By: Gail Simone (writer), Aaron Lopresti (art), Matt Ryan (inks), Brad Anderson (colorist)

The Story: Warkiller Finale: Queen Alkyone has fragmented the Amazons and isolated the true queen, her consort, and Diana. Now she has summoned a monster from beneath Paradise Island itself to kill Diana and Ares’ finale plot is hatching.

What’s Good: The Warkiller arc built up to this issue. Now, in a carefully controlled way, Simone brought together all the pieces into one big climax. This issue does what must be done in any good Act III – it answers all the questions and releases the reader’s emotions. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Simone had me on some tense highs and some feelings of immense satisfaction as the conclusion unfolded. I cheered not only for Diana’s heroism and her Superman-level power (used to kick ass), but for the insight and wisdom Simone seems to give her in every issue. I elated with the quick reversals. One moment Diana and Achilles were in the zone, the next Alkyone and the dragon had them on the ropes. And back again. Like the best action movies, Simone also kept me guessing even on stuff I could see in front of me. The cavalry becomes the enemy. A monster becomes a magical ally. An ally becomes your killer. Simone tricked me (in the way the best writers misdirect) again and again and I loved it. Finally, you also get a lot of fun divine moments, like Athena and Zeus talking like the weathered ancients they are, or when Ares makes his move, or when Zeus switches on a very powerful piece of magic. And I loved it when Achilles told Alkyone never stab someone whose heart comes from a god. Good advice! Alkyone should write that down.

I’ve always been a Lopresti fan, so there’s little to add to all the effusing I’ve done over him in my reviews. Enough to say this is classic Lopresti, teamed up with people who make his art shine: Ryan and Anderson.

What’s Not So Good: It’s pretty hard to get me to complain about Simone. She told a great story, pulled everything together and then, like any good serial, dropped the hint of what comes next. If anything, though, I wish she would have given me the backstory on Zeus, Apocalypse and the Ichors much sooner. I’ve been reading Wonder Woman since issue #25, and that back story turned out to be pretty darned important. I forgive her, though.

Conclusion: Fine, fine work by a great team. If you’ve been following the Warkiller arc, you *have* to pick this up. If you haven’t been following Wonder Woman, next issue is a perfect place to get started.

Grade: A-

-DS Arsenault