War of The Gods #2: The Holy Wars

  • Writer: George Pérez
  • Penciller: George Pérez
  • Inkers: Russ Braun, Cynthia Martin, and Romeo Tanghal
  • Colorist: Gene D’Angelo
  • Letterer: Albert De Guzman
  • Cover Artist: George Pérez
  • Editors: Karen Berger and Tom Peyer

Standard Edition Cover above: Front and centre is Dr Fate; the rest of the cover is handily split into four sections so working left to right we have Power Girl and Aquaman battling the many-tentacled Tiamat; then Hercules fighting the Son of Vulcan; then Firestorm (at the top) and Firehawk on the left battle Shango and his shadow demons. The section on the bottom, left to right again, are the Spectre; Zatanna; Superman; Wonder Woman; Circe; Geo-Force; Starman; Madame Xanadu; and Phantom Stranger.

Collectors’ Edition Cover on the right: Same as the above but with the border around it, obscuring Power Girl; Hercules; Son of Vulcan; Firestorm; Shango; Spectre; and Phantom Stranger.

Page 1: The axe of Hercules on the left, the mace of the Son of Vulcan on the right.

Page 2 – Panel 1: Hercules’ mention of the river Styx refers back to the previous issue when the Son of Vulcan was presumed dead. John Mann – the Son of Vulcan – mentions “a bewitchment” that the Roman gods are under.

Page 2 – Panels 2 and 3: Mann refers to Billy Batson and Hercules talks about Mann’s betrayal; the Son of Vulcan was supposed to be the Romans’ champion but when he refused, they chose Captain Marvel instead.

Page 2 – Panel 5: On the left is Troia, still held captive by some mystical energy; then Jupiter; then Zeus; and a random goddess.

Page 3 – Panel 6: The dialogue and caption almost make this pointless, but Atlas vanished in WONDER WOMAN #58, leaving Heracles to shoulder the weight of Themyscira.

Page 4 – Panels 1 and 2: Keystone City, home of . . .

Page 4 – Panel 3: . . . the Flash speaking with Hermes.

Page 4 – Panel 5: Hermes stole some of Flash’s speed in FLASH #55 in order to defeat his Roman counterpart, Mercury.

Page 4 – Panel 6: This is a mistake – Hermes never said that he’d “seen Donna passing in the Chaos” as she’s still on Olympus as we saw on Page 2.

Page 4 – Panel 8: Hawkwoman and Hawkman flying over the city of Chicago. Again, the caption makes it almost unnecessary to mention the Thanagarian gods appeared in HAWKWORLD #15.

Page 5 – Panel 5: Egyptian gods

Page 5 – Panel 1: Hawkwoman’s suspicion of Wonder Woman’s blame is a little forced here as there’s been nothing concrete (from Hawkwoman’s point of view) to connect Diana to the appearance of the various gods.

Page 5 – Panel 2: Despite the caption saying Egypt, this is actually Iraq where we find Abdul, Thomas Bridges, and Kent Nelson, formally Dr Fate. This whole scene is a re-run from DR FATE #33.

Page 5 – Panel 5: The Egyptian gods appear in the sky. Left to right are Anubis; Isis; Set; and Osiris.

Page 6 – Panel 1: As most of the characters are apt to do in this series, Firehawk (aka Lorraine Reilly) introduces herself.

Page 6 – Panel 2: She’s drawn to the apartment of Ronnie Raymond, formerly Firestorm, who (as we saw in the previous issue) has been contacted by the elemental Firestorm.

Page 7 – Panel 1: And here is that version of Firestorm who informs Firehawk that the African gods, the Orishas, have gone crazy and returned to their “evil ways“.

Page 7 – Panels 3 and 4: There’s a slight positioning error here – while it’s clearly Firestorm asking the question “What do you say?” and Firehawk replying with “I say . . . we’re off to Africa.” the speech balloon in Panel 4 makes it look like Firestorm’s answering himself.

Page 8 – Panel 1: Aquaman swimming to Atlantis; the Nereids he mentions are the servants of Poseidon and they asked him to investigate in the previous issue.

Page 8 – Panel 3: A bolt of lightning under the sea? That’s definitely not normal.

Page 8 – Panel 5: Atlantis lays beneath its protective dome. And who is the speaker responding to Aquaman’s thoughts?

Page 9 – Panel 1: That will be Kingu, a Babylonian god.

