The first pages said it all: Wonder Woman’s love to all creation is her greatest asset. Star Sapphire Carol Ferris delivered the truth, that although Diana was the only hero possessed by a black ring when the violet ring searched for her, Diana could break through and reach out. “Enough of you remained that the violet could reach you, and that you could do what no one else could do… and reach back. That’s never happened before.”
And that is because of “The love [Diana] carry for…for everything, for the entirety of creation…it’s limitless. I’ve never encountered anything like it.” Carol Ferris, I second your notion. It might sound cheesy, but Diana is truly the embodiment of love, and she should befriend Kabir, Jalaluddin Rumi, Hafiz, Khalil Gibran and Rabindranath Tagore, were those great poets still alive by now.
Unlike Blackest Night WW#1 which was ‘interrupted by Blackest Night #5 before you can understand BN WW#2, the story in #3 follows right through the previous issue. Wonder Woman marveled at her beautiful violet ring… "Too beautiful for words", but dare I say that Nicola Scott’s art above pretty much represents itself.
BN WW#3 also showed Diana’s humour (or is that Rucka’s? Or both?). I like the way Greg Rucka wrote Wonder Woman during his run, but his Diana was rather too sombre then. Now in BN WW, Rucka progressed by showing that Diana is not only honourable; she’s also funny. Not the plastic sense of humour a la Plastic Man or Flash (animated version), neither Alfred Pennyworth’s British sense of humour, but funny nonetheless. Almost akin to the way Gail Simone writes WW’s sense of humour. Anyway. Diana ran into Max Lord… long story short, as Max said ‘Woof! I like the girls who play rough!”, Wonder Woman punched his zombie body with a now-classical line, “I’m not a GIRL, Max!”. Then as Max’ skull launched another innuendo (‘So…what’re you doing after?’), Diana just kicked his skull around. Heh. Another writer who could portray Diana’s unique sense of humour was Joe Kelly during his JLA runs. Wonder Woman joked around with Batman and Plastic Man in different ways, and laughed when Faith asked if she dated Superman. Really funny, if you ask me.
Wonder Woman’s preference towards non violence was clearly shown as she later encountered an angry Mera. As an Amazon, it was not difficult for her to defeat Mera. But since Mera already transformed into a Red Lantern, a being fed by anger, it would be hard for Diana (even with her new violet ring) to curb down Mera’s assaults. Carol put it in perspective as “She’s a Red Lantern. You can’t calm that kind of rage!”
Yet, Diana persisted. She made a violet dome, locked herself in with the wrathful Mera, and reasoned with her. Yes, Mera attacked her, yes Diana had to dodge and steer to protect herself, but she stood corrected. Her ring tried to see beneath Mera’s anger and hatred, but couldn’t. At least couldn’t do it alone. Thus, Wonder Woman took out her lasso and showed her friend the truth.
And the truth was revealed. Apparently the combination of Diana’s Lasso of Truth and the Star Sapphire ring revealed Mera’s hidden hatred towards herself. It related to Arthur Curry Aquaman (Mera’s husband), their baby (who might be dead?) and the love between Arthur and Mera, which I think is very very lovely (and boy, what a hot kiss they shared there!). I don’t know a lot about the DC Atlantis tales (weird, since I’m a marine biologist…), but it turned out that Mera’s anger originated from her hatred towards herself (whatever the issues were between her and her husband). As Diana later suggested, the only way to address it is by telling the truth.
Since she couldn’t accept that telling her husband the truth would be a new beginning, Mera volleyed back at Diana. “The Lasso showed me your heart the same way it showed you mine. What is the truth there?” What was Diana’s inner truth that Mera saw? Here we go…
“You never spoke a word,” said Mera, to which Diana replied with, “Because there was nothing that ever needed saying. And even if there had been…” Diana slowly cast her eyes down in regret, “… it’s too late for that, now.”
She then looked up again and touched Mera’s shoulder. “But perhaps not for you. Not if we survive the night.” Diana meant that it was not too late for Mera, for she could still tell Aquaman that she loves him and wants him back. I would, if I were Mera.
Non Batwondy readers will be confused, but a Batwondy fan like me immediately understood that Diana referred to her ‘friendship only’ resolution with Batman in JLA#90 (DC comics, issued in November 2003) more than 6 years ago (really, that long?!). We Bruce/Diana fans always felt that the resolution was forced and ended abruptly. It still feels forceful to read many DC issues where Bruce and Diana are mere friends. Worse, the Trinity arc stated that Diana saw him as her brother. Please. Quoting one of my colleagues at the BMWWArkham (I forgot whom, a while ago)… ‘I never looked at my brother the way Diana looked at Bruce’. So true.
Anyway. Doesn’t matter now, does it? Because Bruce Wayne, the Batman, is dead. That’s why Diana said that it was too late now. Too late to tell him that she actually loved, loves him as a woman loves a man.
But, oh wait! We know that Bruce Wayne is still alive! We know that he shall return! We just don’t know how…yet. And when he does return from the dead… will DC let Bruce/Diana romance blossom… or just kill it with another dream machine a la JLA#90, or another lame excuse?
I honestly don’t know. It’s very easy to fall into despair as well. But hey… Bruce/Diana stories, or hints of it, have survived since the 80s during the Brave and the Bold and JLA series, slowly but sure tailing and rivaling the Bruce/Selina or Clark/Diana stories. There is no reason to fear that anyone can kill Bruce/Diana romance now. They can try, but I have faith that Batwondy romance will live on. At least in fanfictions. And – with Blackest Night Wonder Woman as the latest official record – it’s good enough for me…
Several more notes. My beta reader Hepburn said that she thought very highly of Nicola’s way of depicting Bruce and Diana gazing lovingly at each other. I have to agree. I love Bruce and Diana kissing in BN WW#2, but their silent gazing was also beautiful and poetic. The hot kiss was crowned to Arthur and Mera this time though. Boy, I never paid attention to this couple, but they’re a hot old married couple! They’re like Spiderman and Mary-Jane Parker; meant for each other…
Secondly, Nicola Scott’s mother passed away recently (see Gail Simone’s message in CBR). Nicola has painted a very beautiful artwork for her mother in Facebook. Please pray for her and her family, for she has not only given many of us joy with her lovely works, but she’s also a wonderful woman in her own rights…
I close this post with a poem of love. I was tempted to find something from Odysseus, but I’m no expert in Greek romance. Hence, I pulled out an old poem from India’s Rabindranath Tagore. I can easily picture Bruce Wayne, somewhere in Iraqi desert 9,000 years back in the past, gazing at the diadem night sky and reciting this poem for Diana.
I dreamt that she sat by my head, tenderly ruffling my hair with
her fingers, playing the melody of her touch. I looked at her face
and struggled with my tears, till the agony of unspoken words burst
my sleep like a bubble.
I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window,
like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment
she had a dream that rhymed with mine.
All pictures are from Blackest Night Wonder Woman #3, story by Greg Rucka, art by Nicola Scott, ink by Jonathan Glapion, and colour by Nei Ruffino.