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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #13 Superman/Wonder Woman #13

Superman/Wonder Woman #13

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 19, 2014

Cover date: January 2015

"Battlefield of Love"

Writer: Peter Tomasi
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jaime Medoza

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #13 Five years ago, during the Parademon invasion of Metropolis Superman and Wonder Woman fight and argue over how they need to handle the situation. Superman wants to make sure that the civilians are safe. Wonder Woman wants to take down the biggest threat first. They argue a bit and in the end Superman snaps at Wonder Woman that they can't stand by and let people die. Wonder Woman flies back into battle saying she wasn't going to do that.

Today Clark is working on a personal project to commemorate those that died during the invasion. Diana doesn't understand his outlook but is happy if it makes him happy. Meanwhile the Atomic Skull attacks the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Soon he is joined by Major Disaster, who drums up a hurricane to give them cover. In New York City Clark gives away the fourth taxi that he had called to someone else. Diana is annoyed because they are getting rained on and takes a more direct approach to get them transportation. Suddenly a tremor hits and Diana believes it is not natural. Clark uses his hearing to listen in on chatter about the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and suddenly date night is over.

As Superman and Wonder Woman approach the plant Major Disaster senses their presence. Disaster attacks Wonder Woman while the Atomic Skull takes on Superman. The villains manage to knock them down giving Disaster the opportunity to hit them both with lightning. With the lightning barrage keeping Superman and Wonder Woman busy Disaster and Skull leave. Before they can get too far a costumed figure named Wonderstar introduces himself. He adds that he hopes they didn't hurt Wonder Woman and Superman because if they did he would have to kill them.

4Story - 4: All righty then. New writer, new take on not only the series but Superman and Wonder Woman as a couple. From what I gather I am supposed to spend some time discussing that relationship in these reviews, so I guess I'll spend the first paragraph or two doing that before getting into Peter Tomasi's story.

I am a big proponent of Superman being with Lois Lane. I like that love story. Whether you have the love triangle with two people or start with her knowing he's Superman that relationship, when done right, is not only entertaining but it hits me right in the feels. I think they should end up together. The problem is that Lois is human and Superman is an alien with super powers. Logic dictates that Superman is going to live longer than most humans. That seems to be the general consensus of writers and creators over the decades. Even if he visibly ages, like the Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earth-2 version of the character, he is going to outlive Lois. This is a very sad fact that depresses me to no end. I don't like thinking about it that much.

Wonder Woman is a goddess. In the various incarnations we've seen over the decades it appears that like Superman she isn't going to age like a normal person. So years in the future you are going to have a Superman that is without a Lois and a Wonder Woman that is going to be without a mate (Steve Trevor, whoever) and at that point it makes perfect sense to me that these two crazy kids would find each other. For years that is how I saw Superman and Wonder Woman getting together.

DC apparently didn't see it that way. A year into the New 52 editorial thought that getting Superman and Wonder Woman together might sell some comics. While I am sure there was some creative inspiration the fact that they revealed that cover to JUSTICE LEAGUE on Good Morning America indicates to me that this was designed to gin up interest in the comics. This is all well and good. I am not opposed to marketing so I went into this relationship hoping for the best and for the most part I have been satisfied. The powers that be seem to want to make this a legitimate thing and not just a flashy announcement. I wasn't happy that DC got rid of the marriage between Lois and Clark in the New 52 and for the most part I have been pretty disappointed with how they have handled Lois as a character but this is the world we live in so I need to accept what is going to happen instead of getting annoyed or upset that I am not getting what I want.

But that's just me. I'm not judging anyone here. I'm just giving my opinion.

So, taking all of that into consideration and judging this issue as not only the start of a new storyline but the start of a new writer on the book I enjoyed this issue on a number of levels. The opening scene was a great way to establish not only how Tomasi sees Superman and Wonder Woman but also to show how far the characters have progressed since their first meeting. Wonder Woman is shown as a calculating warrior who doesn't understand the new world she is living in. Superman is shown as someone that genuinely cares for people and feels anguish when he fails to save them. I liked that quite a bit and it gave the next scene more emotional weight.

The scene in Clark's apartment had an almost sitcom vibe to it but don't take that as a negative. I liked the rather laid back feeling of Clark and Diana getting ready for a date. As someone that has had the same "argument" Clark and Diana have at the beginning of the scene this made me connect to these characters. It also shows that as far as both characters have come fundamentally Diana still doesn't quite get Man's World and Clark cares too much. It's the fact that they accept each other that makes them work as a couple. The panel where Diana smiles and tells him that she's happy if it makes him happy speaks volumes for their relationship. Likewise Clark doesn't want to change her. So not only was it entertaining it felt authentic.

I was impressed with Tomasi's choices in super-villains. We haven't seen a whole lot of the Atomic Skull and while there are no mentions of his previous appearances I liked him as a strong arm villain. Major Disaster was likewise a good choice and I dug how Tomasi played with his powers. The fight they have with Superman and Wonder Woman is brutal and pretty one sided, which made for a strong way to finish the issue. The introduction of Wonderstar on the last page made for a great cliffhanger and given his dialogue you get the hint that this guy is not going to mess around too much. The only issue I had with his introduction was that Tomasi did the whole, "villains take down heroes that have been established to be powerful only to get taken down by a new guy" trope, but given that it is at the end of the issue and I am pretty sure something is up with Wonderstar I'm willing to not get lost in that. Besides, Disaster mentioned that their powers have been amped up a bit, so that explains the ability to take down two of the most powerful heroes in the DCU.

Tomasi is off to a good start. I like the character work he did and I liked the action. This was a very enjoyable issue and while it doesn't have the same feel that Charles Soule brought to the book I am looking forward to this introductory storyline quite a bit.

4Art - 4: I have this weird thing with Doug Mahnke's artwork. When he started working on SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL back in the late '90s I wasn't a fan of his style. Over the next few years I warmed to it, especially during his runs on JLA and GREEN LANTERN. With SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN my opinion is pretty much the same as the previous two titles I mentioned; I like it but some of the particulars don't appeal to me. Mahnke is great at designing a page and he is good with action and quiet scenes. There is just something always off in his faces but I chalk this up to personal preference rather than a failure on Mahnke's part. I liked his take on the Atomic Skull and Major Disaster was a major players in JLA when Doug worked on the book so it was neat to see him draw the character again. Wonderstar has a neat design that looks both contemporary and a throwback to the early nineties. Overall I am glad to see Mahnke working on the title even if some of his style turns me off.

4Cover Art - 4: This is a compelling cover, mainly because of the red skull in the background. The red actually threatens to swallow the cover, especially Superman, but Wonder Woman more than makes up for that.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: As with the other LEGO themed covers this is very cute. Wonder Woman always looks odd as a Lego but as an advertisement for a new game this works just fine.

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 2015

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