By Cat Wyatt
It’s time for Wonder Woman Annual #2. It’s part of the Dark Gods plot that has been going on, but it’s individually titled to Save the Star Sapphires. Last we saw in the main continuity Wonder Woman was about to begin battling the Dark Gods that arrived when suddenly she was pulled away by the Star Sapphires. This isn’t like them, to pull her away from a battle for no reason. So likely they desperately need her help.
This is proven to be fact at the sight of the first page of this issue. The Star Sapphire lantern looks destroyed. One of the Star Sapphires is speaking, telling us that love is dying. There aren’t many things that can threaten a core emotion like that, so clearly things are about to get bad.
Diana is too focused on the need to get back home – to get back to the fight – to take in her surroundings and realize that there’s a battle being waged on Zamaron. It’s understandable that Diana wants to get back home, not only does she feel responsible for what is going on, but her brother has been left in her place to handle this fight. Jason has a lot of potential, but he’s not up to Diana’s level yet. It’s unlikely he could handle a threat as big as this without risking serious injury to himself.
All of this is running through Diana’s mind as she tries to convince the Star Sapphires to send her home. They listen to her pleas, and they make a fantastic point. If Wonder Woman truly is responsible for the Dark Gods arriving on earth, then she is also responsible for the Dark God that arrived at Zamaron. Using that logic, there’s no reason she can’t help them with their fight, as they clearly and desperately need her.
You see, things have not been going well ever since this being has arrived. The entity, named Karnell, calls himself a god of love, but his love is not the kind that any of us know or would be willing to acknowledge. Any Sapphire that was caught in his blaze – any Sapphire that had anything less than the purest sense of love – was killed. This includes their current leader, Dela Pharon.
That’s the real reason they went and grabbed Wonder Woman. They didn’t know she was potentially responsible for what happened. That had nothing to do with it. They just knew that they needed a leader, and they simply couldn’t think of a better person than her.
This isn’t Wonder Woman’s first stint as a Star Sapphire, so she’s got a pretty good handle on how they work and what her ability boosts will be like. That being said, it was a smart call to tell the others to hold back until she had time to assess the situation. Diana is significantly stronger than most, even the Star Sapphires, so a hit that could kill them might not be fatal for her.
And thus Wonder Woman heads up to have a little chat with Karnell. Well, she actually probably went up there to fight him, which happened, but it then led to talking. Not in the rational conversation sense. More like she let Karnell ramble on, which is a good call. Everyone knows that if you give a villain time to monologue he’ll give you all the information you need to take him down.
This is how we learned of Karnell’s creation, how he came to power, where he was from, and most importantly, how he got here. Any part of the information given would have been priceless, but all combined it gave Wonder Woman all the ammunition she needed.
It doesn’t take long for Wonder Woman to form a plan. This one may not look like much, but it actually fits with the way the Star Sapphires work. So with that in mind, and with the Star Sapphires backing her up, Wonder Woman goes after Karnell. Not with hate, or vengeance, but with pity and love.
If you read that and rolled your eyes, that’s fine. But remember that this is literally how the Star Sapphires are meant to work. Like the Green Lanterns and their willpower, the Star Sapphires are fueled by love. The stronger the love the more powerful they are. This doesn’t mean their love has to be perfect, we’ve learned that much over the years. They just have to be capable of wielding it.
Believe it or not there’s a bigger take away from this whole situation. Previously Diana was led to believe that she was somehow responsible for the Dark Gods arrival, but she didn’t understand how. Now Diana knows, and we know the truth of the connection as well. It’ll be interesting to see if that knowledge ends up helping her in her future fights against the Dark Gods.
This was a really interesting issue. It’s not unheard of for Diana to take up the Star Sapphire mantle, yet it’s always interesting every time it does happen. It wasn’t surprising to learn that the Dark Gods are from the Dark Dimension introduced during the Dark Metal plot. That being said, it is an interesting choice to have it all tied in so heavily with Wonder Woman’s plot. Who knows where it will go from here or how many other DC characters will end up getting involved by the end.
The artwork for this issue was wonderful. Diana always looks so striking in her Star Sapphire garb, and this time is no exception. It’s arguable better than previous designs as well. The way Karnell’s power was portrayed and how it affected the Star Sapphires was shockingly brutal but artistically very well done.
Wonder Woman Annual #2