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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #17 Superman/Wonder Woman #17

Superman/Wonder Woman #17

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 1, 2015

Cover date: May 2015

"Casualties of War"

Writer: Peter Tomasi
Penciller: Doug Mahnke and Ed Benes
Inker: Jaime Mendoza, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin and Ed Benes

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman/Wonder Woman #17 Magog breaks free from ARGUS' custody as Circe reveals that she has Superman under her power. She uses the Man of Steel to attack Wonder Woman. Diana knocks Superman back but is overwhelmed by Circe's minions. Circe informs Wonder Woman that Magog is loose again and gives her a choice; free Superman from Circe's control or stop Magog. Wonder Woman yells that there is no choice and jumps through the portal to face Magog, leaving Superman behind. Wonder Woman fights with Magog and uses his own trident against him. Meanwhile Circe tries to fully break Superman but thanks to Wonder Woman's lasso he is able to resist. Circe is thrown back and realizes that for the moment she has been defeated but notes that there is always tomorrow. Superman returns to Earth and helps Wonder Woman defeat Magog. Later Wonder Woman writes about the day Apokolips invaded Metropolis to connect with that part of Superman's life. Superman is impressed at the amount of research she did. Wonder Woman isn't sure if her efforts are good but she knows they make a difference.

4Story - 4: Despite feeling rushed the finale to Peter Tomasi's first arc on this title was satisfying. The first scene was a bit weird but once the action got going I settled in and enjoyed the ride. To be fair there wasn't a whole lot to this issue. Superman attacks Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is given a choice between saving a lot of people and saving the man she loves. Wonder Woman chooses humanity but gives Superman an out. Superman is freed from Circe's control, they double punch Magog. Wonder Woman tries to connect with Superman's love of writing. The story ends where it began and the two characters had a better understanding of each other.

That's where Tomasi won me over. Everyone seems to have a different dog in this Superman dating Wonder Woman race. Mine is seeing how writers explore why these two work as a couple. Superman dating Wonder Woman isn't a story. It's an idea. The story is how the two get along and why would they work romantically. The answers to that question can vary depending on what version of Superman and what version of Wonder Woman we're talking about. Right now we're dealing with an alienated but still wanting to be human Superman and a god of war Wonder Woman. These are not the ideal versions of either characters but this is the hand the New 52 dealt so that's the hand Tomasi is playing.

Taking all of that into consideration I can honestly say that I think Tomasi has a good handle on how these two relate to each other as a couple. In the past his version of Wonder Woman has come off as being rather rigid and unwilling to try to relate to Clark's human side but in this story she is making an effort. All it took was Circe trying to kill her to do it. That seems pretty much par for the course for this Wonder Woman.

Usually this is the part of the review where I discuss why I am looking forward to the next issue. I really can't do that this time out. This is the last New 52 issue of the series. In two months the TRUTH storyline begins along with a new era for DC. Superman and Wonder Woman (along with a bunch of other heroes) are going to be different. For right now those differences are all physical and while I have no beef with Wonder Woman's new costume I have to admit that I am not holding out all that much hope for anything involving Superman. I am pretty sure that the cosmetic changes are temporary but that doesn't change the fact that I'm nervous because DC hasn't had a good handle on the Man of Steel since...well, I'd go back as far as 2002 actually but at least since the end of INFINITE CRISIS. I'm glad this title is sticking around, though. I have grown fond of these two dating so I want to see that relationship continue organically and not be intruded upon by temporary story ideas that are just there to drum up interest and not add to the fictional world.

It might be good. I'm not holding my breath but it might be. I have faith that Tomasi has the ability to make it work.

4Art - 4: Overall the art continues to be good on this book. Some of the scenes with the mind controlled Superman looked a bit off but they weren't bad. The action was well paced and I liked the quieter moments, like the scene towards the end where it's just four panels of Wonder Woman typing. The mixing of Mahnke and Benes continues to be an odd but strangely complimentary combination. It's really weird. I go in thinking that the two artists will clash but they don't. I really can't explain it. I just accept it for what it is and move on.

5Cover Art - 5: This is a really busy cover, which is actually refreshing. In a world (cue movie trailer music) where most covers have fairly simplistic and straight forward compositions it's great to a cover that is jam packed with characters. Superman and Wonder Woman almost get lost in the shuffle of highly detailed monsters. The only thing I will complain about is the fact that Superman has the standard issue Angry Glowing Red Eyes of Anger, which never fails to annoy me.

Seriously. They could go a decade without doing the Angry Glowing Red Eyes of Anger and I would still be annoyed when they brought it back because it was so overused in the 2000s.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: This is another fun movie poster variant. Gene Ha made good use of the GONE WITH THE WIND poster and I liked the smaller figures detailing Superman and Wonder Woman's histories.

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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