Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Wonder Woman #1 – Tini Howard, Dan Watters, Writers; Leila Del Duca, Brandon Peterson, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Michael Atiyeh, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This is the third of the Dark Crisis tie-ins focusing on the heroes who vanished in the wake of Pariah’s attack, and its the first one that really doesn’t hit on all cylinders. What does Wonder Woman’s perfect world look like? That turns out to be a more complicated question than expected. On the surface, it has many of the trappings of the other worlds—Diana’s human friends and Amazon family are united, Etta Candy is entering her second term as President of the United States, and peace largely reigns over the world. After Etta’s inauguration, the two of them return to Themyscira and celebrate—but as the night goes on, it becomes clear that Hippolyta is hiding some major secrets.
That’s where this issue goes rather screwy. It turns out that Hippolyta has been part of a long and dangerous plan to pacify the world, seemingly involving some deadly weapons and one of Diana’s most irredeemable villains. It’s the first hint we’ve seen of one of these ideal worlds where the hero finds out that it’s actually NOT so ideal, and that raises some interesting questions about what Diana actually wants. A theory is presented, but I don’t know if it quite passes the smell test for me. Diana gets some great heroic moments here, but overall this story feels a bit off-kilter, and I’m wondering if it’s because the writer really has no involvement in Diana’s larger stories.
On the other hand, the Martian Manhunter backup by Watters and Peterson hits on all cylinders. Set in a world where J’onn works as a detective in a future where all of humanity has evolved Martian-like features by splicing themselves with Martians and cephalopods, it’s basically a sci-fi noir pastiche with some heavy Lovecraftian overtones. As J’onn involves himself in a bloody murder, this black-and-white (with some red) story gives us a thorough look at a unique world that feels like it could sustain a whole miniseries. The ending is one of the darkest we’ve seen yet, and shows just how powerful these lotus-eater machines are. Hopefully Watters has some more Martian Manhunter stories down the line.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.