Images © DC Comics, Inc.
Writer Brian Azzarello is doing some things I like in this title, and some I don’t. On the don’t side are the personifications he’s created for several of the Greek gods. At the top of my “don’t like” list is Hades, shown above. Traditionally the god of the underworld and overlord of the dead is seen as a menacing, cold-hearted figure. Brian’s vision is a child with a head topped by burning candles, and melting wax over his eyes. I find this silly rather than menacing. And while the character is clearly cold-hearted, when he says or does something that’s meant to seem cruel or evil, it comes across to me as kind of funny, like a child’s tantrum. And who wouldn’t be cranky with all that wax in your eyes? His vision for Mars, the god of War is almost as baffling. I can understand wanting to go your own way, but there has to be some resonance. Gods are personifications of broad ideas, ones we all have some common knowledge of, and when you go too far from that, it becomes parody rather than drama, in my view.
The storyline is also kind of hard to fathom in this issue. Hades wants to marry Diana, and has tricked her into agreeing to it. No one in the story seems to believe she’s really going to end up as the Queen of Hell, though, as far as I can tell. It’s more like she’s humoring him. Just doesn’t seem convincing to me.
The art by Tony Akins is not bad, but I once again find myself missing Cliff Chiang. I understand he can’t keep up a monthly schedule, and I’m willing to wait for his art, but the issues where he’s missing are much less fun to read for me.
Can’t really recommend this one.