Yes, the Manazons are technically called the Olympians in this story, but they were actually introduced with that name in the solicits and called that for a while, so I'm just going to go with it. Plus, and I'm being honest here, I actually like it more. Yeah, I said it. Olympians is just so boring and unoriginal. Anyway, I'm starting with them since I actually liked them, much to my surprise. They were actually a pretty good part of the story, probably the best part, but they were barely apart of it.
They basically go around being proactive Amazons and then eventually merge with the Amazons with Achilles, the King of the Olympians, ruling both groups under order of Zeus. They work as a nice inversion of Wonder Woman's mission, but, as already said, the small focus on them really does make them seem inconsequential.
In fact, at one point they barge into the U.N., tell the world they are going to end all war and then nobody does anything! That's how unimportant they are to the story. Yes, they replace Wonder Woman and the Amazons as the Zeus's and the other gods' champions, but that is a really tangential subplot for most of the story, and only really mattered in the last issue.
I don't ever remember DC promoting the story like this, but I always got the vibe that this was supposed to be Wonder Woman's version of Batman: R.I.P. or Superman: New Krypton - a story that shook up the status quo for a while. Yes, technically some of the peripheral stuff has changed, but Wonder Woman herself remains essentially the same. Yes, you could say that the same is true of Superman coming out of New Krypton, but Superman's dynamic does change drastically if there are 100,000 other Supermen out there, even if he himself remains mostly unchanged.
Diana ends up leaving the Amazons and renouncing the gods but that is a very similar status quo to what she started with when DC relaunched the title after Infinite Crisis and post-Amazons Attack. While the details are a little different, Wonder Woman is basically back to where she started -without her gods, mission or fellow Amazons. The fact that the series spends the next two issues with a Wonder Woman/Black Canary team up does not really enforce the idea that what happened to Wonder Woman was important. Even though both Batman and Superman had some filler in between the status quo shifts, readers knew there were bigger things coming. That has not been made clear with Wonder Woman.
If DC wanted to shake things up, I think a good way to have done that would have been to make Wonder Woman a co-feature book, with Achilles, and, preferably, putting her in the second feature. Yeah, Wonder Woman's fans might be upset but I think it would have been a good way to re-enforce the fact that she no longer the gods' champion and, with a backup focus, without a purpose for the time being.
The bastard offspring of a Ninja Turtle, Doomsday and the 90s. What a god awful character. Basically, she just goes around and kills people and beats the shit out of Wonder Woman and everyone else while she's at it. Genocide was actually revealed to be a version of Diana from the future, but she is merely a puppet of Ares, so there is no interesting conflict since none of Diana's personality remains. The fact that Genocide is Diana is completely meaningless, except for the fact that she's Ares queen in the future, but that doesn't really matter to the story. In fact, meaningless if probably a very good way to describe the character in general. The character serves no real purpose and even seems to lack anything resembling a core concept. There are vague attempts to maybe set something up, but nothing really comes through that well in the story.
Genocide also lacks anything remotely looking like a compelling personality. She is basically a plot point that other characters react to, and often unconvincingly at that. It is hard to believe that Genocide is the worst thing most of the characters have seen. Utter waste of space. Oh, and she's coming back at some point. Sigh.
Mostly confused and melodramatic. The story didn't have a core narrative to me and the Olympians, who the story is supposed to be about, barely play a role. Genocide could be the main plot but she's dispatched in the penultimate issue. I guess it could be about Wonder Woman dealing with her failed mission or her ideals back firing on her, but those never play a large role either. Or, rather, I don't think they take up enough of the focus of the story to count.
It is also incredibly melodramatic. Simone tries to make the whole thing seem important and meaningful, but it all comes off as flat, hollow and manufactured. The ending is also very anti-climatic with Wonder Woman defeating Ares in like four panels by simply embedding an axe in his skull. There is also some really bag dialog, the worst being quoted below:
For a long time to come, the secretaries and money market handlers and C.E.O.'s who make their living in this business district will refer to this as G-Day, as a pivotal shared trauma like Hurricane Katrina or 9/11.
Katrina and 9/11 comparisons? Seriously? Manufactured drama and trying to invoke memories and feelings from those two events is a terrible way to try and drive home the devestation caused by the fallout of a superhero fight and ranks up there with Dr Doom and Magneto crying in 9/11 issue of Amazing Spider-Man.
I'm not sure if it's just Simone's take on the character or what, but I don't find the comic book version of Wonder Woman compelling. All of her inner conflicts just felt kind of false during the entire story. The character seems directionless and pointless to me in the comics and Simone does nothing to change my feelings about that.
This was also driven home by the fact that I read Allan Heinberg's Who is Wonder Woman? arc just before this one. Both Simone and Heinberg didn't really do anything, in my view, that made Wonder Woman stand out as an individual character. The only time she has really worked for me is as a member of the JLA.
He remains, sadly, unfridged. Also, unloved by Wonder Woman. Yep, despite all appearance to the contrary, Diana does not love Nemesis. This was also bad story telling since Simone actually has a whole scene early in the arc where Diana contemplates running off with Nemesis instead of being Wonder Woman. To have her later admit she plain does not love him came off as forced and rang hollow.
Okay, I'm probably being a wee bit too nitpicky here, but Wonder Woman actually uses her armour from Kingdom Come, or a variation of it, which annoyed me to no end. DC really needs to stop putting Kingdom Come stuff in their mainstream books just to invoke and prey on the feelings and nostalgia of readers. Also, both Donna Troy and Wonder Girl get their own versions of the battle armour, with Wonder Girl looking absolutely ridiculous in her's. Diana keeps her's in her apartment, which, while making some sense, seemed kind of strange to me. I guess it just seems weird to keep something like that hidden in your closet in an apartment with no real security or other 'batcave'-like options for hiding giant suits of golden armour.
As you can tell, Rise of the Olympian did very little to impress me. The one highlight of the book, the Manazons, who were also the ones referred to in the title of this storyline, were relegated to a subplot that never really went anywhere. I highly recommend you avoid the story. It lacks any charm, new or interesting character progression nor anything particularly noteworthy. Go grab an issue or trade of Secret Six instead. It's a far better series that could use the readers.