Rise of the Olympian, part 6
Gail Simone’s 8-part Wonder Woman arc Rise of the Olympian is beginning to wind down, and while her run has by-and-large been something of a roller coaster of quality, Olympian has remained solid throughout. Unfortunately, it is the epic scope of Olympian is responsible for #31, perhaps the worst issue of the arc and one of the least impressive of her run on the whole.
In this issue, we learn quite a lot. Why can Genocide handle the lasso? Where did it come from? How are the Olympians operating? What the hell is up with Athena? The answers are interesting, but all that and more coming in a 22 page package is a little too much. The exposition almost completely overwhelms the chilling atmosphere the arc has excelled at thus far.
That said, the issue isn’t bad. Bernard Chang, taking over for Aaron Lopresti, has improved vastly over his last arc on the series and previous work I’ve seen by him. Though his art is less ‘pretty’ than Lopresti’s, in some ways in suits the rather somber story better while not being such a noticeable divergence from Lopresti’s own style.
Also featured is a confrontation between Diana and the Olympian, and it is extremely well-handled. The running internal monologue of Diana reveals a keen strategic mind, but we’re never overwhelmed by faux-cleverness. Simple solutions like wrestling an enemy who’s too fast to punch combined with Chang’s dynamic portrayal of the fight give the issue’s ending a punch that the rest of the issue lacked as we gear up for the big finale. I’m excited, and Simone has done a good job building suspense and revitalizing Wonder Woman’s supporting cast, but on the whole, it seems like the issue was sacrificed to make sure we had all the pertinent information going into the climax.