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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #15 Superman/Wonder Woman #15

Superman/Wonder Woman #15

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 14, 2015

Cover date: March 2015

"Dark Testament"

Writer: Peter Tomasi
Penciller: Ed Benes and Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jaime Mendoza with Mark Irwin and Don Ho

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #15 Five weeks ago a small boy fumes about the death of his family during the Apokolips invasion. He blames the Justice League for those deaths. An older man takes him in and he is turned into Magog by a mysterious figure. In the present Magog throws the injured Superman into the water. Wonder Woman attacks and despite putting up a good fight Magog gets the upper hand and blasts her off the cliff. Wonder Woman chooses to save Superman rather than chase Magog, who continues his quest to prove that the two heroes are actually threats.

Wonder Woman retrieves Superman and despite having a difference of opinion on how to deal with Magog they head into the city to stop him. Wonder Woman barrels ahead leaving Superman to make sure that civilians aren't harmed in the process. During the course of the fight Magaog's memory returns and he finally remembers what happened to his family. Magog tosses a woman off of the bridge and before Wonder Woman can save her a winged figure does her job for her. The winged figure heralds the arrival of Circe, who asks Magog which one of the heroes needs to die first.

4Story - 4: As I mentioned in the last review I am not the biggest fan of Magog as a character. To me he was a plot device in KINGDOM COME. Sure he was an important character to the story but not someone that would have any kind of longevity in the ongoing DCU. I have a hard time separating the character from what he was supposed to represent; all of the mindlessly violent characters that permeated the super-hero landscape in the early nineties. So when he was brought back during the THY KINGDOM COME storyline a few years back I wasn't too interested. Geoff Johns and the writers that used the character later did a fine job with him but it wasn't enough to change my mind about how I felt about him.

I can't say that Peter Tomasi has changed my mind either but I can say that I like the motivation he has given the character. It may seem simple and maybe a bit obvious to tie his origin to the formation of the New 52 Justice League but it works. It's interesting to see a writer take an action packed story that was designed to introduce the New 52 that wasn't all that concerned about collateral damage and actually deal with all of the death and destruction the invasion of Apokolips caused.

This seemed to be Tomasi's main theme of the story; what effect does the damage caused when super-heroes fight have on the general populace? It was certainly a sticking point with many viewers of MAN OF STEEL. It would be easy to assert that Tomasi was using all of that controversy as a jumping off point for Magog as a character and the story in general. It's more likely he's exploring who Diana and Clark are as characters. What drives them? How are they similar and what separates them? Wonder Woman certainly doesn't want innocent people to get hurt but she is presented as having a more "the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few" outlook while Superman is more concerned with saving the innocents caught in the melee. It's a valid way of approaching the material even if I don't quite agree with the more militaristic interpretation of Wonder Woman.

Despite having some slight characterization issues I did enjoy this issue. I liked that Tomasi highlighted Superman and Wonder Woman's differences while still at the same time showing how they work as a couple. Wonder Woman's directness may have been off putting and seem a tad callous she was able to work in the manner she did because she knew Superman was there to back her up. There is a trust there that I like quite a bit. Add to the revelation that Circe is behind most of the trouble and this story is shaping up to be a good one. I like that Tomasi is telling such a fast paced story that is still taking the time to explore the relationship between the title characters. So far Tomasi is proving to be a good fit for this title.

4Art - 4: The mixing of the two artists was pretty even in this issue. I continue to like the smooth style of Mahnke and it was interesting to see Benes work as I haven't been exposed to him in several years. The various inkers also worked well together. This was mainly an action issue and on that level the art was amazing. Thankfully the more personal moments weren't lost in the fray.

5Cover Art - 5: This is a very striking cover. Wonder Woman looking fierce and warrior like in the foreground with Superman on the wrong end of a triton in the background. The coloring is a bit off but other than that I have no complaints.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: This is so much fun. It really is. I wasn't too hot on the original cover this is playing off of but seeing Flash come in and be all mischievous puts a giant smile on my face.

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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