WAR OF THE GODS crossed over into various titles over several months; unfortunately, some of those titles were mis-numbered, the numbering was left off and, in a few cases, they weren’t even branded as part of the crossover. Comparing information from various websites, the order of the issues below should be correct.
The European League is in shock following the death of Captain Atom at the end of ARMAGEDDON 2001 when they receive a call from Martian Manhunter asking for assistance in finding Ice. After the battle with the Global Guardians, Ice had heard a telepathic call from her family in Norway and flew off, her friend Fire following. As seen in WAR OF THE GODS #2, they then encountered the Norse gods and Fire sent an emergency signal to the League.
When they arrive, they find the entire region has been turned to wood, with Fire and Ice defeated by Loki, Baldur and Thor. The League launches in to battle with both sides giving as good as they get, before the gods tire of the fight and end it with Loki turning the whole of the League in to wood before they leave.
Loki’s magic, though, was a trick and soon after, the wood rots away and the League escape, only to find the gods gone and the area returned to normal as though nothing had happened.
With the gods vanished, Blue Beetle brings the cruiser in to pick them up.
(This issue is an example of the poor planning of the crossover; not only is there no mention of the event on the cover, but it takes place after the events of ARMAGEDDON 2001 #2 which resulted in the apparent death of Captain Atom, even though issue 57 of his own title follows on from this issue in the WAR OF THE GODS running order.)
The Dynamic Duo interrogate a dealer in stolen antiquities, asking about the Themysciran goblet that Wonder Woman asked Batman to find in WAR OF THE GODS #2. While this dealer is the fourth they’ve spoken to, he’s the first that mentions something about Arkham Asylum. They return to the Batmobile where they find Wonder Woman’s friend, Inspector Indelicato insisting upon joining the search.
At Arkham, they find no link between Cheetah – who escaped recently – and any other escapees, nor the goblet. Robin suggests a different approach and they notice Maxie Zeus was officially released the day before Cheetah escaped. As they leave, they are attacked, along with Indelicato who had been following them, by one of Circe’s bestiamorphs.
They find Maxie Zeus at his mansion and are attacked by his thugs. Indelicato is captured and held hostage, forcing Batman to surrender whereupon Maxie reveals the goblet. After Robin knocks out the lights, Batman takes down the goons and saves Indelicato while Robin manages to capture not only the goblet, but knock out Maxie as well.
Back at the Batcave, Batman examines the goblet and discovers something that he rushes off to tell Wonder Woman about.
Still wanted by the police, Wonder Woman is confronted by officers in helicopters as she flies toward Central City to see the Flash. They fire on her and one of the helicopters is struck by ricochets that she deflects. Saving the stricken copter and seeing the police to safety earns her a reprieve from the commander who allows her to continue on her way.
In Chicago, the Thanagarian ambassador is approached by Federal agents who task Hawkman and Hawkwoman with bringing Wonder Woman in without worrying too much if she is alive. Despite Hawkwoman’s eagerness to do this, the ambassador calls the agents’ bluff and demands the order in writing, knowing full well they are being set up. The agents reveal themselves as Circe’s bestiamorphs and attack, the Hawks defeating them.
The Hawks eventually track Wonder Woman down and Hawkwoman attacks her above Chicago until Hawkman decides to give the Amazon the benefit of the doubt and they talk about why she’s wanted by the police. With Wonder Woman admitting her guilt in breaking out her Amazon sisters from jail, Hawkwoman comes round to her way of thinking and agrees to loan her a spare Hawk flying suit so that she can get in to Central City disguised as Hawkwoman.
Animal travels to meet up with his wife and daughter, along the way meeting the Phantom Stranger and Dr Fate who try to alert him to the War of the Gods and recruit him to their cause. Having lost his powers and with other things on his mind, Animal man rejects them both.
