Having come back from the dead, Wonder Woman is susceptible to the will of demon guy Nekron, so at the close of Blackest Night #5 she became a Black Lantern. This issue takes place immediately after that, with possessed Diana engaged in a vicious, bloody fight with Atlantean queen Mera. Along the way she kills her mother Hippolyte, sister Donna Troy and irritant Wonder Girl. Batman shows up, they kiss . . .
. . . yep, it’s all a split second vision, courtesy of the goddess Aphrodite, invoked to persuade protege Diana to shake off the Black Lantern persona and accept the violet ring of the Star Sapphires. Yep, that Wonder Woman is so full of love.
Unlike me, who is sighing heavily at the ‘and then she woke up’ revelation, the type of thing most of us have avoided since being told off for it by teacher when writing stories at school. We’re meant to accept the presence of Aphrodite, literal deus ex machina, to get Diana out of a scrape even though she rejected the gods in her regular book a while back. We’re asked to believe that Diana holds such a torch for the dead Bruce Wayne that the thought of snogging him is enough to break the cycle of violence the black ring has been stoking and feeding on.
It’s all a bit pants, really. And not the star-spangled variety.
And there was no need. I’d far rather have seen Diana simply use all that special girlie willpower we’re told she has in Blackest Night #6 – no one loves the Earth more, apparently – to shake off the black ring, even if it’s just for the second needed to swap black for violet. How much more heroic would Diana have seemed had she thrown off Neron’s influence herself, rather than with the aid of a Batman vision and a Goddess Barbie? Hmm, perhaps dolls are the key . . . DC wanted to make a Black Lantern Wonder Woman action figure to go with the Star Sapphire one, so there had to be a point in the story at which Diana had that look?
The pretendy skirmish with Mera is intense, a long way from the Lois/Lana catfights of the Sixties, with Diana spitting cruel words left and right. Her foe’s best response is to skewer the Amazon – writer Greg Rucka barely has Mera use her unique power to harden water into formidable constructs. We see a few balls of H20 floating in the air, but Mera doesn’t bash Diana with them, being content to splash her occasionally. Other than that Mera spends most of the confrontation waving her big fork. It’s surprising that the Crossover That Worships Green Lantern should miss a chance to point out the similarity between Mera’s interdimensional abilities and Hal Jordan’s Oan orbs.
There’s a chillingly gorgeous cover by Greg Horn and inside the art is equally spiffy, with penciller Nicola Scott aided by Eduardo Pansica (who apparently came in so late in the day that he missed a cover credit). Any notable fissures (no, that’s not a Mera pun) in their work are knitted together by the incredible colours of Nei Ruffino . . . if there’s ever an award for Best Tiara, Diana and Mera would be rivals for that, given the sheer shininess applied to the detailed pencils.
Lord, I’m drivelling on about tiaras. Good as they look, I should be enthusing about more than this given the involvement in this comic of such clever and stylish craftsmen . . . but the dream business just erased any interest I had in the rest of the issue. I’ve heard that the final issue of this mini series features Star Sapphire Wonder Woman versus Red Lantern Mera, but now we’ve had the dream there’s always the chance it’ll turn out to be a hoax, or red kryptonite illusion.