Page 1- Panel 5: Superman and Pariah

Page 9 – Panel 2: The “Enuma Elish” Kingu refers to are the tablets telling the Babylonian creation myth; I’m unaware of any previous relationship between Atlantis and these tablets. Unless someone tells me otherwise, I’m going to assume this connection was put in place for plot purposes.

Page 9 – Panel 4: And here’s Kingu’s wife, the goddess Tiamat.

Page 10 – Panel 1: Superman heading to his Fortress of Solitude, thinking back to the appearance of Quetzalcoatl in SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #3, convinced for some reason that it’s connected to the Eradicator.

Page 10 – Panel 3: Above his Fortress, he finds Pariah whom we last saw at the end of the previous issue appearing in front of Cave Carson and Bulldozer.

Page 10 – Panels 4 and 5: Pariah’s curse in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was to bear witness to the destruction of countless worlds and universes as penance for waking the Anti-Monitor. Even after it was revealed he was not responsible, it seems he still suffers the guilt of watching worlds die.

Page 10 – Panels 6 to 8: And by looking into Pariah’s eyes, Superman watches his own world, Krypton, explode.

Page 11 – Panels 1 to 3: Pariah admits to standing by and watching Krypton explode but Superman blames him for its destruction which is hardly a rational reaction.

Page 11 – Panel 4: And here’s the cause of that irrational outburst – Phobos, god of fear.

Page 11 – Panel 5: The father Phobos refers to is Ares, the Greek god of war.

Page 11 – Panels 6 and 7: Phobos admits to being behind Superman’s rage as he watches him beat Pariah. Rage is an unusual reaction to fear – it’s usually shown to be a debilitating power.

Page 11 – Panel 8: In the background, Starman appears, having been directed here by STAR Labs in STARMAN #38.

Page 12 – Panel 1: Wonder Woman on top of a building in Gotham City speaking with . . .

Page 12 – Panel 2: Robin in the background, Batman on the right of the panel. Wonder Woman is currently wanted concerning the Amazon attack and her suspected connection with the gods attacking Earth. This meeting takes place in WONDER WOMAN #59 but was mostly shown from the point of view of Inspector Indelicato who watched from ground level. Here we get to hear more of Batman and Wonder Woman’s conversation.

Page 12 – Panel 5: Wonder Woman hands Batman an envelope pertaining to the “Themysciran goblet” in which the Bana-Mighdall Amazons were so interested in the previous issue. It’s apparently important enough to be able to both locate Hippolyte and exonerate the Amazons.

Page 12 – Panel 6: Batman turns down the assistance of Inspector Indelicato which led to him becoming annoyed and leaving Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman #59.

Page 13 – Panel 5: Hercules vanishes

Page 13 – Panel 1: Back on Olympus, Hercules on the left is still battling the Son of Vulcan on the right.

Page 13 – Panel 2: Before Hercules can hurl the pillar he’s holding, he begins to feel strange.

Page 13 – Panel 3: Whatever’s going on with Hercules, the Son of Vulcan seems to have knowledge of it.

Page 13 – Panel 4: Jupiter, the father of Hercules, senses something happening to his son. In the background, on top of the dome, we can still see Troia held captive.

Page 13 – Panel 5: Hercules is struck by lightning and vanishes.

Page 13 – Panels 6 to 8: At the same time, another flash of lightning strikes, this one on Earth, or New York City to be precise, leaving behind the Marvel Family antagonist, Black Adam.

Page 14 – Panel 1: Firestorm at the top of the panel and Firehawk below arrive in Africa, in the country of Ogaden where another thunderstorm is well under way.

Page 14 – Panel 3: A thunderstorm caused by Shango, one of the gods of this area. he “voice in the void” he refers to is Circe via the Hellfire’s Web spell she cast to awaken and enrage the world’s various gods.

Page 14 – Panel 5: Shango unleashes shadow demons, possibly a call-back to the same type of creature that cause so much havoc in the early issues of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Firestorm realises things are not what they seem but also that Shango’s fire is drawing him in.

Page 15 – Panel 5: Firestorm holds himself responsible for the situation, a somewhat melodramatic pronouncement that we’ll come back to in a little while.

Page 16 – Panel 1: We head to Norway where we find Ice heading home.

Page 16 – Panel 3: Remember that bolt from Circe’s spell that hit Norway (Page 27 – Panel 7 of the previous issue)? Here’s the effect – the whole village of Ice’s people and the inhabitants within have been turned to trees.

Page 16 – Panel 5: Someone is watching Ice as she heads through the new forest. The summons Ice mentions was heard in JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #55 which isn’t listed as a crossover as that’s the extent of involvement with WAR OF THE GODS.

