Review: ‘DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus’
DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus
Writer: Shea Fontana
Artist: Yancey Labat
DC Comics; $9.99
How are you spending your summer vacation? Perhaps you would like to spend it reading about how Wonder Woman, Supergirl and the other kids at Super Hero High in Metropolis are spending their summer vacation? That’s the premise of Shea Fontana and Yancey Labat’s third original graphic novel based on the DC Comics and Mattel’s DC Super Hero Girls toy line.
As the school year is winding down and the kids are all planning how they will spend their summers, Wonder Woman gets an invitation to spend hers with her dad’s side of the family…on Mount Olympus. This teenage version of Wonder Woman, like the one in the movie and in the current DC comics line, is a demigod, born of Amazon Queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus.
While she wants to get to know the divine side of her family better, Wondy is reluctant to spend so much time away from all of her friends, and so she rather desperately tries to find some to accompany her. They all have other plans though, ranging from spending time on the Kent farm in Smallville with Supergirl to backpacking across Europe with Batgirl, from theater camp to a summer job at Steve Trevor’s coffee shop. Only Bumblebee is free, and she takes Wondy up on her offer.
Fontana and Labat envision Zeus as a jovial patriarch and purveyor of dad jokes, and they fill his Olympus with his children, each imagined as a sort of immortal teenager and drawn to match the designs of Wonder Woman and her friends. (They stick to Wonder Woman’s “generation” of Olympians, and then only to those with a role to play in the story as Zeus’ children and Wondy’s half-siblings.)
Like all families, Zeus’s has some black sheep, including the war god Ares, also summering on Olympus, and Strife, who is committing a series of Earth-bound heists that draw the attention of Batgirl and her travelling companions Beast Boy and Katana. The bad gods’ machinations mean Wonder Woman won’t have to wait too long to see all her friends after all, as all the super heroes of Super Hero High must rally in Metropolis to save the city from Ares and Strife.
But since fighting only increases the strength of the personifications of war and strife, Wonder Woman will need to employ the one force capable of weakening them to truly save the day: Philia, or “the love of friendship.”
It is, quite honestly, exactly as cheesy as it sounds, but conveyed sincerely and, within the confines of a super-comic full of the classic personifications of elements of the human condition, organically enough to be effective…and even rather engaging.
This being the summer of Wonder Woman, she and her backstory are particularly well-chosen as the engine for this latest adventure set in the weird but winning “What if DC’s super heroes were all high school kids together?” world of DC Super Hero Girls. Fontana, who has just started writing the “real” Wonder Woman in the pages of DC’s ongoing Wonder Woman monthly comic book series, certainly has the recurring cast-members down at this point, and both she and Labat seem to have a great deal of fun mixing in the mythological characters as well. Their collaboration in this particular milieu continues to be rather rewarding, whether a reader is squarely within the target audience or well outside of it.
About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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