"King of Ashes": At Dionysus' villa in Provence, Hera orders a meal for herself, and in her efforts to find something food on the menu, she fails to notice the ball of energy heading straight for her.
- Warriors, I ask you to join me in a fight to reclaim Heaven. Follow me... not as your princess... but as the God of War!
- -- Wonder Woman
Appearing in "King of Ashes"
Synopsis for "King of Ashes"
Nearby, Artemis continues her hunt for Zola and her child, after they were taken away by Cassandra. She is distracted suddenly when the night sky is illuminated by a powerful explosion, and immediately she knows that her twin, Apollo, is in peril. She begs of Hermes to transport her back to Mount Olympus to investigate.
At Olympus, meanwhile, the ship on which Cassandra has secreted Zola and Zeke crashes into the mount. Despite all engines having died, the ship stabilizes, thanks to the efforts of Wonder Woman, whose main concern is her kidnapped friends, on board. Artemis and Hermes arrive at Olympus' summit just in time for Wonder Woman to drop the ship on top of them, and the goddess of the moon is displeased at both that, and Apollo's conspicuous absence. Wonder Woman rushes to her side, explaining that Cassandra is not responsible for whatever happened here. Apollo is gone because of something else.
Suddenly, the assembly of Hyenas atop the mount begin howling madly, and all look up to see the First Born, who claims Olympus as his. He explains to the enraged Artemis that Apollo died by his own hand - a coward who could not abide to be killed by another. Unfortunately for Artemis, her courage will mean that she at least dies by his hand. Diana intervenes, but not before Artemis is severely weakened. As Diana sets her to rest, Artemis warns that the Amazon still owes her a wish granted. Her wish, now, is for Diana to stop denying the mantle of War God, lest they all die here.
Wonder Woman stands her ground in front of the First Born, but even she is not immune to his ability to drain her of her life. Coldly, he explains that he is not merely a thing she cannot understand. He was left to die in a desert, condemned by his creators. It took him seven thousand years to understand that only nothing lasts forever, and now, he is nothing. Suddenly, a blast of lightning frees Diana of his grip, and where it struck stands Hera.
She explains that Apollo's last act wasn't to die, but to restore her power. She is Queen of Olympus. Turning to Diana, she warns that the princess cannot defeat the First Born alone. She needs an army, and to that end, Hera sends all of Diana's allies away to find one - including Zola, who all this time had been hiding behind a rock.
They reappear on Paradise Island, where Diana is beyond pleased to see Zola safe, begging forgiveness for having inadvertently made her friend feel like a burden to her. Hera herself asks forgiveness of Diana as well. She reminds that she owes Diana for a number of things - not the least of which is what Diana is about to do. Having promised an army, Hera reveals her intention: she has restored the Amazons to their prior forms, and they will act as her army.
Gratefully, Diana addresses her sisters, expressing her joy at seeing them again, but admitting that such joy is tempered by the news that Olympus lies in ruins, claimed by the First Born. She asks that they join her in a fight to reclaim it, following her not as princess, but as the Goddess of War.
- This book was first published on March 19, 2014.
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