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War of the Gods
Synopsis | Review | Titles




"Can you tell me what's going on?"
"We're trying to save the universe."
"Again?"

ISSUES:
4 issues, monthly, Sept.-Dec. 1991.
WRITER(S):
George Perez.
ARTIST(S):
George Perez, Cynthia Martin, Romeo Tanghal, Russell Braun, Pablo Marcos, Vince Giarrano, Scott Hanna.
MAJOR HEROES:
Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, most major DC heroes.
MAJOR VILLAINS:
Circe, the sorceress of Greek mythology.
SUPPORTING CAST:
Pariah, Lay Quark, Lobo, the Phantom Stranger, the gods and goddesses of Earth's various pantheons, the New Gods.
THE PLOT:
The Greek and Roman pantheons declare war on each other, and our heroes are caught in the crossfire. All is the result of Circe's scheming, who seeks ultimate power for herself.
RECOMMENDED READING:
Wonder Woman #15 (first modern app. of Circe).

Synopsis

[War of the Gods #4]

ALL OVER THE WORLD, the ancient gods suddenly seem bent on destroying the Earth and each other. While the gods of the Roman and Greek mythologies wage war against each other, gods from the Egyptian, African, Norse, Babylonian and Thanagarian pantheons do their worst to our heroes as they try to re-create the world in their own images. The cause of this sudden clash of gods is Circe, an immortal sorceress whose goal is the destruction of the Earth goddess Gaia.

Realizing that her enemy, Wonder Woman, might interfere with her plans, Circe arranges for her kidnapping and transport to New Olympus, where she must defend her Greek patrons against the Roman gods' champion, Captain Marvel.

While the heroes deal with the chaos kicked up by the warring deities, Black Adam, Captain Marvel's archenemy, recruits the Suicide Squad to help him launch an attack on Circe's fortress. She escapes to Paradise Island, where she kills Wonder Woman, and Olympus appears next to Earth in its own dimension, threatening to destroy all of existence. The heroes try to convince the gods to lay down their arms and join them in facing the true enemy manipulating them all. With Captain Marvel freed from his Roman masters' influence and Wonder Woman brought back to life, Gaia regains her strength, and the War of the Gods is finished.

Review

AFTER HIS WORK ON The New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths and the new Woman Woman series, I thought George Perez could do no wrong. It's strangely comforting to know that even he can have his off days, and War of the Gods is all the proof you need.

"1991 was the fiftieth anniversary of Wonder Woman's debut, and all we got was this sprawling, incoherent series."

- The Slings and Arrows Comic Guide

Once again, the heroes are fighting to save the universe, and Lord, aren't we reminded of it every second panel. The gravity of the situation is never lost on us for a second, since we're constantly reminded that all of Creation hangs in the balance. There are far too few light moments to give us a rest, and every page is packed as solidly as possible with action, explanations, and dialogue.

And what's the point? For all the fist-flying and spell-weaving, it's never made clear what Circe is after. She's just raising hell to achieve ultimate power, and her character never stops for a moment to show us anything other than that. The numerous subplots involving Superman, Pariah (from Crisis), Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and two dozen other heroes only muddy the story even further. There were only four issues in this mini-series, and yet the compactness of each page made me think they could have easily stretched it out to eight. We should count ourselves lucky they didn't.

All in all, this was not one of DC's finest moments, artistically or editorially -- even the chapter numbers for each tie-in are messed up, with chapters misnumbered, misplaced, or missing numbers altogether. And despite Circe's apparent death at the end, she's back and kicking by 1995's Underworld Unleashed. You just can't keep a bad sorceress down, I guess.

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Titles

  • Animal Man #40
  • Batman #470
  • Captain Atom #56, 57
  • Demon #17
  • Doctor Fate #32, 33
  • Flash #55
  • Hawk and Dove #28
  • Hawkworld #15, 16
  • Justice League America #55
  • Justice League Europe #31
  • L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #31
  • New Titans #81
  • Starman #38
  • Suicide Squad #58
  • Superman: The Man of Steel #3
  • Wonder Woman #58, 59, 60, 61

NOTE: This is an unofficial list, and may contain errors or omissions. Please email me if you notice any, and I will correct the information as soon as possible.

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