Things are not going well for the Olympian deities. The First Born has taken Mount Olympus, and now he’s trying to kill off the gods one by one. Demeter is the target in this issue, but now the remaining gods are working together to thwart his plans. Oh, and Wonder Woman’s in there somewhere too. Let’s talk about the issue, but first:
I am about to reveal ALL of the goings on in this comic book!
I may still be on vacation, but I am not on vacation from spoiling this comic!
Carrying on, Cassandra and her minotaur pal attacked Demeter in her woodland sanctuary in Wonder Woman #32, but now the gods are wise to the First Born’s plans. Artemis and Eros showed up to help out, and then Wonder Woman, aka. the god of war, popped by too. The gang was able to defeat Cassandra and the minotaur, but then the First Born showed up and infected everything with his evilness. While most of the gods escaped, Wonder Woman stayed behind to allow them to do so, and now her fate is uncertain. Though the book is called Wonder Woman and she’s on a bunch of the upcoming covers, so I’m betting she’s alive.
Staying behind to occupy the First Born while everyone escaped was a nice, heroic moment for Wonder Woman, and very in keeping with the character. I’ve questioned how well Azzarello understands Wonder Woman before, but he got it right with this scene. She’s absolutely the sort to tackle the big bad guy so everyone else can make it out alive. That bit was nicely done.
I also liked the development of her divine powers, weaponwise. I don’t know if this new ability is Zeus-based or part of being the god of war now, but I liked that she can manufacture whatever weapon she needs for the situation at hand, in this case a bow and arrow. These weapons manufacturing powers are growing on me; they let Wonder Woman be armed and get into cool fights without always having to carry an array of weaponry with her.
Now, as much as I liked those moments for Wonder Woman, overall there was a serious lack of her in this issue. She only appears in 7 of the books 20 pages, just barely a third of the book. Although Wonder Woman has, oddly enough, not been much of a showcase for Wonder Woman herself during this run, usually she makes it to about half of the pages at least. If you go read Batman or Superman, the eponymous heroes are never on so few pages. They’re in ¾ of the book easily, and usually more.
This lack of Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman really bothered mewhen she only had one book, and continued to irritate me when she was given such a secondary role in Superman/Wonder Woman, but now with Sensation Comics on the way I am less outraged. Wonder Woman looks to have one regular showcase at least; I can’t imagine that she won’t dominate the pages of Sensation Comics.
I wasn’t thrilled with the book’s conclusion either. Wonder Woman potentially sacrificing herself was good, but Orion showing up felt like a lot of the same old to me. I’m getting very bored with Orion swooping in to save the day every time Wonder Woman gets into a bad spot, and I really hope that’s not what is happening here. Ideally, Wonder Woman #33 will begin with Wonder Woman freeing herself for a change, and Orion can just join the charge on Mount Olympus when they get around to actually launching it.
So we had some good and some bad in this issue. On top of the main plot, I’m curious to see what game Strife is playing with the First Born, because it’s Strife so you know she’s up to something. Getting cozy with the First Born can’t just be some ploy to save her life; she’s got something else up her sleeve.
On the aesthetic side of things, I think that Goran Sudzuka is getting better with each issue. Cliff Chiang is a tough act to follow, especially when you’re trying to capture his style, but Sudzuka keeps getting better and better. In particular, I thought he captured Demeter really well, and did well with the rest of the gods generally. Chiang’s Wonder Woman is so spectacular that the fill-in artists never really come close, but Sudzuka’s gods are great. This is probably the best non-Chiang issue I’ve seen, artwise, since the New 52 began.
I am a) pretty much out of things to say about this issue, and b) still in Florida and I want to go to the beach, so I’m going to cut this review a little short. I hope that the Amazon attack on Olympus begins soon, because the build to it is starting to feel pretty drawn out. The inter-god battles are fun and all, but I’m eager to see Wonder Woman front and center, leading the charge. Maybe next month? Probably not; there’s a bunch to resolve yet. But you never know.