hits her hard, sending her sailing across the arena! Meanwhile Dinah squares up to Muck and hits him hard in the face. But to her surprise her hand just sinks into his squishy face.
The crowd goes wild as Diana takes another punch sending her flying and the announcer describes how the two rookies seem not to have done their homework and are being dominated by the undefeated champions! As Lira hovers over Diana who is sprawled on the floor she tells her opponent that she is an Ivo Cybernetic Organism with advanced probability capabilities and an experimental cruelty algorithm. Diana realises that her opponent is not human which means she can kill it with no qualms. She gets to her feet and clouts Lira.
Not far away Dinah tries a flying kick but again her leg just sinks into her opponent’s body. Lira meanwhile grabs Diana’s hair from behind and pulls her arm back, trying to dislocate it as Muck smothers Dinah’s face trying to suffocate her. But suddenly he stops short and looks down in shock as he sees that her hand is buried in his body. She smiles back at him and says that she has her hand around his heart and if he does not give up she will squeeze.
The terrified Muck concedes while Lira continues to pull Diana’s arms back. But suddenly sparks of white lightning spark from Diana’s eyes and Lira is instantly incinerated as torrents of electricity erupt from her bracelets! A shocked Dinah looks down at the smouldering corpse and asks how Diana had done that? An equally shocked Diana replies “I don’t know.”
Up in the controller’s office overlooking the arena, Psycho, still in the body of Sarge Steel, watches the end of the fight and tells the woman standing behind him that it might be possible to arrange a fight with the brunette, but after this victory she is going to be mighty popular with the crowd. “You sure you wanna fight her?” he asks.
The woman replies “I do” and Psycho responds in turn that she wants the fight to be to the death, right? “Yes” she replies again. He tells her that he can probably make it happen but wants to know why she wants this woman’s head so much?
“I am the Goddess of Violence and she killed my father Kane Milohai! Do I need more reason?”