REVIEW: Smallville Season Eleven #60, #61 – “Olympus” Continues
You may notice that this numbering begins at issue #60 (and includes #61 as well). That is because I thought Bryan Q. Miller was done with his Smallville introduction of Wonder Woman – issue #59 was part of a different storyline. So, in my hubris, I neglected this wonderful little series and am now eating crow while running to play catch up. Consider your metaphors mixed, kids. Onward!
After last issue’s (#58, that is) showdown between the mysterious “woman in white”, Lois Lane, harpies, Steve Trevor and Team 7, and Superman the plot thickens here as Lois confronts Steve, coins the name “Wonder Woman”, Clark meets Diana, and the evil behind the evil is revealed! Could it have something to do with the shadowy D.E.O. Director Bones? Find out below!
Once again, Bryan Q. Miller’s forward-momentum-friendly plot and snappy dialogue steers these issues into delightful territory. I do hate sounding like a broken record but the same “Pros” apply to this issue as the last few. Miller writes every character uniquely and with his / her own voice. The end result is a Smallville universe that feels genuine and lived-in.
Plot-wise there is a plethora of great scenes and character interactions in these two digital issues. There is the creepy reveal of how D.E.O. Director Bones’ got his namesake. Lois and Steve talk shop and make the President feel awkward. Ma Kent shows off her internet savvy. Clark meets Diana, who is working as a nanny at the “Marston Home for Wayward Girls” in a clever nod to Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston.
Character interactions feel true and organic – there is no unnatural actions driven by plot or editorial mandate. None of these characters are idiots and Miller knows that.
For instance: when Clark meets Diana for the first time out of costume, she almost immediately sees through his disguise. It is a refreshing take on the old “secret identity” convention.
In another scene, Diana meets Steve Trevor after having been apart since childhood. The scene fluctuates eloquently from self aware cheesecake to comedic to affectionate all in the span of a few panels.
Again, the characters feel “real” and not like talking plot devices. And though these issues do have serious plot lines to address, they never feel unnecessarily dramatic or forced. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with inter-Justice League rumbles, I’m all for some dramatic action, but every once in a while it is really refreshing to read something lighthearted and, well, fun. And funny. The smattering of humor present in Miller’s run so far is a welcomed sight.
Consistency is hard to come by these days in comics. Writers and artists change at the drop of a hat, books go from bi-monthly to monthly to bi-weekly. It is enough to make a reader’s head spin. However, Miller has accomplished a great feat by putting out a consistently entertaining read every single week.
Jorge Jimenez’s artwork continues to impress. The colors are rich and vibrant. There are a lot of talky scenes in these two issues and Jimenez handles them just as well as he does the action scenes.
His rendition of Director Bones’ bones is especially exciting. I won’t show it here and ruin the surprise, but suffice to say it rightfully creepy and sinister.
If I had to detract any points from this issue (and indeed, the whole arc) it would be from the villain. The villains are a bit bland, obvious, and just not very interesting.
The interactions between Diana and Steve Trevor completely overshadow (at least for this reader) any evil dealings between Director Bones and magic wielding Felix Faust. It isn’t that the villains are completely uninteresting, but they don’t feel like the focal point of the plot. Which, to be honest, I am totally ok with. More time to spend on the main characters and their interactions.
Final Verdict: (4/5)
Bryan Q. Miller and Jorge Jimenez remind readers everywhere how much fun and smart comic books can be yet again with Smallville Season Eleven #60 and #61. The villains may not be the most interesting in this arc, but the main and supporting characters carry the title up, up, and away. Every Friday for $0.99 – save your pennies and support this great series.