Wonder Woman: Dead Earth #3 – Daniel Warren Johnson, Writer/Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Let’s get one thing out of the way—Daniel Warren Johnson is one of the most talented people working in comics. He’s also the man who comes up with some of the most disturbing nightmare visions, from the scorched apocalypse of Extremity to the slow face-off with death of Murder Falcon. We should have known to expect much more than a simple face-off with the end of the world for Diana in Wonder Woman: Dead Earth. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t as dark as the reveals in this third issue. When we last left off, we found out that the Amazons had been corrupted by nuclear fire into horrible monsters, and Diana, in her grief, decided to leave her human companions behind. But in this issue, she seeks out the answers for what happened to the world—her memories dulled by hundreds of years of trauma—and what she finds is horrifying. We’ve always known that Diana was one of the most powerful heroes in the DCU, with few weaknesses, but what would happen if she truly lost control?
Lots of people are going to hate this issue. I don’t blame them. The things we see in this book are among the most disturbing scenes in any DC book in recent memory, as the world burns, Superman and Wonder Woman do their best to stop the apocalypse, and then a rage-blind Diana turns against her best friend. I wish the title explained a little bit better what happened to her. Is it nuclear poisoning? Temporary madness? It matters a lot, but the final showdown is one of the most brutal fights ever put to DC Comics pages. When the issue ends, we’re left with an image so over-the-top in its morbid qualities that it’s hard to believe. Despite all this, it’s a very strong issue with a message of redemption and a Diana who hits her lowest moment in eons and picks herself up, ready to fight to reclaim the world. This is a pitch-black comic that won’t be for everyone, but it’s a testament to the quality of Johnson’s art and writing that he’s able to make it as good as it.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.