By: Brian Azzarello (writer), Tony Akins (artist), Dan Green (inker), Matthew Wilson (colorist)

The Story: Actually, Wife Sharing With the Gods may be the one reality show I would watch.

The Review: If any of you have ever read Azzarello’s 100 Bullets (and if you haven’t, it might be a very good idea to start), you know his extraordinary talent for building conspiracies, stories rife with intrigue and tension.  In short, he’s the dream pulp writer, and indeed, his bibliography seems to speak to that; he spearheaded DC’s short-lived First Wave series, and his Batman: Knight of Vengeance mini for Flashpoint dripped suspense in every issue.

So on paper, having him write a character so grounded in myth and legendarium seems like a bit of an odd mix.  But you have to consider the mythic figures we’re dealing with here.  The Greek pantheon, with all its affairs, betrayals, and toxic relationships, can probably be considered one of the original mafia families.  Though they may stand as one against their mutual enemies, the vast majority of their conflicts comes from within, and is often more bitter.

What sets them apart from the typical cast of Sopranos is the scope of their squabbles.  In this case, the very heavens are at stake now that Zeus has vanished into the ether, and none other than his older brothers want a piece of it for themselves—although frankly, they’d prefer the whole shebang.  Before we can see them duke out the question, however, Wonder Woman and Lennox pipe up with their own suggestions for power-sharing, one that definitely puts Hera on the losing end, no matter which of the brothers gets the best deal.

As it turns out, the whole thing is a ruse, a distraction allowing Diana the opportunity to strike back at Hera in a big way for all her mother-in-law has done.  Our favorite Amazon has proven over the past few issues that she doesn’t give a fig what the gods get up to; she has her own goals and morals, and she forges her own path.  While she doesn’t really need her new status as a divinity to do as she sees right, she asserts her semi-goddess status very convincingly, setting her kin against each other, spitting in their eyes, and reaching her goals at the same time.

Azzarello continues to excel in his interpretation of the Olympians, particularly since he has three of the originals all on the same page in this issue.  His characterizations are uncannily faithful yet fresh; he stays true to their traditional depictions, but gives them a modern sophistication, making them much more accessible.  Poseidon, like the sea, vacillates between belligerence and heartiness.  Despite his childish appearance, Hades has the least sense of humor, and he seems much more vindictive than his legendary portrayals.  Hera continues to act quite shrewish, yet she’s more inclined to throw her royal weight around than she does in ancient tales.

Akins is a mixed bag as an artist.  Maybe we’ve been spoiled by Cliff Chiang’s elegant, classy style for too long, but Akins can’t really seem to capture that tone.  His style seems much more attuned to the gritty side of things, which might explain why he works as well with Azzarello’s script as he does.  But it’s just inescapable that at many points, he doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with traditional superheroics.  He’s of the school of artists who draws blood much the way he would jam, and there’s a noticeable inconsistency to his figures and clumsiness to his action which quickly gets distracting.

Conclusion: The series, of course, has a lot of integrity, but you can’t help feeling that we’re only still just building up to the real big moments.  Besides, the art isn’t quite up to its usual par.

Grade: B

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – If you think about it, Hera definitely has good reason to despise Diana now.  The princess’ suggestion to Poseidon and Hades is pretty outrageous, considering Hera’s their sister.

– Both Hades and Hermes turn and answer when Lennox mutters, rhetorically, “God a’mighty…”  Awkward…



  • paladinking

    I like Chiang as much as the next guy, but I’ve actually been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying Akins. He makes London feel very…well…British and while he’s no Chiang, I really don’t feel the drop-off in quality was all that substantial. Obviously, Chiang can’t keep up with a full monthly schedule and, given that, I think DC did a great job in finding a guy to alternate with him, much like with Amy Reeder on Batwoman.

    That said, i should say that Dan Green and Matthew Wilson are killing it on inks and colors respectively. Were it not for them, I’d probably be singing a totally different tune regarding Akins’ art.

    • Minhquan Nguyen

      I don’t mean to imply that Akins has been a poor replacement for Chiang. I just don’t think on a tonal level, he gives us the kind of Wonder Woman title we’ve grown comfortable with. He has a style that’s very suited for a more street-based, Vertigo kind of title–which is why I think the London atmosphere looks so good–but he doesn’t give the characters or the action the sparkle and energy Chiang does. Hera looks downright shrewy in the issue, compared to the regal manner she bore previously.

  • Xandro Castaneda

    Hera is Diana’s mother-in-law or stepmother?

    • Minhquan Nguyen

      I assume so, since Zeus is her dad, and Hera is, technically, his “other” wife. Wouldn’t that be considered a mother-in-law or stepmother?

  • RobA.

    The only problem I had with this issue and the last issue is no Cliff Chiang. Can’t wait for him to be back next month.

    • Minhquan Nguyen

      Me, too. No offense to Akins, who seems perfectly suited for other things, but he just doesn’t have the elegance Chiang brings to the character.

      • RobA.

        The last two issues that Akins did, I seem to just forget the story after I read it. The art doesn’t leave me that lasting impression that Chiang does. First 4 issues, I still remember the story bc of Chiang’s artwork.

        • So good to hear that Chiang is coming back! I was just about to ask if anyone knew if he was or not. It’s weird how things have changed for me. In the early 90’s I only bought comics for the art, lee, mcfarlane, etc. And followed artists from book to book (image, which all sucked). Now it’s all about the writer. I will read anything Lemire, Azzarrello or Snyder do for example. Loved 100 bullets and am loving this run on wonder woman. But for the first time in a while for me, as much as I love the story, I just can’t get into it because of the artist. It takes me out of the story. Azz and Chiang seemed to be a perfect match and I hope it continues. I think I am getting tired of rotating artists as well like on Amazing Spiderman. Books like Walking dead have spoiled me with the writer, artist combo being so consistent. An artist change at the beginning of a new arch or like how animal man dealt with it last month works, but not switching it up in the middle of a story.

  • Kero

    The whole brother/sister thing can’t be all that awkward, Zeus was her brother as well.

    I’m loving the comic though. I never really read comics until recently (just Sandman and Watchmen, really), but I decided to start with a few new DC and Marvel #1s (Wolverine and the X-Men is awesome).

    I feel like I’ve really been missing out! Maybe this is how it’s always been, but I’m liking the hero stories as told by Azzarello or Snyder. They are action packed, suspenseful, and have tightly written characters, but don’t seem to dwell on the violence or very nineties anti-hero attitudes I remember in the comics I grew up around.

    I agree with you though, the comic feels like its going somewhere bigger. And I can’t wait :D.

    • Minhquan Nguyen

      True on the brother-sister point. That whole concept really creeped me out when I was a kid. Still does, actually.

      Yeah, I’m also kind of worn down with the whole antihero thing. We already live in grim times, people! Let’s have some more actual heroes, please.

      • Jimitre

        “Let’s have some more actual heroes, please.”


    • It is a great time to start reading comics Kero. Glad you are on board now. There have been many ups and downs since I started reading comics in the late 80’s, but I feel like some of the best work ever is being put out now. In the past the market was so much about money, now since the bottom dropped out there is much more artistic integrity in the field, especially on the writing side of things.