Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Weekly "Haul": February 3rd

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3 (DC Comics) Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott wrap-up their three-part miniseries chronicling Wonder Woman’s involvement in the first two-thirds of Blackest Night in this issue (All these three-issue Blackest Night minis are going to make for teensy, 66-page trades, aren’t they?), which, like the previous issue, seems set entirely between the panels of Blackest Night #6.

Wonder Woman is now wearing a Star Sapphire love-powered ring (and awful fuchsia latex costume), and she flies around Coast City for awhile, chatting with Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, re-defeating Black Lantern Max Lord and re-fighting Red Lantern Mera.

At the climax of the Wondy/Mera re-match, she lassos Aquaman’s ex, and the pair each learn something dramatic about one another, but after reading the sequence three or four times now, I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was they learned, exactly. Am I missing a page?

It has something to do with something Mera didn’t tell Aquaman, I guess…whatever she’s thinking in the image of her staring down at a sleeping A-man. (Unless it’s just that she never even wanted to have kids, which I thought was just the sort of thing a mother who has replaced her heart with a rage-powered alien artifact might scream while vomiting napalm-like hate-blood on the resurrected zombie corpse of her dead infant. The fact that it’s a plot point at the climax of a tie-in a Wonder Woman tie-in series, and that its not made explicit here anyway, is somehow infinitely weirder).

Scott’s pencil art is, as always, top notch, although I could have done without the photographic sky and sea dropped into the background of the panels behind some of her figure drawing (I assume that was the colorist?) You know, drawing a horizon line, some clouds and waves isn’t really all that hard…if you can draw Wonder Woman, you can handle that stuff easy).

The scene where the ladies learn secrets* about one another, but Rucka and Scott keep too coy about, is my favorite part, as it shows all the things Wonder Woman and Mera have in common: They both wear tiaras, they’ve both smooched Justice Leaguers, they’ve both seen younger loved ones brutalized, and they both occasionally handle phallic ancient weapons. Why, they’re practically sisters!

The Question #37 (DC) This week’s back-from-cancellation, Blackest Night tie-in/revival reunites original Question creators Denny O’Neil and Denys Cowan with current Question II writer Greg Rucka (and current Question II artist Cully Hamner even handles the cover).

The two writers work together remarkably well. The credits don’t make the division of labor explicit, and they simply share credit rather than each writing a different section…as far as I can tell. The narration, particularly during the re-cap the back-from-cancellation one-issue revival formula demands, sounds like O’Neil, as does much of the non-Montoya dialogue, while Montoya sounds like a Rucka character.

It’s really quite seamless, as is the art team of Denys Cowan inked by Bill Sienkiewicz and John Stanisci—I honestly can’t tell where one artist’s work ends and the other’s begins.

As for the storyline, it’s simply The Questions plugged into the now overly familiar formula of Dead Character History Recap, Dead Character Appears and Tries to Elicit Emotional Response from Intended Victim, Fight, Hero Wins. In this case, Vic Sage comes after Montoya, and finds his old supporting characters there as well.

Given that O’Neil and Rucka are working with interesting supporting characters, however, it’s a rather engaging read, at least in as much as Aristotle Rodor and Lady Shiva both see unique opportunities in the dead rising premise of Blackest Night and attempt to seize them. (Also, points for finding a different end to the conflict than simply destroying the Black Lantern through light as in most of the tie-ins). It’s almost too bad this one’s only one issue, but then, it does end with the new Question vowing to hunt down and stop the old one, so maybe this will continue in the TEC back-ups or somewhere.

Leave it to PET Vol. 3 (Viz Media/Viz Kids) This is my I’m only going to read two singles this week? Should I spend the change from the twenty dollar bill on something else? purchase of the week. Exactly how long can I continue to find amusement from Kenji Sonishi’s short gag strips about an ever-growing legion of super-robots created from recyclable materials bound to help the masters who recycled them in the first place, mostly with such tasks as retrieving a fallen mechanical pencil refill or skinned knee? Well, after finishing this volume, I’m at about 540 pages of it, and I’m still really enjoying it.

*I guess Wonder Woman’s is maybe that she loved Batman and never told him before he “died”…?


hilker said...

(All these three-issue Blackest Night minis are going to make for teensy, 66-page trades, aren’t they?)

More like 256- and 240-page tomes.

Anonymous said...

While it's not clear what Mera is talking about (Perhaps she was involved in her son's death? I don't know. I am just annoyed that Blackest Night is ignoring the fact that Aquaman and Mera were definitely divorced at the time of Aquaman's death and hadn't been married for years) - Diana seems to referring to her love for Bruce and that is why she says it is too late to say anytihng. Remember last issue she imagined seeing and kissing him. I really liked this development. The two had a short romance during Kelly's JLA and she seems to be the only one outside of Gotham that is actually grieving the death of Batman.

Sam said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one that had NO idea what the big Mera reveal was. I'm also starting to feel like the Bruce and Diana thing is a big old "Diana will help bring Bruce back with her twu wuuuuv" anvil, but maybe that's just my cynicism acting up again.

Patrick C said...

I only flipped through the BN: Wonder Woman comic in the store, but I too had no idea. I guess it was a big surprise that she loved Aquaman? Maybe just how much she loved him?

And I love your reviews Caleb, but I miss the days when we read the same books! I think the amount each of us were willing to spend on comics became less, and we went different ways concerning what we still read.

But enough about me, I'll still read whatever you write and thanks for the great blog!

jason quinones said...

which sounds better:

wonderella or vampiwoman?

cuz that ain't wonder woman.