Achilles, the Warkiller A.K.A. “The Olympian” was introduced in Wonder Woman Vol 3 #30 (DC Comics – May 2009) as part of “Rise of the Olympian,” the 1st major epic arc of the 2009 Wonder Woman run from staunch LGBT ally and fan favorite writer Gail Simone.
After determining that Wonder Woman and the Themysciran Amazons have utterly failed to bring any semblance of peace to “Man’s World” despite the laboring on the attempt for years and hundreds of issues, Zeus decides to allow them a peaceful retirement.” To replace the Amazons, Zeus resurrects famed historical warriors Jason and his Argonauts – including Euphemus, son of Poseidon) to create the Gargareans, a race of fierce warriors based upon the island of Thalarion (300 nautical miles (560 km) from Themyscira). Zeus also promises Jason a son.
The Gargeans then take the newly recreated ship Argo (the vessel of Jason’s Argonauts) and set out on a campaign to “slaughter dictators and dismember warmongers as a way of bringing harmony to the world.” They soundly defeat the U.S. battleship New England in the Persian Gulf. While his manazons are busy fighting, Zeus forcibly takes the heart of the Hawai’ian god Kane Milohai (to whom Diana pledged herself whilst the Olympian pantheon was imprisoned by the “New Gods” of Apokolips) and returns to Thalarion to await their return, upon which Zeus combines the God’s heart, “divine fire of his creation” and the skeleton of the legendary Achilles to create a king for his new race of warriors. Jason’s promised son, Achilles, the Warkiller rides astride Mysia, a monstrous mystic elephant with two trunks, two mouths, three glowing eyes, an impenetrable hide, and the ability to walk on air.
Achilles and his Gargareans make themselves known with attacks on the military stockpiles of a number of countries, as well as on the United Nations, Wonder Woman learns of their existence and confronts them in Russia. Achilles doesn’t believe Diana’s claim he is being manipulated by outside sources until later when the source of the deception is revealed to be Ares who manipulated Euphemus into betraying the Gargareans by sending monstrous sea creatures against his fellow former Argonauts AND the Themisciran Amazons – stupidly uniting both deadly tribes against a common enemy.
Wonder Woman takes a battle axe and splits Ares’ head like a ripe watermelon, Zeus confesses to Diana how he took the heart of the Hawai’ian god Kane Milohai to make Achilles. A furious Wonder Woman then struck her God, Zeus and renounced her Olympian faith. In reply, Zeus deposes Hippolyta and decrees that the Amazon’s and Gargareans should live together as one people under King Achilles rule. Achilles discovers a certain level of distrust between the tribes and in order to forge a bond of trust, he makes the poor choice of the traitorous amazon Alkyone to be his Queen. It is a marriage in name only, strictly political… not only had writer Gail Simone announced the character was gay, but Achilles himself made it pretty clear when he tells Alkyone “Of course not! I would never…I don’t even…No. Let no shadow, no unwelcome worry enter your… your heart… We will find lovers elsewhere” in response to her question about whether their bond would be consummated. The new Queen promptly betrays him by usurping the throne as part of her plan to kill Diana, whom she calls “The Dragon” and believes will rip Themyscira apart. Her treachery soon leaves Achilles no choice but to stand with Diana against his vicious beard – I mean bride.
Achilles frees an imprisoned Diana and the two stand together. In the ensuing battle, it is only the divine strength of Achilles’ stolen heart that enables him to survive otherwise fatally piercing poisoned arrows and spears. After the dust has settled, Zeus offers a VERY rare apology for his actions and then Diana helps set up Achilles in the modern world with a new home. She arranges for him to meet a realtor named Patrick Cleese at a lavish estate that looks suspiciously like the Playboy Mansion. Patrick Cleese is meant to be a reincarnation of Patroclus. The son of the Argonaut, Menoetius, Patroclus fought alongside Achilles in Homer‘s Illiad and been considered by some scholars to be the doomed romantic lover of Achilles.
Interpretation of the relationship is a point of contention among antiquarian circles. but Gail Simone clearly intended the introduction to be a “happy ending.”
Achilles became an ally/member of The Outsiders in Markovia, but has yet to be seen in the post-Flashpoint DCnU “New 52″ continuity.Read More