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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #2 Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 13, 2013

Cover date: January 2014

"The Dark Age Begins!"

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Tony S. Daniel
Inker: Batt with Sandu Florea
Cover: Shane Davis and Michelle Delecki

Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #2 Doomsday has beaten Wonder Woman and broken both of her arms. Wonder Woman tries to think a way out of her impending doom, but the ship suddenly moves thanks to Superman lifting it tossing Doomsday off. Later, Wonder Woman describes what she fought, and Superman recognizes it for what it is: Doomsday. Superman describes Doomsday as death, but Wonder Woman reassures him that he'll meet the challenge should Doomsday escape from the Phantom Zone again, and she will be at his side. The scene breaks to Hephaestus' foundry, where Superman and Wonder Woman petition Hephaestus for a creation by his hand. After a show of strength, the god of fire is on board. However, Apollo and Strife arrive, with Apollo bent on insulting Wonder Woman and baiting Superman. Superman takes the bait, and Apollo slaps him away as a mere trifle. Superman arises from the crucible he was smacked into, and returns Apollo's smack with a punch of his own. Apollo blasts Superman with an energy bolt, but it only super-charges him, and he dispatches Apollo. The scene cuts to the Sahara, where a caravan is attacked and slaughtered by none other than General Zod.

3Story - 3: Hello, you lot! Ralph Silver got first go, and I'm up to bat this month. It's to be a regular thing, so please don't think that Ralph's gone or anything like that. If this is your first go at a review for Superman/Wonder Woman, I highly recommend that you have a look at Ralph's review from last month.

And away we go.

Wonder Woman and Superman in a relationship is a tenuous proposition, as it's based on a gossamer concept: the most powerful man and the most powerful woman in the world should be together and want to be together, logically. It's a juvenescent proposition, as it boils down to sexual intimacy at the end of the day, but DC has risen (or lowered) themselves to the occasion and will see this coupling through, till death, cancellation, or reboot do they part. Thus far, it's not an engaging start. There's a balance that has to be struck when two iconic characters share the same title, which Superman/Batman did very well. However, Wonder Woman and Superman haven't had nearly as much panel time together as the aforesaid, and so what niches they may have do not yet exist. Couple that with the added weight of their relationship also being developed, and you're left with the color-by-numbers dullness that was issue #2.

A fan of Wonder Woman (me!) isn't going to be taken with her having her arms broken by Doomsday, and being at his mercy until Superman rescues her. However, as a fan of Superman (me too!), you have to know that Superman is stronger and more durable than Wonder Woman. Superman can stop hurricanes and flood, and repair falling skyscrapers, while Wonder Woman has never been that type of character. In this issue, Wonder Woman seems lucky to be alive, which isn't a great prospect for the Goddess of War (wonder what Athena has to say about that?). Her words to Superman about confronting Doomsday are the sounds of the dutiful, loving girlfriend, which, to be frank, she doesn't need to do and Superman shouldn't need to hear. There's no clear moment for her in this issue, and when that moment does come, the hope can only be that it doesn't come at the expense of Superman. Wonder Woman in this comic book is also a wee different that how she is portrayed in her own title i.e. that Wonder Woman would probably have no interest in Superman whatsoever... Unless his name was Orion (which is actually a better match). The greatest crime a writer can commit with Wonder Woman is making her a cipher, and in this issue, she's a thread away from becoming the patron saint. She doesn't accomplish anything, she doesn't come across as a goddess, she's Superman's girlfriend.

Superman, on the other hand, receives better treatment(don't worry, they'll roll it back), in that he removes the threat of Doomsday and he handles Apollo as if being a god means being the villain of the week on Xena. Granted that Apollo supercharges him, but Apollo go have drained him just as well; even worse if Apollo can master any sun, and not just the one of the world his patrons live on. No fan wants to see Superman get handled, and his abilities should make him formidable, but as the current king of the gods, Apollo served little purpose other than to get beat and go home. What is up with Superman's armor? That bath in the crucible wore at it, but not his cape?

I'm a fan of both Wonder Woman and Superman, which is part of the reason why I didn't want them together. Too many readers and writers thrive on character driven stories that revolve around conflict, and that was never either character. I believe the trouble some readers had with Lois Lane, was that she had a big place in Superman's life, though she was just a mortal woman. However, with the responsibilities that are on the shoulders of 2/3 of the trinity, it's hard to imagine any down time for them, let alone romance. Also, to be honest, Lois Lane's character is more defined than Wonder Woman's (i.e.,she's a reporter, she's a go-getter, etc.) There's less chance of her being a cipher, or at least a writer getting away with it. This issue highlights some of the concerns I had about linking Superman and Wonder Woman together, but also makes me ask why are they together? What do they see in each other than translates into a committed relationship? Take Wonder Woman's words to Superman regarding Doomsday. She's said as much to him before when they were just good friends. What is the difference now?

3Art - 3: Aside of the splash page slap, the line-work just wasn't very engaging this month. Probably because of the expectations for a Doomsday brawl, but the images seems to lie still rather than jump off the page.

3Cover Art - 3: Superman and Wonder Woman standing awkwardly.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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