The ever changing and adapting costume routine, that seemed part and parcel of DC’s guerrilla tactics nowadays to keep fans guessing, continued in this issue as Diana gains a star spangled cape to wear! In this issue we also get another hint as to what on earth is going on in this seemingly never ending story arc. Yes. It was announced that the original twelve issue Odyssey story would be extended by a further two issues to finish in #614 instead of #612, which according to DC allegedly tied in better with their upcoming “Flashpoint” series in which yet another alternate version of Diana would be featured sporting yet another look!
Eduardo Pansica takes over from Don Kramer for this issue and produces some nice interior art, while Kramer’s cover is a metaphorically clever one – giving us hints of both old and new Diana as she tries to unpick the puzzle before her.
Meanwhile fans continued to await news as to whether NBC was going to pick up the new David E. Kelley TV series, as more information was leaked with regards to the now completed pilot that implied Diana would be wearing a third(!) version of her costume, which this time was supposedly more in keeping with the classic look sported by Lynda Carter and would include the famous star spangled briefs. This indeed turned out to be case and in the final climatic fight scene in a warehouse Adrianne took on two dozen super-strength thugs, while wearing a a version of the costume more instantly recognisable as Wonder Woman. It was just a shame that it looked like a cheap off-the-peg Halloween costume costing $15!!!!
However, in the end it didn’t matter as NBC announced that they would not be picking up the show for their Fall schedule. Test screenings had apparently met with mixed reviews and as further facts leaked out regarding the pilot show – in which Diana apparently killed a guard and broke the arm of a thug while using her lasso not to extract the truth from her foes but more often as a whip – many fans were almost glad that this version of Wonder Woman would not see the light of day after all.
Some believed that Kelley’s script had simply strayed too far away from the source material in both look, execution and characterisation, until almost nothing was left of this iconic character that the viewing public at large could either recognise or empathise with. A few months after the announcement copies of the pilot leaked out onto the internet and while it had the odd moment of potential, in the end it was every bit as bad as had been rumoured and fans breathed a collective sigh of relief that this version of Diana had not made it into the public’s consciousness.
Giganta is rampaging in mid-town New York as she hunts down Diana, still ensorcelled by Doctor Psycho’s mesmerising. Annan steps forward through the police cordon and before the police can stop her and before Giganta can cause anymore disruption, transports both of them back to the Morrigan’s apartment.
As they materialise, Bellona is questioning a dazed Artemis and Cheetah who too are still recovering from their encounter with Psycho. As Artemis explains what had happened and how a “little man” had done this, the Morrigan rule out the involvement of Galenthias. Bellona wonders if it perhaps one of Diana’s super hero colleagues but Bellona reassures her that they are just as confused about Diana’s real identity as she is. Bellona muses whether it is divine intervention? Again, Annan assures her that the old Gods have fled and given this world over to them and their mistress.
She then turns to Artemis and instructs the Amazon to use her hunting skills and return to the site of their defeat and track down the Amazon Princess – either bringing her back in chains or carrying her head!
Meanwhile in the hospital Diana demands to know how long she has been there? Doctor Etta Candy replies that this is also puzzling her, because the trauma team had brought Diana in just three hours ago on the edge of death – and yet here she was now all but healed. Diana asks for her things as she must leave, but Doctor Candy replies that in theory she should not even be breathing, let alone standing and that she needs rest. Etta asks for her name and as the Amazon Princess answers “Diana”, Etta comments how coincidently the nurse standing with her also has the same name…”Diana Prince.”
As Diana tries to come to terms with recent events she asks meekly “Is this real?”. Etta turns to Nurse Prince and instructs her to arrange for Doctor Steve Trevor to pop by later and examine their patient. Diana cries out “Another Doctor?! You think I’m Crazy!”. Smiling, Etta replies that on the contrary, she thinks Diana is a remarkable woman…and she needs help in understanding just how remarkable. She adds that no matter how quickly Diana has healed she must still be tired and needs to rest and let them help her. “Can you do that for me?”. Diana smiles back and responds that for some reason she feels she knows Etta and also knows she can trust her.
