Wonder Woman #19

    Wonder Woman » Wonder Woman #19 - The Witch on the Island released by DC Comics on August 1988.

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    Vanessa finds herself in her mother’s arms with the police there too. They found her lying inside Diana’s lasso where she protected from the mystical beasts. Vanessa explains how Stavros told her to escape with the scroll and how Diana was struck by a thunder bolt. Julia assumes that she is still under shock, but Vanessa speaks the truth. Katina is there, who is apart of the resistance against the witch. She tells Julia that the scroll and the beasts belong to the witch. Julia asks why Cassandra Colchis would do such a thing and she turns to her mother. She says that her name is not Cassandra.

    On the island, Diana wakes up and realises that she is tied down by chains. She sees a woman lying on her bed, sipping a drink. The woman welcomes Diana to the island of Aeaea and introduces herself as Circe. That name rings a bell with Diana, and Circe laughs, saying that she is the daughter of Hyperion and Perseis, who is ultimately Diana’s executioner. Diana struggles but Circe tells her that it is useless as she had forged them herself. No mortal can break them. Circe tells her that as long as Diana is alive, she will always get in the way of her plans. She then orders her beasts to take Diana to Atelier for her death tonight. Dian resists and kicks the beast with her free leg. She tells her that an Amazon does not die so easily and that she doesn’t know why she hates her so much. Circe raises her hand and strikes a bolt at Diana, this time worse than before. Circe’s beasts wonder if she has killed her, but she reassures them that it will take more than that. She fights like a true Amazon as even though she is bound, she still fights back and she orders her beasts to quickly take her to the intended destination. She turns to Mikos, who is in his bird form and tells him that he will have to guard Aeaea. As long as the rebels have the scroll, they have a chance of rescuing Diana.

    In the rebel’s hideout, Julia is studying the scroll and Gregori asks her what she has found. He is anxious to find out as he thinks the scroll is the key to defeating Circe, but has not been able to decipher it. Julia replies that Stavros is a brave man and rolled all in notes in the scroll, so Julia could decipher it, or this would have taken days. Katina returns and says that Vanessa has been returned to her parents’ home and that Professor Christadoulodou is in hospital but could not get any news on him. The police aren’t taking any action because so far, it looks like animal attacks. Katina asks Gregori how the deciphering is going, and Julia looks sternly at them. She says that Diana is more than a savior, she is like a daughter and nothing will stop her from rescuing Diana. Gregori replies that the boy who had the scroll was his son, and Katina’s finance. This battle is quite personal to them too. A few moments later, Julia exclaims “Bingo!” and has found a way to save Diana. It is not the scroll itself, but a twine used to bind the scroll with a mystic herb called “Moly”.

    Back on Circe’s island, Diana is surrounded by black and she fights her way back to consciousness. She opens her eyes to find herself high above Circe’s laboratory where the witch is boiling something in a cauldron and she remarks how determined the Amazon is but is a shame that her determination compels her to kill Diana. Diana demands to know where she is and that contained in the shelves are her successes, the legacy of Hectate, the Moon Goddess. She tells Diana to stay comfortable as this will take a while, and begins telling her story to kill the last hours of Diana’s life.

    Hectate was born a Titan, but he was not apart of the Olympians, though he was highly respected by Zeus. She was one of the Trinity of the Moon along with Artemis, the Maiden, the Mother and Demeter. After Zeus overthrew the Titans, he banished them, and their dead leader, Chronus into a dark endless void. New races of gods were created from the God of War’s energy and she might even conquer the Olympians who need time to rebuild so Hectate cast a spell that would mask all Titan-Olympians conflict and so when the Olympians emerged, they would seem like a new breed of gods. Diana then thinks to herself, and now knows why Darkseid called the Olympians his offspring! Hectate was never comfortable with the Olympians so she married Hades and stayed underground. Hades had a roving eye and then married Persephone. Hectate was then made a handmaiden. Hera hated Zeus’ respect for Hectate and forbade any Olympian to help out Hectate. As time went by, her revenge grew stronger and Hectate returned to Earth and this where Circe’s story begins. She had been the Princess of Colchis herself at one point but her subjects wanted to kill her husband, so she came to this island and this is where swore that anyone who got in her way would meet their death. Her magic casting proved ineffective on Aeaea so she used the Sirens to sing their luring lullabies to lure seamen to her island. Those who survived on the rocks met Circe and faced their death. But she still wanted more power and she sold her soul for it. Hectate answered her prayers and she was then an instrument to use against Gods who wronged her. Hectate proposed that to gain beauty, immortality and power, all she had to do was trade souls with her. As they prepared to trade souls, Hectate’s last words were "Upon the death pf Witch and the birth of Witch, Hectate, by name and choice, shall repossess her soul." With a burst of mystic flame, Circe’s soul turned into ash and from the ashes, a new Circe was born. Hectate’s body was destroyed, and it seemed unlikely that she would even reclaim her soul and so it belonged to Circe. She also developed an art which allowed her to transform men into beasts. Her reputation grew that men feared her and everyone woman that they would meet.

