Thursday, December 3, 2009

Comic Book Review: Blackest Night Wonder Woman #1 (of 3)

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott
Cover by Greg Horn
Variant cover by Ryan Sook

Maxwell Lord returns from the grave, which causes mixed emotions to course through Wonder Woman’s veins. In a graveyard, where risen Maxwell Lord sits atop on a memorial honoring fallen war veterans, he waits Diana’s eventual arrival prepared to take his vengeance upon her for snapping his neck. As her emotions heighten with the memories of death and despair, so does her confidence and strength. But is it enough to fight off her old friend turned foe? And can she overpower the oncoming threat of the Black Lantern horde led by the former manager of the Justice League? One thing is for certain, the battle is far from over…

My Thoughts
So far, the two “Blackest Night” tie-ins (Superman, Batman) have been less than satisfactory. The Batman tie-in seemed unnecessary, and the Superman tie-in, with exception the 3rd and final issue, felt like a waste of time and ridiculous. So I was reluctant to pick up this Wonder Woman tie-in for fear I might be disappointed in wasting money. But now that I have did purchase it, I have no regrets!

In the same storytelling manor of Gail Simone, Greg Rucka (a former Wonder Woman writer) brings the Amazon princess to a graveyard to face her demons. And who better to face off with than Maxwell Lord! And what a terrifying sight to see Mr. Lord perched on top of that memorial, head twisted 90 degrees as a way of reminding Wonder Woman what she did to him. But even more so horrific, within the first ten pages of this issue, Wonder Woman thinks back to her experience with death and the murder of old friends, portrayed in a faded, sepia toned two paged spread. And how, even after Maxwell Lord’s head is sliced off by Diana’s gleaming golden axe, he still taunts her with his creepy little side remarks. (What? No ‘hello?’ No ‘How ya been?’) This is a horror story that not even the mastermind Geoff Johns, the one behind the Blackest Night phenomenon, could bring to comic book readers!

Nicola Scott, who currently is working on the masterful title “Secret Six,” comes in to doodle away in this three part series. Scott shows how good she really is by giving Wonder Woman a very contemplative, yet prepared look on every paged. You can sense how trying this whole ordeal is for Wonder Woman. It’s almost as if, because of what she did to Maxwell Lord, Wonder Woman believes this is a deserving judgment upon her. Maxwell Lord, who is angered beyond compared at Wonder Woman, definitely brings in all the stops in causing Diana to truly reminisce on the decision to kill him the way she did. As I read this issue, and looked at every panel of Wonder Woman’s almost expressionless face, I was honestly pained myself and felt sorry for her. I know how it feels to make a decision that you may not necessarily regret doing, but stills pains you to have done it in the first place.

What I appreciated about this first issue is it all takes place in one location. Greg Rucka, whom I am a huge fan of, knows how to create spine-tingling and griping stories without having to go from place to place. 22 pages and the entire confrontation takes place all within 30 feet of the memorial, and I didn’t want it to end. But this is a very significant place to have a battle for Wonder Woman. One of Wonder Woman’s greatest weaknesses is her respect for fallen warriors and soldiers. Maxwell Lord, whether he planned this or not, was strategically placed to take full advantage of Diana’s vulnerability. But what Maxwell Lord fails to realize however, is that Wonder Woman shows her greatest strength in the midst of her greatest weakness and uses that to achieve victory against the zombie Lanterns…however temporary it may be.

This issue is so emotional and causes those emotions to pop out of the paged and smack you dead in the face. Wonder Woman finds herself in another situation where her Amazonian upbringing comes in handy. This is an amazing issue and is a contender for making my top ten comics list for 2009, as well as making best cover.

5 ot of 5 stars

Next Issue Coming January 6, 2010

Following closely the events of BLACKEST NIGHT, Diana faces her greatest challenge. Death has always walked with her, but who will guide her into the light – her mother, her sister or her lover? Don't miss this mind-blowing tie-in as Wonder Woman's life changes forever!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet review Jimmy - looking forward to my copy coming in the mail!