Here's what I read today (September 20)
Wonder Woman 7
Auquaman 6 and 7
Brian Azzarello continues to reshape the Wonder Woman mythos, and I for one am loving it. I had seen a few people in the "Propose 10 Continuity Changes" thread say they'd make the Amazon's not rapist. I wasn't sure where that was coming from, but this issue seems to be the source of their consternation. For anyone who hasn't read it, the Amazons board ships full of men that pass near to Themiscryra, seduce the crew, then kill them off. They do this in order to get pregnant and thus keep the numbers of the Amazons up. I can understand why some would dislike this idea, after all it puts the Amazons and especially Queen Hippolyta in an extremely negative light. To me, it only serves to fill in a plot hole that you could drive a bus through. Much like Zeus being Wonder Woman's father, it makes so much more sense. After all it's never been established that the Amazons are immortal. So where do the new women come from? It's a great reminder at how naive Diana is, something reinforced when she tries to free her brothers only to find out they are in no way slaves to Hephaestus. It's a great little piece of characterization. Wonder Woman is so powerful, but she really led an extremely sheltered life for a long time. Speaking of Hephaestus, he gets some great lines about how petty the gods are, and how little they care about anyone but themselves. It was a testament to how strong the character came off in just one issue when you realize how much wisdom he imparted. Coupled with Diana's naivety, it only shows how unprepared our heroes are when you really think about it. It's also a strong calm before the storm as Diana and company must now descend into the underworld to recover Zola from Hades.
I can't believe that not only did I forget to do a write up on Aquaman 6, but that nobody pointed that out! Oh well, maybe some thought I did it on purpose because of how little Auqaman 6 actually added to the story. In fact I don't think there's anyway who's read the series thus far who would say you couldn't completely skip issue 6 and go right to 7 without missing a single thing. I guess there was a little bit that was worth reading. Mera heads into town to get dog food and hilarity ensues. It's actually not that hilarious. Falling back on the "all men are evil" trope, Mera gets involved with a boss sexually harassing his employee, and then draws the attention of the police by breaking his arm. Yawn. Something, something, there's a fire and then Mera escapes. Oh and we learn that she was supposed to assassinate Arthur and fell in love with him instead. Issue done! Auqaman 7 was much better. Black Manta is introduced in absolutely ruthless fashion by hunting down a woman, Kahina the Seer, then telling her before he kills her that afterwards he plans to kill he husband and children because that's what he does. It's pretty strong, and after reading Black Manta's Villains Month issue, I'm excited to have him throw down against Aquaman. We also finally get some movement in the Atlantis mystery as Auquaman decides to go back to Shin and show him the artifact he found when facing the Trench. At this point a another new character, Ya'wara, burst in to kill Shin and inform Arthur of Kahina's death. At this point the whole plot comes together in one single picture. The cover features Aquaman and several other characters. If you just glance at it, it looks like a team, but nobody recognizable aside from out main character. You might have noticed that Black Manta took something from Kahina after killing her, but maybe not. Then you see the last picture in the book, of the same characters on the cover, and next to each is a post-it with a name and a picture of an item. An Atlantean artifact. Suddenly you realize that each character on the cover has an Atlantean artifact, that was what Black Manta took from Kahina, and Shin is the guy who knows all about it meaning he is likely also the guy who sent Black Manta on his merry way. When so many times we see covers portraying things that don't even remotely happen in the book, it's great to see when a plot point reaches all the way through the book.