WONDER WOMAN Annual #2 / Writer: James Robinson / Artists: Marc Laming, Frazer Irving, J. Calafiore, & Stephen Segovia / Colors: David Baron, Frazer Irving & Allen Passalaqua / Letters: Saida Temofonte / Cover: Yasmine Putri / Publisher: DC / June 6th, 2018
Wonder Woman is in the middle of fighting an invasion on Earth of evil Dark Gods. Star Sapphires pull her away from that fight and take her to their home planet, Zamaron. She tries to leave, but they ask her to save them from an attack by the Dark God, Karnell. Are he and the Dark Gods she fought on Earth connected? He twisted the Star Sapphire version of love and nearly destroyed them. In the battle, they lost their leader and many of their sisters. They called upon Wonder Woman because they feel she has both the strength to match Karnell and the pure love necessary to call upon the power of the Star Sapphires.
I admit, I’m not as familiar with the cosmic side of the DC universe and all the different Lantern Corps. Fortunately, Annual #2 gives enough backstory to be able to follow along. It even references the Blackest Night event from 2010 when Wonder Woman previously wielded the power of the Star Sapphires. Annual #2 reveals that during the events of the Dark Nights: Metal crossover, Wonder Woman wished for the gods to return, but she didn’t specify which gods–be careful what your wish for, goes the old adage. She inadvertently opened the door for these Dark Gods to come through.
James Robinson did a great job with the writing. It connects to her main story, but also stands alone so that it’s possible to read only this and still get a satisfying single-issue story. The references are handled well, giving enough information for readers to keep up even if they haven’t read every single issue. I would’ve liked a note that led to specific issues, though.
Four artists–Marc Laming, Frazer Irving, J. Calafiore, and Stephen Segovia–are credited along with three colorists–David Baron, Frazer Irving, and Allen Passalaqua. There are two very different art styles here, but they work well together. The pages set on the planet with Diana and the Star Sapphires are the standard style we have come to expect from DC and the Wonder Woman teams. Once the story moves into space and the battles against Karnell, it changes to a painted style that feels otherworldly and works great at showing the cosmic powers. The two styles work well to differentiate the past and the present.
I liked the character design on Karnell, especially considering he is the Dark God of love. His androgynous features and wings reminded me of both an angel and devil. Wonder Woman Annual #2 revolves much around love and its power–including the darker side of jealousy and fear–and how Wonder Woman uses her pure love as a weapon against evil.
Wonder Woman is a hero known for her strength and her compassion. So, it’s appropriate her first victory against these Dark Gods is with the help of warriors powered of love.
VERDICT 4 out of 5
Opinionated geek and writer born in the desert, raised on the beach, and now living in the mountains, Paul is a lifelong nerd who loves Star Wars, costuming, comic books, and all manner of geeky things.