With that Etta exist the room leaving Diana alone with nurse Prince. Diana tells her namesake that she is not crazy but that things have been impossible to explain lately and that her whole life has felt a “slightly off”. She feels like a piece on a board game, her moves being determined by an unseen throw of the dice. Nurse Prince replies that she thinks she can understand how Diana feels as she hands the Amazon Princess her clothes and accessories saying “I kept your things as they seemed to mean something to you…and to me I guess.” Diana thanks her and as she dresses she finds a star spangled cloak amongst her things,. She asks where this has come from and nurse Prince replies that an old lady called Myra Clotho, who is a patient in the hospice and has been in and out of coma’s ever since nurse Prince has worked here, suddenly woke up as soon as Diana had been brought in and had insisted on seeing her. Myra was too weak to leave her bed but had woven the cloak for Diana and had asked for to go and see the old lady.
Diana puts on the cloak, the workmanship of which she has not seen since Themyscira. She says that she must see the old lady at once. Nurse Prince says Diana should stay and wait for Doctor Candy to return but the Amazon Princess replies “Diana, there’s something happening here I can’t explain and I think you feel it too. Like there’s a wave building under the surface of everything…rolling under our feet unseen but knocking everyone off balance. There have been signs in front of me the whole time but I ignored them. I was afraid of what I might learn…about myself. That fear almost cost me my life. And to be honest I’m pretty sick of being afraid. So take me to Myra Clotho. Please.”
A short while later nurse Prince leads Diana into Myra’s room in which stands a spinning wheel. The nurse explains that when she’s awake she weaves and she has been here as long as anyone can remember. She then leaves the two of them alone as the old lady opens her eyes and greets her as ‘Diana of Themyscira’. Diana replies that “Clotho” is the name of one of the Fates but the old lady is not how she remembers the Fates being depicted in the historical Amazon scrolls.
Myra smiles back that Diana sees her now as a very old lady. She continues “But certain people are born into this world to be vessels of a larger ideal, to personify a virtue or a frailty. Chosen by what ever unfathomable forces that rule our lives to become living avatars of ideas that, although born within us, reach far beyond.” The old woman adds that she was born to personify Fate to shepherd all beings along their strand of life. To spin it, weave it and ultimately cut it. As the Gods themselves are the personification of nature, some like Diana represent the personification of human virtue. But humanity swimming in their own waste and choking on their own bile have given their world over to fear and anger. The Avatar of Vengeance grew so strong that even the Gods began to fear her and fled , leaving only a few of their kind behind.
Diana asks if she is referring to the Morrigan but Myra replies that they are simply toys and that a greater evil manipulates them and despises Diana. This spirit of vengeance…of unreasoning punishment..seeks to scour the Earth of all life. And Diana is the only thing that can stand against her. Her enemy owns the world already and has made it a black sea of blood – but a tiny light shines on its surface. Diana’s enemy strikes out at it, splashing the surface of the water to dispel it. In that way she has separated Diana from her past, sending the light in ripples across the surface. But Diana remains the sparkling gleam escaping her grasp.
Diana takes Myra’s hand gently but replies that she is just one person, barely more than a girl. The old woman replies that in the past Diana has been told how her power rises from her mother’s lineage, from her warrior training and from the Gods themselves.” But that is not so. Your power came from Pouli.” she states.
Seeing Diana’s confused face, Myra holds up a scroll and says that “Pouli” is the name that Diana as a child had given to the bird. As memories low drift back and the Amazon Princes recalls her childhood, Myra describes how Diana had one day secretly followed her Amazon sisters on a hunting party. Artemis wounded a small game bird but larger prey distracted her from finishing it off. As theses events come flooding back to a smiling Diana, she continues the story, explaining how she had kept him hidden in a basket, tending his wounds and feeding him bugs. She had been teased at first by her sisters but had soon stopped their teasing. She had hoped he would eventually recover but sadly he never did.
Myra responds that even so, he had died a recipient of love. “Well, he was a bird so I doubt he knew that” says Diana.
“But you did. That’s the day the Justice chose you for its champion.” states Myra. Diana replies that she has not always shown mercy. At times she has been angry…on occasions very angry. Myra tells her that her enemy tests her. Will Diana hold true to herself or become like her enemy? The struggle is the crucible in which Diana is tried. She will either shatter in the fire or emerge unbreakable.
