February 7, 2010
The final issue of the Wonder Woman Blackest Night mini-series arrived this week and frankly I'm really surprised with it...and not in a good way. I love the Wonder Woman character, and I think Greg Rucka really gets the character and is a very good writer - and Nicola Scott is one of the favorite artists. So why do I feel so let down?
From the get go this mini series really didn't have a point other than to flesh out how Diana's unique ability to go from Black Lantern to Star Sapphire fly's in the face of what we've seen so far, and I'm really cool with that. But the mini as a whole seems like it lacks any other purpose and it seems like there's an opportunity with Mera to really define her for readers that's completely wasted.
This issues starts out with some neat introspection by Wonder Woman about what it's like to wear a power ring. As a reader and a fan you wonder what it's like to have that much power on one finger and Diana gives us a glimpse at what we can only dream of. She and Carol have some great conversation and I loved her observation of Carol and Hal's relationship, that "Loving him from afar is not worthy of him, or you." It gives me some hope that Hal and Carol will be on the road to either finally moving their relationship forward or getting some other final resolution.
Diana gets some resolution with Max Lord, and Diana just loves him to pieces.....literally. The rest of the issue is devoted to Mera as Diana tries to break her free from the grips of the red power of rage. Now when we first got the deputies to the New Guardians, I understood why they were chosen; it made sense for Barry Allen to be the deputy for the Blue Lanterns, and so on. But Mera was the one question mark for me because I'm just not that familiar with her character and I think that I'm pretty much in the majority group who just are that well versed in Aquaman's universe.
So I was hoping to see why Mera has so much rage other than the Black Lantern-izing of Aquaman and Aqualad. And as we get to the point in the issue the opportunity is completely wasted on me. We find that Mera's hatred and rage is founded in self-loathing, but why is left to us to decode in a two page splash that has no words to explain anything.
While I am well versed on what happened to all the characters that Nekron reclaimed in Blackest Night #6, it was a great piece of writing to give readers a one or two sentence explanation for those people who just jumped this event without the reading history to know what's happened in the past. Here there's no explanation of what's come before, so those pictures tell me nothing and there isn't anything that follows that tells us anything more than the fact that Mera hid something from Aquaman - don't know what it is other than that it involves Black Manta and a baby.
Likewise I really didn't like the Wonder Woman / Batman thing. It doesn't appeal to me and I think it flies in the face of the relationship that Diana has going on in her own book. I just don't see Diana as the kind of person who would have a romantic relationship with one person, to the point of going through "mating rituals" of the Amazons if she secretly had the hots for Batman. Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't work for me.
So while I liked Nicola Scott's art in the book, the wasted opportunity to help us learn more and understand Mera and the Batman love stuff just kind of ruined it for me. Two lanterns on this one.