Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: The Game of the Gods: Part 3 â€“ Deities and Demonsâ€¦!
Written by: Walter Simonson
Pencilled by: Jerry Ordway
Inked by: P. Craig Russell
Colored by: Trish Mulvihill
Lettered by: John E. Workman
Editor: Ivan Cohen
Publisher: DC Comics
Walter Simonson’s grand â€œGame of the Godsâ€ plotline is progressing, albeit slowly. The action quotient finally picked up a little after two somewhat slow issues. It’s great to see that Simonson appears firmly in the driver’s seat of his short six-issue jaunt in the world of the Amazonian princess. I believe that Walt will bring this mammoth storyline to a masterful conclusion, if it was a lesser writer I’d be really worried.
Walt has placed Wonder Woman in a very odd position, she was a complete amnesiac as the arc began, but has slowly gained a bit of who she was during the last two issues. Still without her tiara and bracelets, and the knowledge of most of her powers, Wonder Woman has survived mostly on her wits to date. The denizens of Olympus have completely disappeared, and Wonder Woman is guarding a clay idol of a baby, that is very important, yet she doesn’t know why. As a matter of fact, the reader doesn’t know why either.
Amazingly things grow worse this issue. The powerful monster Scylla, which was known for attacking the legendary Odysseus, turns each of the inhabitants of the Amazonian city Themyscira into stone. By the time Wonder Woman arrives it’s far to late for her people, though she does regain possession of her tiara. As hinted at last issue, the Guardians (of Green Lantern fame) are inexorably being drawn into the storyline.
Once again, Walt doesn’t give us many answers as to the why behind Wonder Woman’s struggles, although it appears next issue will finally answer some questions. Walt’s dialogue is clunky at times, but generally impressive. It’s cool to see an ample use of thought balloons to describe the motive behind a characters action. Sue me, I’m a sucker for Golden and Silver Age.
Once again the art team of Ordway and Russell is spot on. Unlike the first two issues of the arc, they are given a much more visually exciting story to tell. The prose is kept to a minimum, thus the panel layouts are far more electrifying. A wonderful collage, retelling a part of Wonder Woman’s origin, is used effectively to show the flood of memories returning to the title character.
As I mentioned in my review of the last issue, this storyline is so ambitious that grading individual issues is quite difficult. I’d prefer to read all six issues in one sitting, instead of waiting thirty days in between. Greg Rucka is waiting in the wings to take over WONDER WOMAN, but Walt certainly didn’t mail this short run in. He’s taking the character of Wonder Woman to some new and exciting places; but I’d sure like to have a bit more of a clue as to what’s going on after the third instalment.