Review: SMALLVILLE #62-63

Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Jorge Jimenez (Olympus) & Beni Lobel (Hollow)
Release Dates: August 30 and September 6, 2013

Issue 62:

3278553-smallville+season+11+62+cover“Olympus” is continuing its great introduction of Wonder Woman and after having seen what the first half of the story has been like, it’s definitely one of the best stories – episodes, if you prefer that term – in the Smallville series.

The cover that we have had for the past three issues is just magnificent and it’s once again one of Cat Staggs’ best yet; conveying its powerful energy with Wonder Woman and Superman in a very firey background.

The pacing of “Olympus” with the progression of the story, the development between our new and old characters, has worked as most of the main-stories of Smallville have done in the past. However, the weakest aspect of this story has been the very slow development of the antagonist for this story. In this issue we finally get a better explanation of what this villain’s goals are. The antagonistic portion of “Olympus” has felt like a complicated hunt because we see that there are more forces to be reckoned with than just the main villain. This kind of hunt is something that I don’t see very often in my selection of comic books but it’s definitely an interesting theme to explore.

Jorge Jimenez’s art throughout “Olympus” is really helping with the story-telling, evoking the sense of a live-action episode through the use of the colors, structure of the environment and all the action that it includes. Something that can easily happen in any comic book with the action is that it can get distracting due to perhaps the way that objects gets destroyed or perhaps the damaged environment that a character may be standing in but with the way that Jimenez does it; you can see that it has a very soft theme which you can truly absorb while still being an action panel.

When it comes to the writing, the thing that is standing out the most is obviously Diana. The way that Miller is portraying her in this story feels very realistic as well as familiar: back when I was introduced to Wonder Woman in the animated shows, she would always talk in a formal/royal way while it came of as a bit funny most of the time it comes across consistent with the way Miller writes her.

“Olympus” has had a great first half so far and judging from the final panels of this chapter; the next upcoming issues will most likely take this story to the next level.

Verdict (#62): 8.5/10

Issue 63: 

“Hollow” has been the side-story in the Smallville series that sadly wasn’t as impressive as its previous side-stories like “Effigy” or “Valkyrie” because unlike “Hollow”, you actually had a much clearer image of where the story was heading towards.

There are however two strong aspects that can be taken into account when reading this story as a whole: the character of Tess got to be used in a different perspective than we have previously seen and it made sense when you look at it from a bigger picture. The way that Miller writes that character felt suitable as her witty and emotional dialogues feel like the character we saw on the screen when the show was still on.

The second aspect that was strong was Beni Lobel’s art throughout the whole story because as we got from one chapter to another, it started to really evolve into this very sci-fiction/technological style that was excellent. The coloring was something that I kept looking at the most regarding the technological aspect of the story because it somehow almost looked like the kind of holographs that you see in a live-action format.

However, was this something that in the end made the story felt meaningful and somehow relevant? It was meaningful to a certain degree while it didn’t feel relevant because it’s uncertain whether the ending of “Hollow” is actually setting something up or not. In its defense though, a story like “Valkyrie” wasn’t necessarily something that set anything up for future stories but it still had a level of relevance once it concluded.

To a certain degree, “Hollow” was something that felt a bit disappointing. It was by no means a bad side-story because it provided depth into a very important character that we needed to explore due to the circumstances and it remains to be seen if something from “Hollow” will be continued in a future main-story, but I guess we will find out sooner or later.

Verdict (#63): 7.5/10


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