“I could say that I'll sleep better, but that's a lie”
Selina goes from her … liaison … with Batman directly to steal a Russian painting, solely to maneuver the mobster whom she beat and performed an “oculectomy” on last issue – she didn't kill him – into a situation where rival gangs would finish the job of killing him for her. Unfortunately, in so doing, she has drawn attention to herself on the part of one Louis Ferryman, “some call me Bone” – who now finds the “irritating woman who dresses like a cat and steals from [him]” and has her beat pretty thoroughly – right after she finds her fence Lola tied to a chair with a bullet through her head. “Next: Caught!”
I've got to say, the image of barely-clad Selina draped across an all-but-shirtless but still-cowled Batman – whose trousers clearly are pushed down around his hips – that's an image I could do without in a mainstream DC Bat-title. I mean, come on. Yes, it's clearly rated “T+” on the cover, but it's a Batman title. Call me an old prude, but I think it's a bit inappropriate. Also call me a bit of a hypocrite, because I'm continuing to buy this title – I'm well of age and an obsessive-compulsive completist when it comes to Batman, but there is a definite streak of sex and violence pervading much of the New 52 to the point of being over the top, with this title being a prime example.
“Trouble in Mind”
We meet the New 52 Katana. I don't know enough about the previous incarnation to be able to tell how much of a change we have here. “Psycho Sword Chick” is how Starling terms her. We get some clues about how the guy's head blew up at the end of #2 – in a prototype stroke medication that works to reconnect neural pathways “in tandem with certain words and phrases” which undoubtedly were delivered to him via the cell-phone he answered right before the big bang. Canary, Starling, and Katana investigate a lab that may be targeted for theft of a supply of the drug – and run into the high-tech armored thugs they previously confronted.
Starling captures one, then Poison Ivy shows up, dressed quite fetchingly in what looks to be her fall colors. Starling seems to have a hostile history with this “freaking monster,” and is surprised for the second time this issue at the new teammates Canary has called into the new Birds. “Next: Primed for Death!”
I have to say – for a brand new character, Starling has sprung into being so fully developed that it's like she's an old character. I like! I think I commented last time that she carries over a good bit of the sass factor that used to be filled by the sadly missing Lady Blackhawk. I really really really want to know more about her history.
After a couple pages' glimpse at the new Mount Olympus, as a very queenly and very put-out Hera along with a very punky-looking Strife observe Diana, the new girl, and a gravely injured Hermes in a skrying bowl, we go to the latter arriving at Paradise Island and meeting a blonde Queen Hippolyta. This is a deep call-back to the Silver Age – the queen has been raven-haired like her daughter ever since the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot by George Perez. As Hippolyta warns her daughter of the dire consequences that might attend her “sid[ing] with Zeus rather than his wife scorned” (which Diana doesn't see in those terms anyway), Hermes tells the new girl the legend of Diana's creation – the traditional fashioning from clay. “Wonder Woman is the perfect Amazon – no male seed created her.” Well, by issue's end we find that may not be true. Pretty soon thereafter, as Diana and one Aleka (who seems to be the New 52 version of Artemis) spar, a giant-sized Strife attacks Paradise Island. Chaos ensues as she inspires the Amazons to fight among themselves. But she declares, “I COME IN PEACE. … ALL I WISH FOR IS TO EMBRACE MY LITTLE SISTER.” “You assume the mortal carries a girl child?” Diana retorts. “HA... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT FATHER HAS LEFT CRAWLING IN HER WOMB. … NO, WONDER WOMAN... I SPEAK OF YOU.” And Hera doesn't look at all pleased. Looks like Diana's big enemy in this new series won't be Ares – or maybe it still will be. Fraternal and filial peace and brotherhood weren't really all that much a theme of the Greek myths anyway. “Next: Ancient and Untrue.”
Why do the gods keep referring to her as “Wonder Woman”? Seems to me they would refer to her by her given name – Roman though it might be when they are all called by Greek names. The revelation of what may be her true parentage caused quite a stir on the Internet when this issue was released. Assuming it's the case, I can't say it's an unwelcome change to me. I think it carries all kinds of story possibilities – not that they would be original, but intrinsically more interesting than her origin as a lump of clay. Just my opinion.