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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #7 Superman/Wonder Woman #7

Superman/Wonder Woman #7

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 9, 2014

Cover date: June 2014


Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Paulo Siqueira, Eddy Barrows, and Barry Kitson
Inker: Eber Ferreira with Barry Kitson
Cover: Paulo Siqueira and Hi Fi

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

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #7 A healthy and happy reunited Wonder Woman and Superman fly over a damaged city of London. They haven't been alone in quite a while, and look to reconnect. Wonder Woman recommends a place that she knows, and the duo make for a change of attire and a change of setting. Previous to this, Superman and Wonder Woman are in a macabre embrace after having set-off a nuclear explosion. Superman's cape shielded Wonder Woman from the blast, and she revives first to see what appears to be Superman's remains; a cadaver wearing his perforated armor. Wonder Woman finds what appears to be an invisible jet, now visible due to the fallout from the explosion, and uses it to allow a sliver of sunlight in, which touches Superman's skeletal hand. Wonder Woman passes out, but awakens when ghost soldiers stand before her with ill-intent. The ghost soldiers blast her, but Superman has regained enough strength to destroy the soldiers weapons. Weaponless, the soldiers shrug and retreat. Together they fly out of the destruction and into the sunlight, where Superman beings to heal, but Wonder Woman is still in need. Superman flies her to Hessia, who takes to restoring Wonder Woman, while Superman makes for the Fortress of Solitude, where he has an apparatus designed just for such an emergency. A return to the present brings us deep beneath the ocean surface, where Doomsday is swallowed by a shark the size of a megalodon, kills it, and continues to make his way towards an unknown destination. A submarine belonging to the Tower attempts to collect Doomsday, with disastrous results. Returning to London, Clark and Diana enter a nightclub and reconnect, while dancing the night away, enjoying the time they have together while it lasts... and it seems that it won't, as the last image shown is that of a massive grey fist, with spiked knuckles punching upward from the ocean.

2Story - 2: Hats off to Soule for making the best of a challenging situation, but it still doesn't result in a stellar or even a serviceable issue. In order to understand this installment, to really know what was going on, a reader would have had to have read four other comics (Superman/Wonder Woman, Action Comics, Wonder Woman, and Forever Evil) to be in the know. That and the last issue of Forever Evil hasn't even debuted yet. The opening splash page shows Superman and Wonder Woman flying above London, which is being repaired and has suffered a lot of damage. If a new reader comes in not having read Forever Evil, and doesn't get the hint when Superman says: "Forever," which is bolded, by the way, it just makes Superman and Wonder Woman look very callous and aloof to what's going on beneath them. The contrary to that is even with knowing about Forever Evil, Wonder Woman and Superman still look callous and aloof. For the two of them, with all of their abilities to be simply flying above it all so they can have a moment to themselves is a very poor reflection on the characters who are supposed to be about helping people. It makes them seem more 90s Image than is comfortable: "We stop the bad guys, you clean up the mess."

If time isn't taken to think about the story, it's possible to overlook much of its flaws. However, this issue forces a reader to think about much more than before, and ponder as to what is the final tally for this hero and heroine. Superman uses his cape to shield Wonder Woman from the atomic explosion, but we've seen before that his cape is capable of expanding to greater size (Action Comics #2), so why not wrap himself and her as well? The explosion leaves Superman resembling the walking dead, but Wonder Woman looks all right. She's lacerated, bruised, and a little bloodied, but she doesn't look anywhere near the damage that Superman has sustained. It would seem that Superman's cape shielded her from both the blast (which is actually what kills, initially) as well as the radiation. For Wonder Woman to be better off than a man who has flown through the sun, which has nuclear explosions all the time, some the size of the Earth itself, is confounding to say the least. Then again, New 52 Superman may not be able to do such a thing ... unless wrapped in his cape. The problem exists from Soule trying to display equity between the two of them, which is very difficult. It results in Wonder Woman saving Superman, who saves Wonder Woman, who saves Superman, who saves Wonder Woman, again. Soule's explanation of the atomic blast's effect on Superman is equally confounding, as Superman absorbs radiation, not sunlight, but it doesn't matter. Anyone could wiki the former, but DC knows that their readership isn't concerned with logical consistency, or how Superman's powers actually work. The coolness factor of seeing scenes from The Dark Knight Returns over and over will suffice.

