Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan
Ever read a story that isn't really filling in all the details, makes little sense, but are enjoying it nonetheless? No, not Final Crisis. No, not Batman RIP either. No, not Wonder Woman. Er, I mean, yes! Wonder Woman! That's what were talking about here! The exlamation points are my loud voice!
Um, moving on...
The current Ends of the Earth storyline is one of those confusing, detail-less stories that I am understanding despite the writer not spelling everything out for me. Note, this is not some crack induced nightmare that barely makes sense when hopped up on Joker Gas like a certain Batman story either.
It's simply the fact that Simone isn't explaining what exactly is wrong with Diana, why she has a red claw for a hand, what Earth / dimension / universe they are on, who these mythical warriors are (I think everyone knows Beowulf, but I have no clue who the new "teammate" is), what the ultimate goal of this journey is, aside from "kill the devil", nor any sufficient development to explain the betrayal in this issue.
However, despite all that, I find myself thoroughly enjoying this storyline. I can't recommend it as a must read to everyone, but it's definitely worth checking out to see if it's up your alley or not.
As I said, Wonder Woman, Stalker and Beowulf recruited a new member to their merry band and it resulted in Diana's hand turning into some form of demonic claw. No clue why or the reason behind it, but let's go with it. There's also the weird (read: awesome) dream she had where she took over Earth and has all her villains' heads on pikes and all the male heroes lined up and bowing to her that I think relates to back to the affects using her lasso on the soulless Stalker has been having on her since the start of this arc. And, lastly, she doesn't have any powers in this other world (Multiverse? Magic dimension? I don't know), but still kicks ass.
Got all that? Knowing all that, let's get to the actual plot. Diana has some great inner monologue throughout the issue that I really enjoyed. It showed the doubt she was experiencing and the effects of using the lasso on Stalker, and her current personality shift because of it, perfectly. I especially liked this monologue and self-doubt when the group arrived at the Oracle that Stalker spoke of in previous issues. The Oracle speaks of a traitor on their team (note: no way it could be Stalker, he's such a nice guy) and Diana's suspicions of each member culminated with her wondering if she was the traitor. It was a great line of thought and worked well with how she's been portrayed during this arc and the evil that's tainting her currently.
However, that was short lived as the team, under the Oracle's prediction, head to the end of the Earth (this Earth is flat, apparently) and confront the so-called devil that stole Stalker's soul. Not wasting any time, Stalker betrays the team (note: he's not nice at all!) and the devil rewards him by returning some of his emotions and the ability to feel again. Wonder Woman puts it to good use by repeatedly punching him in the face, which he seems to enjoy (maybe his name should be Masochist instead of Stalker?). She steals his Rock of Eternity pendant and proceeds to go put an asswhooping on the devil, himself, resulting in both of them flying over the edge of the Earth and...landing in Washington, DC (note: do more drugs)?
Verdict - Check It. I don't know what the hell is going on, but I like it. I'm just going to bust out the, "It's magic, we don't have to explain it!", reasoning and enjoy the ride. It's odd how some books can be so completely random, like this one, and I enjoy it, but, others, like Batman RIP, are just downright painful. I tihnk it might be Simone knowing her limitations and not straying too far into WTF territory while Morrison takes two steps over the line and then breaks into a sprint...