The eight-part “Rise of the Olympian” finishes in this issue with “Monarch of the Dead.” Zeus’ machinations surrounding the Amazons and the Olympians plays out to the fullest and leaves Wonder Woman’s world completely changed. In the time this storyline has been going, in other books, much has changed in the DC Universe. Now, this corner of the DC Universe catches up and offers change of its own.
Simone’s writing of the Amazons — all of them — is perhaps the most complete and deliberate as any writer has delivered on this title. Hippolyta is not an older cookie-cutter prototype of Diana, but a strong character with a passion for her people and concern for her daughter. Diana, meanwhile rises up once more to overcome astounding odds.
Those odds are drawn by Aaron Lopresti, who fills every centimeter of the page with detail to include the reader as much as possible. His work, vividly enhanced by Matt Ryan and Brad Anderson, creates an almost palpable world that the Amazons and their gods inhabit. There are visible grains of sand on the beach. The scales, moss, and slime of the leviathans are nearly tangible and the wounds of Diana look painful. Yet she endures. Liberal application of whitespace helps augment the drama of this issue, but never more poignantly than when Diana encounters Zeus and makes a stand for herself and her beliefs.
For whatever reason, Wonder Woman always gets overlooked. She’s the last member of the DCU Trinity, but by far the most intriguing. Simone has just begun to plumb the depths this character had hidden for nearly seventy years. After liberating Wonder Woman through this tale, Simone sets up the next great chapter for the amazing Amazon.
This issue might be a dense read, but it is a tale that no summer film budget could hope to touch. A tale of intrigue and despair, hope and loss, suffering, courage and grace. There are battles in this issue on par with those found in “300” or the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Most importantly, there are developments in character and environment set to play out quite strongly over the near future and well beyond. If you missed this issue of “Wonder Woman”, make note of the next. Simone keeps setting the bar just a little higher for herself and she keeps offering rewarding adventures in the process. Of the titles featuring the DCU Trinity, this title has me most interested.