One of the great pleasures of reading comics is finding an ideal marriage between writer and character. Greg Rucka just plain gets Wonder Woman, and his affection for the character is palpable in the three-issue Blackest Night tie-in. The first issue, featuring an Arlington Cemetery confrontation with a zombie-fied Maxwell Lord was good, but #2 sent me into a texting/e-mailing fangirl frenzy. [Spoilers ahead].
This issue goes deeper into the smackdown between a Black Lantern ring-possessed Wonder Woman and Mera, shown briefly in Blackest Night #6. The dialogue between these two royal superheriones is appropriately brutal, like something out of “Justice League Heathers.” When a rage-filled Mera schools Diana that “No queen takes orders from a princess,” Black Lantern Wondy is all, “Queen of what? Bitch, please. Everybody you love is dead, so bite me.” Or words to that effect.
Wonder Woman struggles to free herself from the ring’s evil influence, and basically wills Mera to kill her if that’s what it takes to make her stop. It’s one thing to tell readers that Diana’s heroism is rooted in love and goodness, but Rucka has always done a particularly good job of showing it without making her seem sappy.
If you’re the kind of person who tends to flip ahead and read a story out of order, don’t. All the Oh, Snap! moments — and there are several — really need to be experienced in order. (As someone who never warmed to Cassie Sandsmark, I confess to enjoying her Mean Girl treatment, courtesy of Donna Troy.) V gave me strict orders not to skip to the end, which would have ruined the money shot of Wonder Woman in a passionate liplock with … well, let’s just say it’s someone I’ve wanted her to hook up with for years. And he’s not from Smallville.
This is easily one of the better Blackest Night tie-in stories that I’ve read so far, and Nicola Scott’s art more than rises to the occasion. It almost makes up for that Star Sapphire costume craziness. Almost.