KindleDownload iBookBuy Now

Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #4 Superman/Wonder Woman #4

Superman/Wonder Woman #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 15, 2014

Cover date: March 2014

"What Any Man Would Do"

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Tony S. Daniel
Inker: BATT with Sandu Florea (Page 1)
Cover: Daniel and BATT with Morey

"The Blog Read Around the World"

Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Paulo Siqueira
Inker: Hi- Fi

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

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #4 Somewhere in London, Superman is concerned about his relationship with Diana, as he hears the comments of the world chime in now that their coupling has been made public. Diana offers both comfort and questions, asking if Clark were to be Superman all of the time, would that be a bad thing. The discussion is tabled as Superman needs to be Clark Kent and visit Cat Grant, and learn how she broke the story of his relationship on Clark meets with an ecstatic Cat, who is celebrating their new found fortune. Their site is now on the map, and she couldn't be happier or think about anything else. The reactions of prominent members of the DC Universe are shown, including Lex Luthor, Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Jimmy Olsen, Apollo, Eros, Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor.

Superman returns to the Fortress of Solitude to check in on Zod. Unbeknownst to Superman, Zod has been about the Fortress, and even tried to open the Phantom Zone. Superman asks Zod about Doomsday, and Zod uses Superman's concern to have the Phantom Zone projector to him. Zod reveals that he can leave what Superman thought was a cell, which was merely a container. Zod then releases the other inhabitants of the menagerie, bring chaos to the Fortress long enough for him to retrieve his heart's desire from the Phantom Zone: Faora.

4Story - 4: An entertaining, if confounding issue. The weight of the story lies not in its titular characters, who were as bland as blancmarge, but in the events that occur... of which they're barely involved. It's not quite melodramatic, and thankfully not soap operatic, but entertaining enough to not wince at some of the unforced errors that occur in this installment. It's unclear why the story needed to be split into twain to allow for Clark the time needed to speak with Cat, but that's telling for a whole other reason, which will, of course be addressed below.

The conversation that begins between Wonder Woman and Superman is something that could have made the entire issue, and if followed, it would probably have been the last issue of the series. In that opening sequence, we know who Wonder Woman is, that's quite clear. However, it isn't until Wonder Woman states that Superman needs to go be Clark Kent that some of those onion-like layers are peeled back. Wonder Woman sees Superman as Superman. Clark is an act, something he has to go and be, a job, if you will. The fact that she doesn't see the importance of Clark Kent to the man that she loves is pretty interesting. Perhaps she views Clark as a phase that Superman will eventually grow out of. Superman doesn't do himself any favors with his explanation of being Clark, either. Rather than state he is both Clark and Superman, or side with one persona over the other, he gives an answer draped in the finest malarkey money can buy. "Being Clark Kent is hard," makes little sense, particularly since he's been Clark since he can remember, and it's a reminder that we don't know who exactly this Superman is.

Perhaps Soule didn't want dueling narratives in the form of Clark with Cat, and Superman with Zod, so he opted for separate stories. That might have been the best move, as Clark's story is more interesting than Superman's. Once more we see some flashes of a thinking Superman, someone who takes precautions with the Phantom Zone projector, even though there are no other Kryptonians around to utilize it, and then he's the fool who gives Zod exactly what he wants without thinking. Zod knowing that the cells were containers is clever, but also at the sacrifice of Superman's intellect. We're not shown the origins of the Fortress in N52, past what Morrison introduced, but it's a penny-smart, pound foolish moment that doesn't ring true. If you're going to use something for the means of containment, it's best to know how it works or it's going to be a mess, just as Zod creates.

There is more tenderness and love seen in the splash of Zod and Faora, than we've seen with Wonder Woman and Superman... Clark... Kal-El... whoever. In terms of their pairing, thus far, Superman and Wonder Woman are, well, boring. There is little dynamism between the two of them, which is highlighted even more when we see Zod's actions and all for the sake of freeing Faora. We've seen Superman and Wonder Woman is intimate moments. This issue intimates that we catch them at the not too distant conclusion of one, but there's no blood in it, making it diaphanous at best. Part of that reason is highlighted in this issue, when Clark is catching up with Cat. There is a whole part of Superman that Wonder Woman doesn't seem to be connected to, and if Soule is highlighting this, then well done. Not quite melodramatic, but not soap operatic either.

It will be interesting to see who outed the couple, and so far, there are three contenders in my mind: Batman, for obvious reasons; Steve Trevor, for obvious reasons; Brian Azzarello, for reasons as yet unknown. Feel free to add your own to the mix. Oh, why is Lex Luthor in prison?

4Art - 4: Both artists deliver, but Siqueira's rendering of Cat Grant and Wonder Woman puts him over the top. They're not just pretty, but they look authentic, though I'm pretty sure Wonder Woman doesn't have green eyes.

4Cover Art - 4: The shattered glass raises the rating a mark, but one more kissy-kissy cover and we're going right back to a 3.

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

February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2014.