Scarlett Lynn returns with her take on Wonder Woman #33. This is the Penultimate chapter of the Rise of The Olympian Story arc and big things are happening in the world of Wonder Woman. It’s kind of fitting that she’s been tied up with this while Superman has been dealing with Kryptonians and Batman has been…well…dead. I like that DC, even though they’ve got the whole Blackest Night thing going are trying to return to a time when a person could collect one or two titles and be happy. Then, crossovers meant something…but…this is Scarlett Lynn’s review of Wonder Woman, not my take on the state of comics, so without further blabbering on my part…
WONDER WOMAN #33 – Rise of the Olympian, Finale: Monarch of the Dead
Have I ever mentioned that Wonder Woman travels home to the island of Themyscira via a giant, magical, flying clamshell? Sort of like the one in the painting “The Birth of Venus”… only more mobil? If I haven’t, then consider this a quick little primer and heads up.
Anyway… as this issue begins a giant, magical, flying clamshell is skipping across the ocean and slams into the shore of Themyscira as two Amazonian guards look on. (Now aren’t you glad I provided a clamshell-transportation tutorial? Think of how random that scene would be without it!) The guards rush to find Diana unconscious, badly beaten from her previous battle, and they send for her mother. At first Hippolyta is, of course, focused solely on her injured daughter. Then, however, one of the ladies calls her attention to the ocean and the veritable wall of sea-monsters that’s approaching.
Now, Hippolyta is queen for a reason. The woman knows what to do in a battle. Step One: Have the unconscious Diana taken off the battle field to safety. Step Two: Remind someone to grab you a sword when they get a second. Step Three: Take off robe; prepare to defend kingdom in pajamas.
As her mother fights off the invading hordes in her PJs, Diana is slowly regaining consciousness as Phillipus is bandaging up her injuries. Phillipus asks her what happened to her hands, which are especially burnt, and Diana recounts her battle with Genocide. She explains how she had tried to go back for the creature – not wanting to give into the desire for revenge. Her musings are interrupted when she begins to hear the noises of the battle going on at the beach. Phillipus instantly knows what she’s thinking and tries to reason with her but Diana won’t hear of it. Her hands are too damaged to be of much good on their own so she has Phillipus bind a battle axe to her left hand and her lasso to her right hand using the bandages.
In the midst of the battle, the creatures begin to retreat. Ares has ordered Euphemus to focus the attack on Thalarion and Zeus’ Olympians. Athena appears to the Amazons and asks Hippolyta if they will help the men that Zeus wants to replace them with. The two groups join sides against Ares’ forces but Diana bypasses all the carnage and heads straight for the source. In order to stop his twisted plans for the future and to put an end to the war that he had instigated, Diana kills him.
As Diana stands there, removing the weapons she’d tied to her hands, Zeus approaches and congratulates her. Then, oblivious as always, Zeus proceeds to cheerfully tell Diana that he’s created a champion to replace her so that she can run off and be a good wife and mother like she was always meant to. Clearly not catching on to the fact that Diana is not a giddy-little-school-girl at his news, he continues blathering on. When he gets to the part about killing her patron god, however, I think he begins to catch on to the fact that she’s none too pleased. It may have been her punching him in the face and screaming “Murderer!” that finally made her feelings clear. Zeus, however, pompously believes that he knows best and continues on with his decree. Hippolyta will no longer rule, Achilles will take over her role, both the Olympians and the Amazons will be under Zeus’ command and Diana will obey him as her god.
Diana refuses. She renounces all her gods and because they are the gods of the Amazons… she declares that she will no longer be an Amazon. She says goodbye to her mother and promises her that she’ll be alright with her friends and alludes to possibly making amends with Tom. With a final warning to Achilles to look after her people she flies off. Alone.
Skulking around (as she apparently just lives to do) Alkyone mutters to herself about Diana still being an evil dragon and is disgusted with her for abandoning her mother. She reveals that, prior to his death, Ares placed Genocide’s soul in a totem in Alkyone’s possession. She vows to kill Diana and become the mother of Genocide.
STORY: 4 out of 5
DANG! They really weren’t kidding when they said they were planning on shaking up the lives of the DC Trinity. Diana’s not an Amazon any more and is on her own. Her former people and family just had their whole world completely turned upsidedown. And you’re left at the end of this story with no clue as to where it’s going to go next. Her best friends in the superhero world aren’t around anymore… for various reasons. The people who surrounded her in her day-to-day life are just completely messed up at the moment.
I love the story for having the guts to just take the character out of her comfort zone and try something new. Best of all, though, is that they haven’t just shaken up her story in some arbitrary way. It’s been a slow, honest change based on the logical progression of the story and the characters. Continuity for the win!
Forget about what’s coming next, though. [Although considering how late this review is… you may already know what comes next and what happens after that and whatever comes after that. Sorry!] What this issue does so well is payoff one little thing I’ve been begging to happen. Someone finally decked Zeus like he’s been deserving for a while now. Thank goodness it was Diana. (I also would have accepted Hippolyta.)
The only thing that’s holding me back from five stars was that face off with Ares. Really? Way to go out without even trying, Ares. I get that quick is good sometimes but of all villains in Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery… Ares has been there a pretty long time and could have gone down with a little more fanfare and a bit more of a fight. Especially on the heels of the previous issues epic battle with Genocide. Maybe that’s it, though. It’s kind of impossible to top that smack down so they went with the exact opposite.
It was a good summation of this Rise of the Olympians arc and it definitely makes me want to see what comes next for Wonder Woman.
ART: 4 out of 5
Not quite the 5 out of 5 that the last issue delivered for me but still good. It probably has a lot to do with my own personal bias. Big, scary monsters are never going to be my thing. They always come off a little cheesy for me and there are quite a few in this issue. It’s the renditions of the characters that always impress me with Aaron Lopresti’s art. Their body language and facial expressions are always so honest and indicative of precisely where that character is at in that moment. I could have used a few more epic frames though. A panel or even a full page to really climax the events. Near the end it all felt so small. Still, it was definitely enjoyable.
Main Cover: 3 1/2 out of 5
I liked that this cover was essentially a sequel to the cover of issue #31. It’s as though Wonder Woman is standing in the aftermath of the events on that previous cover. While I do like it for that aspect, there’s something about it that comes off a tiny bit bland. It feels a little more like an internal panel than a cover. The imagery works… Diana, alone on the battlefield with evidence of the Olympians and the Amazons having been there. It definitely conveys what’s going on for the character at this point. Yet, while it worked for me on the other cover, here it just feels a little too spelled out and on the nose. Nice art but I think the concept could have been played with just a bit more.
Variant Cover: 5 out of 5
This cover is just pretty and I mean that in the best of ways. I think it’s a beautiful piece of art. A haunting, elegant portrait of Wonder Woman. I love the colors that were used. The sleepy-eyed, close-up of Diana as the feathery sparks and flames fall all around her makes for a gorgeous picture. Plus, it still manages to convey elements of the story. It’s a striking cover. It jumps out at me. I really liked it.
Diana: “Bind the lasso to my right hand, General.”
Athena: “Will you aid the men who mean to take your place and everything you have sacrificed for, for thirty centuries and more?”
Hippolyta: “… I’ll get my boots.”
Diana: “Then I will no longer be Amazon.”