Page 16 – Panel 6: Someone with a large hammer in the background.

Page 17 – Panel 4: And here we get a look at him. This is Thor, the Norse god.

Page 17 – Panel 5: Ice is saved by a burst of green flame coming from . . .

Page 17 – Panel 6: . . . her best friend, Fire.

Page 18 – Panels 4 to 6: The Justice Society

Page 17 – Panel 7: Thor refers to Fire as the “woman of the green flame” which is probably a nod to Fire’s original superhero title, Green Flame.

Page 18 – Panel 1: Another of the Norse gods, Baldur, watches the battle between Fire, Ice and Thor.

Page 18 – Panel 2: Loki attempts to raise the fire giant, Surtur.

Page 18 – Panel 3: But something’s wrong and the giant isn’t answering his call.

Page 18 – Panels 4 to 6: And the reason is because he’s busy battling the Justice Society thanks to the rather convoluted events in THE LAST DAYS OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA. At the top of the panel is Hawkman and Hawkgirl; below Hawkman is Thunderbolt; below Hawkgirl is Wildcat. Below Thunderbolt is Sandman; then Starman to the right; then Hourman. Across the bottom from the left are Dr Midnite; Green Lantern; Johnny Thunder; the Flash; the Atom; and with his back to us, Sandy the Golden Boy. Atom’s comment about not stopping “even for a moment” refers again to THE LAST DAYS where the JSA had agreed to battle against Surtur for the rest of eternity to prevent him destroying the world.

Page 19 – Panel 1: Thunderbolt at the top, Hourman down below.

Page 19 – Panel 2: Hourman on the left, Wildcat on the right.

Page 19 – Panel 3: Sandman at the back, then Thunderbolt, then Johnny Thunder. Thunderbolt fires a blast . . .

Page 19 – Panel 4: . . . that knocks Loki back.

Page 19 – Panel 8: Loki brings the battle to an end, threatening to kill Fire and Ice.

Page 20 – Panel 2: Bulldozer and Cave Carson in the Antarctic, apparently fine following the eruption of Quetzalcoatl at the end of the previous issue which had thrown them into a crevasse.

Page 20 – Panel 3: Carson’s reference to seeing the “guy in the green cape” again calls back to the previous issue when Pariah appeared in Antarctica.

Page 21 – Panels 3 and 4: Starman splits apart.

Page 20 – Panel 5: Phobos crashes past them, howling in pain.

Page 21 – Panel 1: And here’s the cause of Phobos’ pain – Starman. The name he calls Phobos, “Sterno-head“, is a reference to a jellied alcohol sold in a can.

Page 21 – Panels 3 and 4: Starman appears to be split into three here but, as we’ll learn very shortly, this is not meant to be taken literally.

Page 21 – Panel 5: Starman’s scream (and possibly the fact that Phobos has turned his attention away from Superman) is enough to shake him out of his murderous rage. Pariah wanted Superman to kill him in order to end his existence and free him from the guilt he feels.

Page 21 – Panels 6 and 7: Phobos exposes and delights in Starman’s deep seated fear of losing his identity, of becoming nothing more than “energy trapped in a costume.” Phobos also mentions Starman’s alter-ego, Will Payton.

Page 22 – Panels 1 and 2: Unknown to Phobos, his actions are being monitored by his father, Ares.

Page 22 – Panel 3: Ares’ daughter, Eris whom we met in the previous issue and who covets her father’s throne.

Page 22 – Panels 4 and 5: Due to the promise he made not to interfere in Earth, Ares is unwilling to capitalise on the destruction that the various gods are wreaking, something that Eris knew would happen.

Page 22 – Panel 7: A huge axe flies in and destroys the vessel Ares was using to watch his son.

Page 23 – Panel 1: The axe’s owner is revealed to be Ares’ counterpart, the Roman god of war, Mars.

Page 23 – Panel 2: Eris reveals herself as the traitor who allowed Mars entry to her father’s realm in order to see him destroyed and herself gain his throne.

Page 24 – Panel 1: This is Power Girl, heading to Atlantis following the psychic summons she received at the end of the previous issue. As mentioned before, at this point in time, Power Girl is the grand-daughter of the Atlantean mage, Arion, hence her connection to the underwater realm.

Page 24 – Panel 2: The “Karen” she refers to is one of her alter-egos, that of Karen Starr; the other was Kara Zor-L when she was the Earth-2 variant of Supergirl but that’s not much used at this point.

