Sadly, we’ve reached the end of Smallville Season 11’s “Olympus” arc. It’s one of the best Wonder Woman comics I’ve read in years, a doubly impressive feat considering that this is actually a Superman book. Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez’s take on Diana has been refreshing and entertaining, a nice break from the darker tone of the New 52 universe. While the finale was a bit light on Wonder Woman, it’s been a great arc. We’ll get into that in a minute, but first:
If you read this review before you read this comic, you will rob yourself of joy!
Read the comic first!
There was a lot of Wonder Woman in the first three issues of this arc, and I suppose it was inevitable that Superman would come to the fore at some point. It’s HIS series, after all. This isn’t Superman/Wonder Woman, where you’d expect a balance of representation for the characters (and be disappointed by the lack thereof…). It’s a book about Superman in which Wonder Woman was guest starring, so ultimately Superman got to save the world.
And in an enjoyable way. Hades’ siege of Washington, DC ended with Superman flying him into space and threatening to leave him there in the void, a brutal, kingdomless state for someone who so craves power. Hades ultimately agrees to return to Tartarus, to rule his own kingdom and leave the Earth alone rather than have no kingdom at all. It’s a very Superman way to solve a problem, and he didn’t even have to kill the bad guy to do so (coffcoffManofSteelsuckscoffcoff).
Wonder Woman didn’t have a lot to do in this issue, what with Superman taking the lead. She did slice her way through the hordes of Hades’ reanimated army in a pretty bad ass fashion, and she had a fantastic confrontation with the conquering god: Diana refuses to kneel before Hades even though he’s captured Steve Trevor, and Hades is surprised that an Amazon is defying a god to honor a man. Wonder Woman replies:
I do not fight for this man — I FIGHT FOR ALL MANKIND!!!
While busting through some undead soldiers and landing in front of Hades, ready to face him herself.
Then Superman shows up and sorts things out, but it’s still a great Wonder Woman moment.
We also learn where she ends up when the threat is gone. She decides to stay in America, defending the world as Wonder Woman AND as Diana Prince, the newest agent of the DEO:
She tells Superman:
I will prove to the world — man and woman alike — that any who act on their beliefs in pursuit of truth and justice can make a difference.
I enjoy how Bryan Q. Miller writes Wonder Woman.
As for Steve Trevor, he becomes director of the DEO. Plus, the pilot tasked with returning Hippolyta to Paradise Island is a gal named “Candy”, a fun reference for any Wonder Woman fan.
The end of the issue sets up the next big story for the Smallville universe, with Superman revealing to the president, and presumably the world, that he’s an alien. While the series is set to carry on without Wonder Woman, I hope that she comes back soon. Now that Batman and Wonder Woman have been established in the Smallville universe, a proper Justice League team up seems like a no-brainer. I know I’d read that in a heartbeat. Miller has done an excellent job retaining the good bits of the Smallville TV show, continuing to grow Clark, Lois, and the other established characters while creating a bigger world around them. I always enjoy a good alternate universe, and from what I’ve read so far this one seems like a blast.
I doubt that this Wonder Woman is going to get the spinoff that I so badly want now, on account of DC Comics only seems interested in additional Wonder Woman books where she’s Superman’s girlfriend, but I’d love to see Miller write Wonder Woman again in the future, in the Smallville universe or elsewhere. He really gets the character, making her both fun and noble. I’d love to see more art from Jorge Jimenez as well, on Wonder Woman or any other book. He’s got a cool style, and I think he’d fit well on any superhero title. It’d be great to have him back for the inevitable Smallville: Justice League arc down the road so I could see him draw the rest of Smallville’s superhero cast.
This book has been the biggest surprise of 2013 for me, and I’m sad this arc is over. I look forward to seeing more from everyone involved!