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Black Lantern Wonder Woman

DCD Blackest Night
by Artemis

So, Blackest Night, huh? If you've been reading it, you'll know... well, more than I do. Zombies with superpowers, evidently; I'm rather tired of big crossovers (and, I must admit, most of the Big Two's work of late) so it's all one to me. DC Direct evidently like what they see though, since they've been pumping out action figures like nobody's business - without the once-standard enormous delay between comic and merchandise that used to hamper tie-in figure series like this - so even for me, there's some good coming out of the whole thing.

With Nekron's return, his growing power is fuelled by the energies unleashed during the Blackest Night, casting a long and evil shadow across the DC Universe. Claiming power - through promises and proof - of restoration and resurrection to one-time heroes, Nekron has set the stage for his ultimate triumph. As such, that which the Dark Lord gives can be taken away, as the Amazon Princess finds herself forcefully enslaved into the service of the blackest power, as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.

That's a little vague (though admirably doom-laden), but with the aid of asking people who claim to know what's going on, I can elaborate: the whole Comicbook Revolving Door Afterlife thing has been, according to Nekron's Retkon, a stealthy deal-with-the-devil strategy, so that at the proper time Nekky could yoink the life back out of all the heroes who he (allegedly) allowed to return, thus putting them under his control. Of course, if he'd just left them dead to begin with they wouldn't have been in a position to turn the tables by getting un-undeaded by various convenient means, but that'd be no fun - you may as well ask a megalomaniacal billionaire to not explain his scheme prior to lowering Bond into the piranha pit.

Die-ana (see what I did there?) fortunately hasn't had time to decompose any, so while she's not exactly looking her usual tanned self, she's at least still got all her skin on the outside, which will probably help sales; it's one of those quirky little trends that hot zombies, while they're rare in any case, are almost uniformly female if they do show up. Wondy's one such, with only her skin tone (grey with a lingering touch of colour) and standard I'm-mystically-not-myself white eyes to tell her apart from the living. To help her fit in with the Black Lantern crowd (because even the undead feel socially awkward if they stand out) the Dark Lord has evidently devoted some of his unholy power to whipping up a cutesy new costume for her, and like everyone else who's redesigned her wardrobe he's decided it'd be cool if she looked more ancient Greek.

Her basic costume, the bustier/starry panties combo, is still there underneath, just recoloured black with silver and white accents, echoing the seams Wondy's bustier acquires whenever she drops into the hands of a detail-happy artist, as well as sprouting various triangular elements to resonate with the Black Lantern Corps' favourite shape; in a cute touch, the stacked double triangle added to her eagle breastplate gives it a more bat-like appearance. White-edged leather straps give her a more olde worlde/Xena look front and back (soft rubber, so they don't hamper the joints), and her boots have sprouted solid shin guards, likewise black with white edging. All that high-contrast monochrome demands careful paintwork lest it look rubbish, and fortunately Diana gets by pretty well - there's a minor lack of edge coverage on the bicep and thigh bands, but nothing worth raising a ruckus over.

Her face is the usual serene goddess look we've come to know and love having bondage fantasies about over the years - she looks more severe than usual, but (action figure faces tending to neutral expressions anyway) that's mostly the blank eyes and sharp-edged tiara than anything different about her face itself. Her hair is wind-swept and quite sharply sculpted, especially considering that it's very, very soft material. It may just be a matter of similar sources, but she strikes me as being very reminiscent of the Terry Dodson-inspired Wonder Woman figure of a few years ago - that goes for her body as well, though this figure, aptly enough for a revenant, stands with a much straighter, stiffer posture.

Well-received as Blackest Night may be, there's no pretending Wonder Zombie isn't a poor man's copy of the real thing, but DC Direct have at least given the action figure a few points for her to be proud of compared to her more vital sisters. The standard joints are all in place - balljoint neck, swivel/pin shoulders (though with a limited upward swing), pin elbows, peg hips and pin knees - but to this they've added swivels at the bicep and thigh straps, and swivel wrists at the bottom of the bracelets. Without being able to widen her stance or turn her waist she's still not giving proper super-articulated figures any grief, but there's a lot you can do with what she's got, especially compared to DCD's regular fare.

For accessories she's got the usual Green Lantern-series circular base, coloured and printed with the appropriate Corps logo as have been all the Blackest Night bases. Also as has often been the case with these, the peg is in the wrong place - in order to have Diana stand straight and centred on the base, the symbol has to be angled off to one side. It's a minor annoyance, but most of that annoyance stems from there being no reason at all why the logo couldn't have been rotated.

Wondy also gets her lasso, which is transformed along with her, swapping its usual gold for (you guessed it) black, and seeing more use throttling unlucky people to death than tying lucky people up. Most Wonder Women with lassos have had the main cord held in a loop by a thinner tie around them, but this one just ties the ends off, creating a rather large and noticeable knot. Fortunately it's no big deal to untie it, and the cord holds its shape well enough to sit in loops in her hand, or the hook on her belt, without it.

There's been no real shortage of Wonder Women figures over the years, mostly from DC Direct, and that tally includes a few genuine alternate versions, as well as the usual yet-another-regular-Wonder-Woman releases. This is a good one for Diana collectors - very distinct from her sisters, but also very reminiscent of them, rather than being a complete break. I wasn't sure about the Blackest Night line, what with Arisia being silly and Star Sapphire being a slightly altered re-release, but Black Lantern Diana is solid work.

-- 05/05/10


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