Much like Blackest Night: The Flash #1, Wonder Woman #1 is set entirely in the build-up to Blackest Night #5. And much like Blackest Night: The Flash #1, Wonder Woman #1 offers a fair bit of continuity reminders, though it never stops the story completely to give them and they’re never unnecessary. Unlike the week’s other Blackest Night mini, however, Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 also offers a fairly interesting look at one of comics’ hardest heroes to write, and it does so with very, very few flaws.
Narrated to mimic Simone’s current run, Rucka makes a good impression right off the bat. It continues throughout, as he combines a narrative that cuts to the character’s core with plenty of enjoyable banter. Few writers have grasped Diana quite the way Rucka has, and even working off of Simone’s recent model of the character, there’s little doubt in this single issue what she stands for. An enemy that would give most heroes a great deal of pause for angst is instead dealt with in a logical, strangely mature manner here as Wonder Woman displays that she’s more than come to terms with killing Maxwell Lord, and Rucka leaves me genuinely curious as to how he’ll deal with Black Lantern Diana next month.
Nicola Scott does absolutely lovely work here, as she always does. Her action segments are smooth and clear without ever seeming static, her characters are all distinct. Brief sigh gags, like Lord meditating, head on backwards, introduce brief moments of levity, but Rucka mostly uses the issue as a character study of Diana, and Scott is game to provide all the drama and emotion he wants underlying the large scenes of mayhem and carnage.
With “Life is much more than seven simple colors,” Rucka cuts closer to the heart of Blackest Night and the War of Light than any writer thus far. Wonder Woman is a complex character, and Rucka smartly acknowledges that completely independently of where she exists on the emotional spectrum. Wonder Woman cares, and that in no way hampers her ability to fight the Black Lanterns. Rucka and Scott do more with Wonder Woman in this one issue than the last three events combined have managed. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
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