G3 Review: Blackest Night Wonder Woman #2

Don’t start none, won’t be none.

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.

9 thoughts on “G3 Review: Blackest Night Wonder Woman #2

  1. I really enjoyed how the end of this issue personalized Wonder Woman’s experience in becoming a Star Sapphire.

    I also had to give some props to Mera. She lasted a lot longer against Wonder Woman than I thought she would.

    Like

    • Mera was a total surprise. She came out swinging! Like you, I liked the deeper exploration of her journey to Star Sapphire status. Can’t wait for the resolution to this.

      Like

  2. I couldn’t disagree more. My sanitized review:

    After one gut-wrenchingly awful Wonder Woman run after another, it was comforting that Greg Rucka ended the 80-90s series on a note of mildness. His work wasn’t actually good, just inoffensive. It took me forever to get out of my abusive relationship with the Wonder Woman comic, and after breaking free and beginning the healing process following the Heinberg relaunch, I had no intention of backsliding into this mini-series. Yet, I’m making an effort to see Mera as more than the psychotic shrew she was cast as from the 80s on, and there was some celebrity death in this issue, so I bought it off the stand. My mistake.

    For starters, Black Lantern Diana, who exists in a half living/half dead state thanks to a mostly ignored stunt during John Byrne’s run, opens the book by telling Mera “If I were you… I’d be pretty pissed off right about now.” Now, that’s not particularly strong Deadpool scripting, but it’s all kinds of off for Wonder Woman, even while possessed. “Diana” and “Mera” then have one of those overly familiar, first-name-basis conversations during combat that have plagued comics since at least Claremont’s X-Men. Look, when the Fantastic Four call each other by name, it’s because they’re a family with publicly known identities. When the JSA does it in Blackest Night: JSA you can chalk up the amateurish behavior to zombie stress and decades of cooperation. When its two characters who’ve had just about nothing to do with one another, especially when the dialogue hinges on exploiting a past relationship that isn’t there, it’s a crap story.

    We’ve got ten pages of Diana struggling to control her dark side, then refusing to kill Mera, whose wedding she attended for one panel in 1964. Then she rips out her protege Wonder Girl’s heart after one page, but gets upset about it, and successfully chops Black Lantern Donna Troy to pieces. It ain’t just Mera starting to smell fishy around here. Yes dear reader, you’re being jacked with by a dream sequence, which involves Batman coming down from the heavens to consummate a half-assed aborted JLA subplot from a decade back, and so that the Dark Knight can high five Superman over how they both left that hussy wet and wanting. Damn DC comics for passing Wonder Woman around like the needy girl in a group of male friends, everybody getting a turn (and hey, there was that even shorter lived flirtation with Aquaman that could have been exploited here.)

    In closing, screw everybody involved with this comic, even Nicola Scott, a decent enough penciller who ruins it by being a woman, garnering her extra notice undue if based on pure merit.

    Like

  3. My, THAT was sanitized? And, not to add to your case, but the Aquaman thing was “exploited” in this issue when BN WW tells Mera to “Give Arthur my Love.”

    I love Nicola’s pencils. The way she draws Diana’s physique is great. She’s not ridiculously manly or insanely “plastic.” It’s a lean, muscular happy medium with a great, fully covered, rear end.

    I think the “dream” sequence worked. I enjoyed the shock & awe stunts. Then Aphrodite showed up because Diana is their champion.

    And honestly, pulling obscure details à la carte from continuity past is what DC does in events.

    Like

  4. The absolutely most satisfying thing about this Blackest Night Wonder Woman mini-series is how something I banked on being another insubstantial tie-in has turned out to command so much attention for a character who is so often, unfortunately, marginalized. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much internet chatter has surrounded the release of the first two issues so far. It is heartening to see how much passion the character of Wonder Woman riles up amongst comics readers.

    I, personally, thoroughly enjoyed this issue. I found myself immersed in the moment of reading it, present in each page. Unlike another commenter on this board, I did not find the “dream sequence” to be clichéd nor did I feel tricked unfairly by the use of it as a plot device. WW is a goddess created by Zeus out of mystical clay, so Aphrodite, the goddess of love intervening to insure that our heroine is not overtaken by complete darkness was a beautiful and poetic touch. And Diana having a vision of Bruce (dressed in full Batman attire, for you fantasy fetishists out there) and it serving as her manifestation of true love, is genius. For all there faults and differences and troubles, these two characters understand each other as warriors in ways that Superman can not. Who else would each feel more connected to? If Bruce and Clark are the ultimate Brothers-in-Arms, then Bruce and Diana represent the ultimate duality of love; its darkness and light. (Uh-oh! I almost just wrote my whole review in your comments section!)

    Like

  5. I love the diversity of opinion in the geek community, and the passion! All of you made very good points, and I had a blast reading your comments. Most of all, thank you for reading the review and taking the time to share your thoughts. Comic discussion/debate is one of my favorite things — after reading them, of course. Holla!

    Like

  6. Y’all crack me up. Lots of interesting and possibly valid opinions here. I won’t say which ones I think are which. :)

    I will say that I really like that each issue of Wonder Woman Blackest Night is a stand alone issue. I think that has worked to the mini-series benefit. It also demonstrates Rucka’s writing skills to be able to do a one-and-done story. Something most writers nowadays have never had to do (thanks to the age of trade paperbacks and six issue arcs).

    The Irredeemable Shag
    http://onceuponageek.com
    http://firestormfan.com

    Like

  7. Nice review! Nice to know that there are a lot of Batwondy shippers, or potential shippers out there. I made my own review about BN WW#2 (especially on Batwondy part) here:
    http://becomingicha.blogspot.com/2010/01/in-darkness-love-must-triumph.html

    (What could ignite the spark to alter their relationship? I think it would have to be something small yet significant in a private shared moment.)
    Check NoahOz’s files for older appearances of Batman and WW together.
    http://www.bmwwarchive.capesandtights.com/gallery.html

    Like

    • Thanks for reading, Icha! I’m going to check out your blog, and I’m always glad to meet another person who is on team Batwondy. Maybe that could be a campaign: Batwondy 2010!

      Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s