While the story is very flawed, the art of this arc has been fantastic, and this issue is no exception. Jesús Merino continues to show off his mastery as an illustrator with the battle against King Best. The design of the leader of the Dark Gods is terrific, and the Amazon twins have never looked better. Jason, in particular, looks great as the details in his powers make him appear more powerful than ever. Even if next issue falls apart, I do not doubt that the art will still go above and beyond.
Hermaphroditus Wonder Woman #69 (April 24 2019) Hermaphroditus is the God of Androgyny, Sexuality, Unions, Fertility and Marriage who is based on the god of the same name. In the DC Universe, Hermaphroditus is a transgender deity with angelic wings and goes by the name "Atlantiades". He revealed that he left Mount Olympus in hopes to get away from his mother Aphrodite and decided to take refuge on earth in a neighborhood called Summergrove in Connecticut. He used his powers to influence the Summergrove residents to submit to their inner desires.
Morgan appears and reveals himself as Ares. He tells Diana that although he has subtly given humans ideas and inspirations, using Ludendorff and Maru as pawns in the process, it is ultimately their decision to resort to violence as they are inherently corrupt. When Diana attempts to kill Ares with the "Godkiller" sword, he destroys it, then reveals to Diana that she herself is the "Godkiller", as the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta. He fails to persuade Diana to help him destroy mankind in order to restore paradise on Earth. While the two battle, Steve's team destroys Maru's laboratory. Steve hijacks and pilots the bomber carrying the poison to a safe altitude and detonates it, sacrificing himself. Ares attempts to direct Diana's rage and grief at Steve's death by convincing her to kill Maru, but the memories of her experiences with Steve cause her to realize that humans have good within them. She spares Maru and redirects Ares's lightning into him, killing him for good. Later, the team celebrates the end of the war. In the present day, Diana sends an email to Bruce Wayne thanking him for the photographic plate of her and Steve and continues to fight and give on the world's behalf, understanding that only love can truly save the world.
“Of course I wouldn’t expect Miss Roubicek to understand all this,” Marston wrote Gaines. “After all I have devoted my entire life to working out psychological principles. Miss R. has been in comics only 6 months or so, hasn’t she? And never in psychology.” But “the secret of woman’s allure,” he told Gaines, is that “women enjoy submission—being bound.”
Not long after this, Athena sensed a dark destiny for the gods amidst the cosmic mechanations of Alexander Luthor Jr.. In the crisis created by his chaos, Diana was forced to kill Maxwell Lord, and incurred the ire of the world's public. The U.S. government responded by mobilizing against Themyscira, and Diana realized that as long as she was a target, the Amazons would never be safe. Diana prayed to the gods to take the Amazons to safety, but got more than she bargained for. On Olympus, she pleaded against Athena's decision to remove the gods from Earth's affairs. Regardless, the gods departed, leaving Diana bereft of family and faith.