Page 24 – Panel 3: Tiamat launches from the sea with Aquaman in her tentacles.

Page 25 – Panel 1: Power Girl’s punch allows Aquaman to get free and head underwater. His comment that “Power Girl’s strength may not be what it once was” refers to her being de-powered (apparently due to editorial edict) from her pre-Crisis Supergirl level.

Page 25 – Panels 2 and 3: Aquaman comes up with a plan and tries to contact everything nearby.

Page 25 – Panel 4: Oddly, Poseidon answers only to say that the war on Olympus is still ongoing so he can’t help!

Page 25 – Panel 3: Power Girl’s double handed punch.

Page 25 – Panels 5 to 7: Aquaman’s call instead goes out to the fish of the region, driving them to attack Tiamat.

Page 26 – Panels 1 and 2: Power Girl realises Aquaman’s done something and that she needs to stop Tiamat (or Cecil as she calls it) from submerging.

Page 26 – Panel 3: And she stops her in typical Power Girl fashion.

Page 26 – Panel 4: Fate’s Tower in Salem. In DR FATE #32, Wonder Woman had asked to use the Tower as a place to gather the most powerful mages.

Page 27 – Panel 1: Within the tower, left to right, are the Spectre; Zatanna; Madame Xanadu; the Phantom Stranger; and Dr Fate. They’re waiting for Wonder Woman to arrive.

Page 27 – Panel 4: Dr Fate reminds them of their purpose – “keeping Mother Earth in one piece.

Page 27 – Panel 6: Wonder Woman arrives having picked up Geo-Force along the way. This is the first we’ve seen of Geo-Force since the previous issue.

Page 27 – Panel 8: The miscoloured Geo-Force on the left and how he should appear on the right.

Page 27 – Panel 8: First off, Geo-Force’s comments about merging are a little impolite at the very least. Second, both here and in the Collected Edition, Geo-Force’s mask is coloured as if he were the Flash.

Page 28 – Panels 1 to 3: In her Amazon fortress, Circe cackles like a stereotypical villain and explains to us what she’s going to do.

Page 28 – Panel 5: The heroes begin their spell to strengthen the Earth’s resistance against Circe’s spell. Left to right are Zatanna; the Spectre; Wonder Woman; Dr Fate; Geo-Force; Madame Xanadu; and Phantom Stranger.

Page 29 – Panel 2: Hecate is Circe’s goddess in whose name she’s been causing havoc.

Page 29 – Panel 3: The “totems” are the artefacts that Dr Kaslak procured for her from various sources. In the previous issue, he wanted to do something with the altar in order to gain power for himself.

Page 29 – Panel 5: Whatever’s happened, it’s affecting Circe’s spell.

Page 29 – Panels 6 and 7: Wonder Woman becomes aware of Circe and vice versa.

Page 29 – Panel 9: The Phantom Stranger realises that this is their best chance to defeat Circe, to take advantage of her spell not working.

Page 30 – Panels 1 and 2: Back with Firestorm and Firehawk as they try and control the shadow demons released by Shango.

Page 30 – Panel 5: As Shango stares into the black flame, he sees two atomic symbols apparently clashing. This likely refers back to the conflict in CAPTAIN ATOM #56 where the good Captain fought his dark self.

Page 30 – Panels 7 and 8: Whomever Firestorm expects to find, he’s surprised to find what at first glance appears to be Captain Atom.

Page 30 – Panel 9: But in actuality, it is Captain Atom’s dark form that he is currently fighting in CAPTAIN ATOM #56.

Page 31 – Panel 1: With a blast of power, Firestorm casts his own darker self, Shadowstorm, out of Shango. It’s Shadowstorm that he was expecting to see in the first place.

Page 31 – Panel 2: With Shadowstorm exorcised from him, Shango returns to some sense of sanity.

Page 31 – Panel 3: Shadowstorm refers to something happening – this is presumably the sorcerors and their attempt to disrupt Circe’s spell.

Page 32 – Panel 4: Zeus vanishes

Page 32 – Panel 1: Handily captioned, we return to new Olympus where the Greek and Roman gods are still fighting.

Page 32 – Panel 2: Jupiter, leader of the Roman gods, is struck by a bolt of lightning flung by Zeus, leader of the Greek gods. He calls to Hephaestus (the bearded figure in the background) for more lightning.

Page 32 – Panel 4: However, Zeus is struck by lightning himself, in the same way that Hercules was back on Page 13, and vanishes.

Page 32 – Panel 5: Jupiter stands amazed, as does Artemis behind him.