“I spun the strand of your life long ago Diana” says Myra. “Your adversary sought to cut it, knowing you were all that stood between her and humanity’s extinction. She destroyed you then, defeated you.”
A puzzled Amazon Princess replies “But…I’m still right here.” Myra responds that this is because she had spun another strand for Diana – a second life woven just below the surface of the first. It had taxed the Fate and brought her to death’s door, but she had managed to hide Diana away for a time so the Amazon Princess could grow into her power.
Myra then hands over the strand and says it belongs to Diana now and that the time has come for her to make her own destiny. Taking it, a doubtful Diana says that she is not sure she is a as strong as Myra says or as pure as Myra thinks. As Myra’s life begins to fade she reassures Diana that if only she could see the Amazon Princess as she does..a column of light extending from the Heavens to Hades…warming the merciful…illuminating the wicked…returning them all to where they belong.
Suddenly, as Myra passes away one of the Keres appears out of thin air to claim the soul and threatening to take hers too if she stands in the way. Diana responds by swiftly charging at the creature and looping her lasso around the surprised Keres’ neck! The golden rope burns the creature which screeches as Diana pins it to the floor. Diana asks the creature how it feels to facing death, felling the same fear and helplessness that all their victims have felt of the centuries. “You don’t deserve my mercy monster..but that’s exactly why I’m granting it. You, and those that rule you, will face a weapon they have no defence against. A love of their enemy.”
With that she commands the cursed soul to free itself form the body. Simultaneously in Hades, the damned watch in amazement as the other Keres suddenly find themselves freed from their eternal curse. Charon watches their souls rise up to the heavens with a smile on his face and a tear in his eyes as he realises that someone has forgiven the Keres. Someone has loved the very face of hate. Someone wonderful.
Back in the room Diana honours Myra’s last resting place by laying her mother’s shield over the old woman’s face. Suddenly though Giganta bursts through the door and launches herself at Diana, who deftly trips up the Amazon sending her smashing through the window and tumbling down to the street below. Hearing the commotion Doctor Steve Trevor runs into the room and instantly Diana says ” Sorry, no time to explain Steve.” He is surprised that she knows his name and for that matter, so is Diana. as she leaps out of the room and down to the street below she decides to worry about that fact later.
Before a dazed Giganta can even get to her feet a red and black blur slams into the roadway. As the dust begins to clear a disorientated Artemis orders Cheetah to track Diana down again but Cheetah is floored by a powerful punch from the Amazon Princess before she can even react. Artemis desperately fires her deadly arrows in rapid succession at the advancing Diana but they are effortlessly swatted aside by flashing bracelets. Diana loops her lasso into a knot and uses it as an offensive weapon, whipping it at Artemis and shattering the Amazon’s bow. As Artemis tries to make a run for it Diana ensnares her in the golden lasso.
As Artemis struggles to free herself Diana pins her down to the road and orders to stop fighting and to listen. She tells her sister that she has been lied to and that she had not been abandoned on Themyscira. She continues that the Morrigan are deceivers, second only to their mistress and have used and twisted the three Amazons’ fury and anger to make them kill their own kind. As the power of the lasso works it magic Artemis at last sees the truth and in horror realises how she and the others have slaughtered so many of their Amazon sisters. Sobbing, she begs Diana to kill her so she can no longer hear their screams in her head. Diana simply holds out her hand and gently replies that the guilt is not theirs but the Morrigan’s. “Let’s bring justice to them together.” As she speaks Giganta, who has come to, tries to charge Dana from behind but without even looking behind the Amazon Princess grabs her attacker and throws her over her head stating “Wait your turn Giganta”…
A short while later, after Diana has shown both Giganta and Cheetah the truth, the four Amazons arrive at the hideout of the Amazon Oracle. The Oracle smiles and asks if Diana’s head is clearing up a little after her conversation with Clotho. “A little” responds the Amazon Princess. The Oracle then says that she presumes Diana is expecting some sort of prophecy from her now and to know the will of the Gods? But Diana states that she is through asking the Gods for anything but adds that if any of them should be listening, the Oracle should inform them that the Amazon Princess is on her way to kill a few of them!