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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #9 Superman/Wonder Woman #9

Superman/Wonder Woman #9

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 11, 2014

Cover date: August 2014


Writer: Charles Soule
Penciller: Tony Daniels
Inker: Mat Banning with Sandu Florea
Cover: Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey

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

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #9 In the recesses of his mind, a conversation takes place between Clark and "Superdoom". Superdoom seeks to antagonize Clark into losing what restraint he has left, but Clark counters that he will stop what is occurring, that "there's always a way." Wonder Woman enlists the aid of Hessia, who dons armor under the pretense of trying to heal Superman of his affliction, but in truth tries to kill him. Hessia is unable to contend with Superdoom, and Wonder Woman comes upon the scene, stopping the one-sided melee. Hessia reveals that she exposed the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman, in an attempt to prove that Superman is unstable and needs to be done away with. Superdoom attacks, but Wonder Woman removes her bracers and comes between Hessia and Superdoom. Wonder Woman flies Superman above the Kryptonite cloud, and he is able to reassert himself. Superman resolves to leave Earth until he can sort things out, but as he's leaving, he's attacked by Red Lanterns, Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, being among them. Wonder Woman intercedes once more, and Superman is left alone to fly away from the Earth, and seek a solution to his infection.

2Story - 2: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

It's doubtful that Nietzsche knew that his words would become a three month long crossover comic book storyline, any more than he knew that his Ubermensch concept would inspire the greatest superhero and his number one villain. Superman: Doomed is an examination of Nietzsche's warning, and without the entertainment value that would make the caveat one to be heeded. The Doomsday infection has been coursing through Superman's body, waiting for the moment Superman cannot fight it off, so that Doomsday can finally take hold and rip, roar, and panic. It's a thrilling concept, and an idea that should play well long. However, thus far, the storyline has been very basic in its approach, and indolent in its application. We've been treated to Superman trying to have Diana kill him, and foolishly allowing himself to be quarantined where the likes of Lex Luthor can examine him. He's been placed in restraints that couldn't hold the Karate Kid, let alone a being of his power coupled with the virulent presence of Doomsday. The reader is then treated to amoebean verses between Superman and... Superdoom? Is it Superdoom, or is it the darker side of Superman's nature, the part that wants to cut loose and destroy everything? That Superman would have such a side would be disappointing, and in 2014, very much explored to the point of redundancy. So what a man is left with is a piece of a larger story that's not being told very well, along with the baggage of Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship.

In this issue, finally, Superman leaves Earth to get a handle on the Doomsday infection. Why it took him this long to do so is just unbelievable. It's the simplest thing to do and the last thing done. That or the Phantom Zone. The premise of Superman's infection holds little weight, as it's hard to believe that he would infect himself in the first place knowing or unknowingly. Still, it's the path towards curing himself that has been at odds with sense. Superman is infected with, for all intents and purposes, a Kryptonian disease. There has been little if any recourse towards using the Kryptonian technology that Superman has at his disposal, towards curing a Kryptonian ailment. No using the Fortress' data on Krypton and its history, and hell no to the Phantom Zone. Instead, Superman goes about business as usual, and when that doesn't work, he locks himself up in Lex Luthor's old prison complex. It all small-minded and addle-brained. There is no one on the planet who should know more about Doomsday than Superman, and yet he seems to know very little, having faced and defeated him before. The story seeks to straddle the line of being new, yet being New 52 Superman's first challenge against Doomsday, which raises more questions than it should... and answers none of them.

The theme of destruction continues within the Superman books, as the Earth now has a green cloud of Kryptonite in its atmosphere, a cloud that is visible from orbit. If we're honestly supposed to believe that the cloud won't be harmful to anyone but Superman, Soule must expect us to forget that Kryptonite is still radioactive, and in cloud form, it threatens to commingle with natural cumulus, and if acid rain is an unwanted thing, imagine the birth defect from Kryptonite rain. What is more, while Superman leaves the Earth to spare it his trials with being infected, the cloud is a side-issue, if that. Supposedly the Kryptonite will become one with the Earth, making it impossible for anyone of Kryptonian DNA to live there, so bye-bye Krypto, but to imagine that it will only harm Kryptonians is naive on the part of anyone who believes it.

We learn the truth behind Wonder Woman and Superman's relationship being revealed, and it couldn't have happened at a worse time, from a more unlikely person, for a less than justified reason. Hessia reveals what she's done in order to have Superdoom attack, and thereby have an excuse to kill him. The action is almost as horrible as her outing the couple, as she tells Superman "I did it for Diana - and for you. It was what you needed." It doesn't track, as Hessia revealed the secret to instead of another news site, and unless it was for the irony of having Clark's website out himself, it's strange to see why she would allow him to benefit from the secret that she deems detrimental to their relationship. Why Hessia feels that revealing the secret would be good is not explained, only that she now feels that Wonder Woman and Superman are wrong for each other and her actions were incorrect. What could have been a sizable reveal is shrouded and drenched in bathos, smothered and subsumed by the larger storyline of Superman: Doomed.

There are only a few issues left in this storyline, and perhaps after they have completed, there will be a return to the story at hand: the relationship of Superman and Wonder Woman, such as it may be. Until then, the book is a needed peg to hold up a tilted shelf, and I've never had much interest in shelf watching.

3Art - 3: Daniels is a good artist, but he's just not being given anything worth his weight.

3Cover Art - 3: Doomed Superman/Wonder Woman. I love it.

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

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