He stops at the town of New Rosewood, a town built on the fortunes of a nearby bear farm. The morning after dreaming of a shaman, Animal Man swims across the lake that drowned Old Rosewood (where the natives became vampires as seen in SWAMP THING #38) to investigate the bear farm. He is caught and shown around the farm by its owner who becomes more bestial and bear-like as the day wears on.
Having been forced to witness a bear hunt, Animal Man is taken back to New Rosewood where the same forces that warped the farm owner have changed the residents of the town, turning all of them into animal men who are intent on hunting Animal Man. He flees but is shown a vision by a bear sent by the shaman that returns his powers, allowing him to help the bears wreak their revenge on the town.
As the events of WAR OF THE GODS continue, Captain Atom lays defeated by Shadowstorm following the battle shown in CAPTAIN ATOM #56. He regains his trength as the sorcerers marshal against Circe, and within the Quantum Field, he defeats his own darker self.
This allows him to find Shadowstorm who, expelled from the god Shango by Firestorm in WAR OF THE GODS #2, is amusing himself by turning people into his shadow demons. Directed to attack Atom, the demons are easily defeated by the more confident and self-aware Captain.
Atom faces off against Shadowstorm one last time, high above the city, while the sorcerers fight back against Circe’s spell. This counterattack weakens Shadowstorm due to his tenuous connection with Circe, allowing Captain Atom to finally defeat him.
(As mentioned above, this issue appears later in the running order than JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE #31 which, in turn, followed on from the end of ARMAGEDDON 2001 #2 which ended with the apparent death of Captain Atom, which makes little sense. As this is the final issue of this series, there’s an interesting “Next issue” box which I deal with on the ARMAGEDDON 2001 pages.)
Circe realises that Dr Kaslak has swapped out one of the artefacts used when she cast the Hellfire Web in WAR OF THE GODS #1 which helped the sorcerers counter her spell. When she’s informed that her Amazonian prisoners have been freed and that her servant Mikos had been forewarned there was a traitor in their midst (as shown in WONDER WOMAN #59), she turns him into a bird before killing him.
Though she was last seen trying to get to Central City in HAWKWORLD #16 above, Wonder Woman, disguised as Hawkwoman, meets with Batman in Gotham City. Between the end of that last appearance and this one, she’s apparently been to Central City but found Hermes missing. Batman hands her the Themysciran goblet but tells her it’s a fake manufactured in Egypt only a year before.
Steve Trevor and Etta Candy try to prevent the US military launching an attack against Themyscira, while Inspector Indelicato tries to help the Cheetah, and Pythia and the freed Amazons try to escape Circe’s stronghold.
Guided by the fake goblet, Wonder Woman is taken to a Bana-Mighdall temple in Egypt where she encounters Lobo fighting against Shim’tar, champion of the Bana-Mighdall. Lobo had been tracking Captain Marvel following their battle in LEGION #31 and somehow ended up here. When Wonder Woman defeats Shim’tar, the rest of the Bana collapse and as Diana discovers the masked Shim’tar was actually her mother Hippolyta all along, everyone is engulfed in a burst of light.
Stocking up on plant toxins, Poison Ivy stumbles across Circe’s stronghold in the Amazon.
Meanwhile, at the Institute for Meta-Human Studies, headquarters of the Suicide Squad, Firehawk and Silver Swan arrive just moments before Black Adam makes himself known. The Squad attack while Black Adam demands to see Amanda Waller, the Squad’s leader. Once a meeting is arranged, Adam admits he wants the Squad to act as cannon fodder while he attacks Circe. Recruiting Squad regulars and others, an attack is launched.
Adam quickly breaks away from the main assault with Nightshade, Javelin and Captain Boomerang following him. The remaining Squad members are attacked by bestiamorphs and Bana-Mighdall Amazons and take heavy losses.
Count Vertigo discovers the captured Poison Ivy but flees as Circe’s stronghold begins to collapse, leaving her to be saved at the last minute by Maser. As the castle collapses, most of the remaining Squad members manage to escape and are surprised to see Pariah appearing above the debris.
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