Reading Pile: Wonder Woman Dead Earth HC
If you've read and enjoyed Daniel Warren Johnson's Murder Falcon (and you should have) then you'll like this series. And if you haven't read Murder Falcon, then seriously go buy that and then you may as well just pick this up at the same time to save yourself the trouble.
Dead Earth is an Elseworlds apocalyptic tale that follows the awakening of Diana from a cryo-sleep after events turned the planet into a barren wasteland. Missing most of her memories about how she was put to sleep, she joins with a band of survivors as they lead her to the remnants of civilization while being hunted by horrible mutant monsters.
It doesn't take long for Diana to go through the usual paces of a post-apocalyptic tale, complete with an eventual betrayal by corrupts human leadership and the obligatory death arena showdown.
Johnson does a great job of balancing the current timeframe along with plenty of flashbacks that delve deeper into the events that lead to the world's destruction, as well as some great connective tissue with the Amazons and Diana's mother that all pays off exceptionally well.
While Johnson's scripts are pretty tight and he has a good balance between character moments against the action beats of the story, the main attraction is definitely his kinetic and vibrant style which lends itself well to the gore, grit, and brutality of the world he's developed here. Whether it's Diana killing the hell out of monsters,
or punching in Superman's face through a mountain,
Johnson's unique style just brings a lot of weight to his stories that lends a sense of the epic to the overall narrative.
I'm also just a huge fan of self-contained multiversal Elseworld stories, and stuff like this has always been my jam. Projects that allow indy creators to go all out and tell stories like this are where it's at, so despite my general lack of care for DC Black Label as an imprint I have to say that at least it allows for more projects like this to get the spotlight.
This book checks a lot of boxes, so if you're in the mood for:
- A good Wonder Woman story
- An engaging post-apocalyptic yarn
- Fun monster body horror
- Action packed superhero fights
And overall great storytelling and art, then do yourself a favor and check it out. The HC is $30 for four prestige issues worth of reading, and clocks in at 200 pages in a nice 8.77x11.16 package. It is well worth your time and money.