By Cat Wyatt
Wonder Woman #50 brings with it the conclusion to the Dark Gods plot. The title gives us a foreboding sense of what is to come; ‘A Demigod Must Fall!’ though one can hope they’re being intentionally misleading. Considering what we’ve already seen Wonder Woman come up against though, we have pretty good reason to be concerned.
This issue is the 50th of Wonder Woman and thus is a larger issue than is normal. Additionally the alternative cover is included inside, and it is absolutely striking. This is probably one of the best Wonder Woman covers we’ve seen in a while – it truly is a wonderful representation of Diana.
Every now and then the Wonder Woman comics will deviate from the normal, linear form of storytelling. This is one of those issues. Here we jump back and forth, from the past, IE the battle against the Dark Gods, and the present.
The issue itself starts in the present, with Diana and Trevor saying their goodbyes, once again. It isn’t what you think though. Trevor is once again going off on some mysterious mission, this time for the navy. The notable part of their conversation though is Trevor’s concern for leaving Diana alone right now.
It’s clear that Diana is grieving for Jason, even when we don’t know what happened or if Jason is truly gone. One can only assume that the flashbacks will fill in the missing information for us. Still, it certainly explains why Trevor is feeling somewhat guilty for leaving Diana during her time of need. Not that Diana has ever been the needy sort. Still, sometimes it’s those that are quietest about their pain that need the most help, right? Diana is a fighter though, and we all know that she’ll get through this. Whatever this happens to be.
The next scene takes us back to the battle against the Dark Gods. In the last issue we were made aware of the fact that the Dark Gods had managed to turn Jason, just like they had so many others. Jason is mindlessly attacking Diana, along with the other Gods who blame Diana for their arrival.
…Only, nothing is as it appears. Jason hasn’t lost his mind to the Dark Gods, and he wasn’t trying to hurt Diana. He was trying to get her away from them, long enough for them to form a plot. If you’re wondering how Jason managed to trick everyone so thoroughly, remember that his armor – the armor intended for Diana – allows him the ability to borrow any single gift from the gods. This includes Dolos, the god of lies. Suddenly it’s all making sense, isn’t it?
In true dramatic fashion we’re not allowed to see Diana and Jason work on their plan – we’re only allowed to see it in action. Next we see Jason has arrived with an unconscious Diana before the Dark Gods. He challenges the gods to possess Diana so that they may have her powers. Somehow this must all be part of their plan, though it’s hard to see how possessing Diana would be in their favor.
Once the Dark Gods attempt to possess Diana, Jason wakes her up. Apparently the goal all along was to get inside the Dark Gods’ subconscious. Here they are weaker, thus giving our duo a chance. It’s also worth noting that the taken Justice League, as well as many other heroes, are here as well. They look like mindless puppets. It’s heartbreaking to see, truth be told. Nobody wants to see their heroes taken down to such levels.
Now that Wonder Woman is free to attack the Dark Gods without fearing for civilians, she truly lets loose in her battle. However, that doesn’t appear to have been Jason’s true goal. He seeks to bargain with their leader. He makes an offer they can’t refuse…the opportunity to go home. It sounds odd, saying that these villainous gods only wanted to return home, but it is the truth. They resented being pulled into this universe, and sought to bring the pain and misery they felt themselves.
There’s a catch to Jason’s offer though. He’s the one that can bring them home…but to do that he’d have to allow them to absorb him. And not like the possessing we’re seeing now, where Diana is free to move. We’re talking like the way the Justice League are being treated. Only worse, as he’d be going back with the Dark Gods to their home. So there’d be no chance of rescue for him.
This was a difficult scene to process, truth be told. It’s easy to understand Jason’s motivations: he just wants to do what is right, to be the hero, and this is the only way he can see to do that. He knows that given time Diana would likely win against Dark Gods. The problem is the time it would take would be more than the earth – more than the people living on the earth could handle. So he offered himself up.
Maybe Diana could have gone in his place. We’ll never know, because Jason never gave her the opportunity to try. Nor did the Dark Gods allow any time for her to attempt to stop them or undo what Jason started. Not even the release of the Justice League was enough to put things back in Diana’s favor.
So Jason was lost. Yes, he went willingly. And yes, he saved countless lives by doing what he did. But it doesn’t change the fact that Diana has lost her twin brother. So yes, one can understand why Trevor is concerned about leaving Diana right now. At the same time, you can also understand why he has to go. Going on missions like this has always been his way of processing his emotions, and there’s plenty to go around right now.
We all know that given time Diana can defeat just about anything and that includes her own pain. She’ll overcome it, once again become the hopeful hero we know and love. After all, Jason isn’t actually dead; he’s just a little bit out of reach right now. If anybody can find a way to save him, it’s Wonder Woman.
This was a solid conclusion to the Dark Gods plot. It’s nice that they followed through with the sacrifice mentioned in the title. The biggest issue is that they’ve had Jason come and go so many times in the small amount of time he’s been around. So it doesn’t really have the same impact anymore, though it’s certainly still felt.
Wonder Woman #50