WARNING: This issue contains spoilers for Wonder Woman #42 by James Robinson and Jesus Merino, in stores now.
Ever since the start of writer James Robinson’s run on the Wonder Woman title, Greek and New God mythologies have been clashing. The world of Diana Prince has been increasingly tangled with Apokolips, as she has been locked in a heated battle with Grail and her father Darkseid. The Lord of Apokolips has recently returned to his full power (and age), yet he has chosen to remain on Earth for some mysterious but clearly devious reason.
Now, in the most recent issue of the series, Darkseid’s ultimate plan stands revealed. He isn’t after Earth itself, but rather a specific era from its past. Darkseid’s goal is to reach Themyscira, at a time when it was still on Earth. But why? It all started back in Wonder Woman #31.
In issue #31, a brief scene sees Diana take Giganta down with a single punch. Thanks to the following dialogue with Steve Trevor, we come to learn that Wonder Woman had to get involved after the giant villain attempted to steal an ancient artifact. What’s more, this is apparently the latest in a string of museum robberies orchestrated by Giganta.
While this seemed like a filler adventure with little to no consequence, we later learned, in Wonder Woman #34, that there was a lot more than met the eye to Giganta’s mission. With the help of A.R.G.U.S. scientists, Steve discovered that the last artifact the giant had attempted to steal had trace amounts of a metal from Apokolips.
This retroactively tied Giganta’s mission to the bigger picture of Wonder Woman’s ongoing battle with Grail and Darkseid. Later, in issue #36, Trevor would interrogate Giganta in a scene that would reveal that all the artifacts she had stolen originated from ancient civilizations: Egyptian, Mayan, Mesopotamian, Atlantean. Asked who had hired her to perform these heists, Giganta gave the answer we now all suspected: Darkseid.
The plot would then thicken when, after returning to his fully powered adult self, Darkseid would not depart for Apokolips. Instead, the New God found a temporary home inside an ancient temple in the Amazon Jungle. This temple, we also came to learn in Wonder Woman #36, was once constructed by the New Gods, back when they walked the Earth thousands of years ago (tying the events of this story back to Jack Kirby’s original New Gods stories, and their origins on Urgrund).
Whatever Darkseid’s plan was, it involved this temple, and its ancient energies that mixed the magic of the old gods with the science of the New Gods. All of the artifacts that Giganta had previously stolen were now in this temple. Their purpose, to somehow power the temple. But Grail and Darkseid needed the rest of the artifacts for that. Four more, in fact.
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