This week offered us part 7 of the 8-part “Rise of the Olympian”, Wonder Woman’s big story for the year, a massive arc that brings to bear a whole host of new problems for the Themysciran princess. Writer Gail Simone’s run on Wonder Woman has been disappointingly uneven, caught between a desire to by mythic and grounded at the same time, the need for High Action mixed with the rising tension and epic drama. “Rise” has all the same problems that has plagued the rest of her run, but perhaps because of the extended length, it also has enough time to fit in Simone’s patented wit and charm amidst all the mayhem.
Lopresti, back after a fill-in from Chang last issue, continues to improve over the arc. I still feel that Lopresti’s clean, beautiful style doesn’t entirely sit with the bloody, ugly mess that Genocide is supposed to have caused, but it is undeniable that the artist knows his stuff, drawing both the action and the drama clearly and expressively. The grittier bits of the action don’t quite come through, which hurts the tone of the Genocide arc considerably, but aside from that, Lopresti is doing some of his best work here.
The “Olympian” arc is exciting and fun, but it is not resonating with the importance that Simone seems to want it to. Genocide is a surprisingly efficient monster, more effective in many ways than Doomsday was in design and creation, and the behind-the-scenes drama of the Greek pantheon, while nowhere near as exciting as it was in Rucka’s run, still offers up some intriguing bits for future stories, especially in light of Athena’s revelations last issue. On the whole, “Rise” is a good, if a bit slight, story that jumps between exciting action segments and occasionally interesting drama that has been hurt more by the marketing and hype of the story than by the quality of it.