SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Wonder Woman #31 by James Robinson, Carlo Pagulayan, Sean Parsons, Jason Paz, Scott Hanna, Romulo Fajardo Jr and Saida Temofonte, on sale now.
Wonder Woman has a twin brother named Jason.
It’s a mystery that's been floating around in the background of the DC Universe since Diana learned of his existence at the end of last year’s “Darkseid War.” Now, in a new storyline titled “Children of the Gods,” Diana is set to meet the male Amazon and learn more truths about the mystery of her upbringing. And while this week’s Wonder Woman #31 doesn’t introduce Jason, it does give us a clearer image as to why he’s going to finally show up, while another dangling plot thread from “Darkseid War” is addressed in hilarious fashion.
The majority of this issue doesn’t focus on Wonder Woman herself; instead, it spends time in Elexinor, Oregon following a simple man known as Paul, who seems to be beloved in his sleepy little community, though he does have a reputation for being somewhat of a loner. Paul, of course, has a secret, one he keeps hidden on his humble farm in the Oregonian woods. He is, in fact, a demigod who has retired to Earth from Olympus to make a regular life for himself, felling trees with one great swing of his axe.
While the true identity of Paul may be unknown to his community, it’s no secret to the daughter of Darkseid, Grail, who attacks Paul and addresses him as the Son of Zeus. Grail needs the life force of Old Gods like Paul for some dark purpose, and so attacks the reclusive demigod in an attempt to kill him. When he sees how dangerous she truly is, he sheds the shackles of his mortal form and once become his true self: Hercules, the Lion of Olympus.
While you might be familiar with the Marvel Comics incarnation of Hercules, DC’s version is very different. It was Hercules who enslaved the Amazons, and most recently was pitted against Aquaman and friends in the Minotaur’s labyrinth. However, the use of the word “unbound” implies this might be a different incarnation of the Greek god, one based on the Gerry Conway/Jose Luis Garcia Lopez series Hercules Unbound, which featured the character in the wake of World War III and brought together a number of DC’s post-apocalyptic characters such as the Atomic Knights and the anthropomorphic animals of Jack Kirby's Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. (Given Robinson's predilection for using forgotten characters in his work, and the fact that the word balloon uses the comic's logo, we're confident that this is the case.)
Unfortunately, Hercules may be a God of Strength, but he is no match for the daughter of Darkseid, who possesses her own version of the Omega Beams which strike Hercules and drain his life’s essence. Grail departs the devastated forest via Boom Tube, with Hercules’ life force inside a Mother Box, but her true plan — and what it means for Wonder Woman and her brother — won’t be revealed until the end of the issue.