Wonder Woman 23.2
Special “Villains Month” Title: First Born 1
Brian Azzarello, Aco
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The second (and last) Wonder Woman tie-in to Villains Month and Forever Evil features First Born, a character who is new to the Wonder Woman mythos as far as I know. I was never really familiar with all of the ins and outs of the character’s mythology and backstory before the New 52 (I read the Greg Rucka run and love it, read the Gail Simone run and dropped the book, and enjoyed the few parts of the Phil Jiminez that I picked up every now and then), but regular series writer Brian Azzarello has consistently held my attention since the reboot of the DC Universe. I enjoy Diana, yes, but I have found myself absolutely loving her supporting characters, Gods and Goddesses or otherwise. So, naturally, I was all about this issue, even if it was drawn by someone I was not familiar with who appeared to be trying their best to pass for the art of Cliff Chiang. That was okay. I am getting used to that in the regular series as well. And Aco is far from a bad artist, so it certainly didn’t hinder the story one bit.
The story spans several centuries, and tells, quite completely, the origin of the nameless first born child of Zeus and Hera, harshly sentenced to death upon birth and left for dead, only to be raised in the wild and forgotten. The best part of this issue is not the origin story itself, though. It is the dialogue of the Oracles of Apollo, the man who has just recently come across his brother’s unconscious body. It’s realistic and never once feels fake or cheesy. That shows great writing, and quite honestly, is almost enough to justify the cover price alone. But the story is also expertly told, so we also get to hear about the First Born’s rise to power on Earth, his subsequent war on Heaven, his defeat, and his inevitable punishment for rising up against the Gods (even though he is actually one of them). We then see his climb out of the pits of Hell itself, never being remembered for his deeds or his legendary feats, but never forgetting his mission: To claim the throne of King of all of the Gods. This brings us to present day, and the inevitable (and seemingly endless) battle for that mantle, which currently belongs to Apollo.
I would suggest you save the buck and buy the regular cover, but don’t pass over the issue entirely. It’s a great script and a fun new twist on some classic elements of Greek mythology. Not to mention the fact that it is going to directly impact the future upcoming issues of the main Wonder Woman series. So go ahead and pick this one up if you’re a lapsed fan, new fan, or just a person who enjoys good one-shot origin stories. It’s well worth it.
My Rating: 4.5/5