The threat of Zod and Faora, if one can actually call it that, has been stopped, but at a great cost. A cost that means absolutely nothing. Nothing. Wonder Woman's acknowledgement through, "What have we done?" is all readers will get, as we have to be ready for DOOMED. Still, it doesn't matter, as DC knows their readership won't hold Superman or Wonder Woman to task for their actions. "They did what they had to do," will be the response, and it was cool, right? Big explosion, tough as nails cadaver, beautiful woman with a little blood on her, it's a check list of what fans would probably want to see. What's telling is what DC doesn't believe we care about: heroism. There is no concern for the destruction past a single sentence. The fallout from such an explosion would have serious ramifications for the immediate surrounding area, but since no human beings were killed, who cares, right? They did what they had to do, so let's move on.

It would probably be easier to do so, move on that is, if the last image of Wonder Woman and Superman wasn't in their civilian identities, dancing the night away. It's a nice scene, and the T-Shirts they're attired with are cute nods to the characters, just so long as there is no thought to it. Surely heroes deserve some downtime, and lovers need time to love, but there is too much to be done, still too much work for these two to do before this scene can be taken as earned. In simplest terms: They blew up an island, London is a wreck, so they go dancing. It's mind-boggling that these two would even consider it after what's gone on, but the draw of the book is the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman, and there will be more on that, so we must have scenarios for them to be boyfriend and girlfriend, regardless of how forced it may be. And forced it is. It's one thing for a reader to want to like the pairing, it's another for a tidal wave to be thrown to make one want to like them. It's very unfortunate that the underlying pinning of these two noble characters is so obviously base and pedestrian. Still, it would be something to overlook and defend, if, and only if, one could believe that there is a genuine love between the two, and that is the rub, the gigantic mastodon that is as repetitive as Doomsday and "doomed" throughout the book. They don't love each other. So much could be forgiven if they had true open hearts towards each other, but they don't, and I wonder if they have the capability to love anyone on a personal level at all.

Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #6 has a great scene between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, where she tells him that she did love him, but she's moved on. The Lasso of Truth confirms this. However, she says she's moved on, not that she loves Superman. This could be seen as kindness on her part; she doesn't want to totally wreck Steve (not in the middle of the battle they're fighting), but she still hasn't said it to Superman. This issue, she's gone further by calling Superman "Clark" when she sees his initial condition, which would be a great sign, only when Superman is about to say, "I love you" again, she cuts him off, letting him know that it's enough that he's said it already. She doesn't want to hear it from him, and neither is she going to say it, which, at this point, is just bizarre. You've just survived a near death experience, and...? There's no rationale for it; "I love you," is what people in love say to each other, especially with the circumstances that have just transpired for Wonder Woman and Superman. Superman is worse, as he says he loves Wonder Woman, and it's obvious, now, that he doesn't either. In many ways this is New 52's Superman's very first relationship, and he's going through the motions, saying what should be said, doing what should be done. It's just shy of pathetic, and both characters deserve better. A lot better.

For myself, the nail in the coffin is the splash of Clark and Diana dancing together. It was cool to see Clark dancing at all, but it just seemed so off, and I couldn't put my finger on it. Then it hits home that Superman is dancing with Wonder Woman, her clothing says as much, but why is he wearing glasses? I've seen so much of Wonder Woman with Superman these last few issues, that seeing her with Clark, which sounds moronic even saying it, looked odd. Clark is a regular guy, the human aspect of Superman that gives us our firmest connection to the character, but everything has been done to tell me that Wonder Woman would never be with a regular guy, let alone with Steve Trevor, who is anything but regular (Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #6). Now I can look forward to the "Doomed" crossover where much of what has transpired will be ignored or forgotten and action will again supplant the rationale behind the pairing, until Soule and company are forced to deal with it again.

3Art - 3: Siqueira and Barrows do some very good work here. Barrows follows Siqueira's lead to the point you have to look twice at some panels to be certain who did them. However, if you look at that first page, which is a beautiful depiction, Superman and Wonder Woman look like brother and sister. No, not their actions or staring at each other, their facial features look like they share the same parentage. You just can't make this stuff up.

5Cover Art - 5: Definitely not the best cover of all time, but if you want to sell a filler issue, this is definitely the way to go. Who wouldn't want to see why Superman looks like wizened haggis.

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.

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