DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus
As expected, DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus features the group of heroes saving the day with friendship and teamwork, but it’s so good-hearted that I can’t fault it for being a bit predictable. Unlike the previous two books in the series — Finals Crisis and Hits and Myths — this one is more solo-hero-focused, as we follow Wonder Woman to Olympus for summer vacation.
There are still plenty of other drop-ins from her many friends. Checking in with what the other students are doing over the holiday provides much of the humor, whether it’s Batgirl, asking Beast Boy in pig form to eat more quietly, so he becomes a piglet, or Supergirl, Big Barda, and Lady Shiva going to the Kents’ farm for the summer, which makes for some cute animal gags.
Wonder Woman is now officially the daughter of Zeus, who’s played as a kindly old grampa type. (I don’t care for either of these, personally, but it didn’t get in the way of the story.) She’s invited to visit with her half-brothers and -sisters, where she and Bumblebee meet Siracca, demigod of wind. This leads to one of my favorite exchanges, as the new girl sums up Wonder Woman’s outfit:
Which of my sisters are you supposed to be? The goddesses of lassos? Champion of spandex pants? Ruler of shoulder pads?
Summer Olympus has the same creative team as the first two, writer Shea Fontana and artist Yancey Labat, and they have a real feel for the characters. There are also meaningful touches, as Batgirl expresses her appreciation of Sherlock Holmes and more seriously, Siracca is a Syrian refugee.
Since this is set amongst the gods, of course the villain is Ares, accompanied by Strife, the goddess of discord and conflict. This allows for plenty of character work as the cast fights, then overcomes to save the day. Seeing a wide-ranging group, beyond the usual core, is welcome, as there are so many great heroes to explore. Hawkgirl uses her archaeological knowledge to help with a museum thief. Strife messes up Star Sapphire and Green Lantern’s picnic date. Frost is serving Catwoman at the Capes and Cowls Cafe. Thunder and Lightning (whom I really want to know more about) help battle Ares, along with a bunch more superheroes.
The series seems clued in to what kids are interested in, moving beyond the insular DC universe, a good choice. From the mythology here, the next book in the series tackles dinosaurs, with Past Times at Super Hero High out this fall.