Page 32 – Panels 6 and 7: However, that mystical lightning has discharged somewhere on Earth . . .

Page 32 – Panel 8: . . . seemingly into the body of Gold, one of the Metal Men. Beside him is Mercury and, at the back, Lead.

Page 33 – Panel 1: Back with the sorcerors, Wonder Woman and Geo-Force continue strengthening the spirit of the Earth, Gaea.

Page 33 – Panel 2: And down in Antarctica, Phobos feels that change while Starman recovers from his attack.

Page 33 – Panel 3: Bulldozer and Calvin “Cave” Carson monitor the seismograph and the super-powered battle respectively.

Page 33 – Panels 4 and 5: Superman, now freed of Phobos’s control, attacks the god.

Page 33 – Panel 7: In Atlantis, the natives also notice everything settling back down to normal, though Aqualad doubts it is solely the doing of Aquaman.

Page 33 – Panel 8: Aquaman faces off against Kingu on his own, now that Power Girl has subdued Tiamat back on page 26.

Page 34 – Panel 1: Like Shango before him, Kingu realises he’s been manipulated.

Page 34 – Panels 2 and 3: Circe realises that her spell has been altered and is none too happy about it.

Page 34 – Panels 5 and 6: Circe’s spell, instead of torturing the Earth, now actually protects it.

Page 35 – Panel 2: Greek god Ares on the left, battling his Roman counterpart Pluto on the right, which his daughter Eris looks on from the back.

Page 35 – Panel 5: Back on New Olympus, the Son of Vulcan apologises to the still imprisoned Troia. He clearly has a plan.

Page 35 – Panel 6: A plan the Neptune is unaware of and so seems convinced the Son of Vulcan is leaving. The conversation happens even while Neptune grapples with Poseidon who’s difficult to make out in front of Neptune as he’s the same colour as the water.

Page 37 – Panel 3: The Justice League

Page 36 – Panels 1 to 4: Tiamat turns into water and returns to the sea as Aquaman and Power Girl regroup.

Page 36 – Panel 5: Superman and Starman face down Phobos.

Page 36 – Panels 6 to 8: Phobos falls into a crevasse but vanishes even from Superman’s sight.

Page 37 – Panel 1: The Justice League International cruiser flying above Norway, piloted by . . .

Page 37 – Panel 2: . . . Blue Beetle with Martian Manhunter on screen. Beetle’s mention of how “those gods just plain disappeared” refers to events in JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE #31.

Page 37 – Panel 3: The rest of the League. Left to right are Metamorpho; Martian Manhunter; Flash; Green Lantern Guy Gardner; Fire; and Rocket Red.

Page 37 – Panel 4: Rocket Red’s words annoy Gardner who has an on again/off again relationship with Ice. Fire, Ice’s best friend, sticks up for her.

Page 37 – Panel 6: Ice’s father and Ice say their farewells.

Page 38 – Panel 1: Firehawk wakens Firestorm and tells him that both Shango and Shadowstorm have vanised.

Page 38 – Panel 2: Despite both Firestorm and Firehawk looking “up in the sky” to spot “some sort of bird“, the Silver Swan isn’t actually visible!

Page 38 – Panel 5: Sat atop the Washington Monument is Dove; her mention of a “battle” is in reference to the events of HAWK AND DOVE #28.

Page 38 – Panel 6: The “Don” she refers to is Don Hall, the original Dove.

Page 38 – Panel 8: In Fate’s Tower, the sorcerer’s lay dazed. Wonder Woman and Geo-Force are in the middle; around them working clockwise from the top right are Dr Fate; Phantom Stranger; Madame Xanadu; Spectre; and Zatanna.

Page 39 – Panel 2: Zatanna picks up on the link that Wonder Woman and Circe share as seen on Page 29.

Page 39 – Panel 3: Wonder Woman leaves the mages in order to find Hermes.

Page 39 – Panel 6: Firestorm; Silver Swan; and Firehawk. Firehawk mentioning Wonder Woman turning Silver Swan down happened in WONDER WOMAN #59.

Page 39 – Panel 8: Silver Swan just wants to help and Firehawk might have an idea.

Page 40 – Panel 2: Firehawk’s plan is to take Val to the Institute for Meta-Human Studies.

Page 40 – Panel 4: The IMHS just happens to be the current base for the Suicide Squad, with one of the members, Bronze Tiger, out for a stroll, unaware he’s being watched by . . .

Page 40 – Panels 5 and 6: . . . Black Adam.