    Circe’s first successful strike was the alienation of the sexes. She pitted them against each other and Hectate felt betrayed by both sexes, so both sexes has to suffer. It was then that the Amazons were born and Circe feared that their mission to preach peace and equality would succeed but Ares reassured her that nothing like that would ever happen. When Hercules destroyed Themyscira, Circe assumed it was safe and Diana’s aunty, Antiope returned to avenge the Amazons for what Hercules did. There was much bloodshed, but then Theseus, Antiope’s formed captor fell in love with each other and he begged forgiveness. They both married and Circe had no spell to break them up. Then there was Ariadne, Theseus’ ex-wife and was carrying a dagger. When Antiope was sleeping, she stabbed it into Antiope’s heart. Diana’s eyes are clouded with tears and she cries “No more!” and breaks the chains she was in. Circe then protects herself with a bolt of energy and Diana falls to the ground. Circe was not meant to release such a deadly bolt, but she was surprised by her ability to break free of her chains. Ventouras checks Diana to see if she is still alive and Circe asks him if she is still alive – he replies that she is still breathing. A few minutes later, Circe finishes her preparation for the potion and announces it is time for the Rites of Finality. An image of Mikos appears in Circe’s globe and the rebels have reached the island. Circe demands how this is possible, but Mikos is clueless too, and for some reason, he and the beasts couldn’t get close to them. She orders them to kill the rebels.

    On the shores, Julia, Katina and the rest disembark from the boat which has Diana’s lasso wrapped around the hull. One of rebels yell that the beasts are coming and Katina tells them not to panic and anticipate them, so that they can throw the fire bombs. Then, the beasts are incinerated. The rebels open fire with their weapons as more beasts come to attack. Julia notices that the lasso pulses faster every time they get closer to the tower. Katine then orders a group of rebels to follow them so that they can fight their way into the tower. They make their way up the stairs and are confronted by Mikos who is preparing to kill them where they stand.

    Behind Mikos is where Diana is and she is coming to again. She finds herself stuck in mud with just her head protruding.

    Outside the chamber the rebels fire at Mikos as inside, Circe continues how her influence has spread throughout the world. Once Diana had arrived in Greece, people began learning of Circe’s truth and they began to hate her, even her own beasts. That is when Hectate’s words began to make sense. The Moon Goddess has gone under many names, one of them being Diana. Hectate said "Upon the death of Witch and birth of Witch, Hectate, by name and choice, shall repossess her soul," and Circe tells Diana that she is the second witch! If Diana kills Circe, her soul will be repossessed by Diana and that power, combined with Hectate will be unstoppable. Diana replies that she does not want to kill Circe but she replies that she has no choice. Circe holds up a cup that has a potion in it and explains that once she throws this on the mud Diana is surrounded in, she will begin to become part of the mud, devolving into the clay form she once was. Circe then prepares to tip the cup and it is shattered by a bullet. Julia rushes in and throws Diana the lasso to Diana’s outstretched hand. Circe then prepares to release a bolt and Julia quickly and tears off a piece of the twin she has brought. The bolt hits her, but she is unscathed. Circe uses this as a distraction and releases a bolt towards Diana and falls to the floor. Diana finds that she can’t move from the blast, and Ventouras comes in and disarms her.

    Circe looks down at Diana and tells her that her death is inevitable. She walks towards Julia and raises her hand, preparing for the attack Diana tries to get up on her feet and tells her that this fight is between her and Circe. But Circe prepares to kill Julia and with a blinding flash of light everything goes dark. Julia calls out for Diana and they are lying on the ground outside, where the tower seems to have disappeared. Diana cannot understand what happened. Just then, Katina and the other rebels are happy to see them and she tells them that all the creatures are gone and that Diana had slain Circe. Diana tries to tell them what happened, but she is drowned out by “All hail Diana!”

    In Mount Olympus, Hermes is watching from above and thinks to himself that Zeus won’t be happy with him for interfering. But he could not let her think that all gods abandoned her, he had to save her. She should have been warned about Circe, and the gods owe her that much.

    A week later at the Athens airport, Diana and Julia make a phone call to Stavros who is recovering in hospital. He tells them he is fine and that Katina would love to speak to Diana again. Katina still believes that Diana killed Circe but she remembered the witch’s eyes before she had vanished and her intuition tells her that it is not over between the two of them. How can she tell Katina that? Julia tells that Diana is tired and wishes them well. Vanessa then comes running with a newspaper in her hand and holds up the front page with a picture of Myndi Mayer with the headline "Star Publicist Found Slain!"


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    The previous two issues built up masterfully to this conclusion of the story arc, but it didn't pack the same punch as the previous two issues.  There are some cool moments.  Diana shows how resilient she is by sloughing off Circe's attacks and Julia shows how much she values Diana by risking her own life to save her.  In the end the issue is bogged down by a background story which is told in a sort of choppy format (it took me a minute to figure the order in which to read the words.)  In the en...

    4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
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