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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #19 Superman/Wonder Woman #19

Superman/Wonder Woman #19

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 15, 2015

Cover date: September 2015

"Dark Truth" - Part Two

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

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge



Superman and Wonder Woman battle the Suicide Squad. The fight is brutal and Wonder Woman spends most of it trying to keep the villains turned soldiers off of Superman. They finally overcome the Squad but Black Manta, the only member left conscious, has no idea what happened to the people of Smallville. Later Superman and Wonder Woman talk about Diana's desire to keep Clark safe and Clark not wanting that to compromise her in a fight. He leaves to find out what's going on by himself and that path leads right to the President of the United States.

3Story - 3: Not a whole lot happened in this issue to progress the overall plot. It was mainly an action showcase which allowed Superman and Wonder Woman to fight the Suicide Squad. I was a little disappointed in this. Not with the fight itself, which I found very entertaining but with the fact that main story wasn't addressed until the final page of the issue. I am sure when this book is collected the whole thing will read a lot smoother but on a monthly basis it was a bit of a letdown.

The thing is I didn't dislike the issue. In fact I liked the fight quite a bit. Superman and Wonder Woman don't usually mix it up with these characters and with Superman's power loss and Wonder Woman's focus on keeping him alive it made for a fun battle. It helps that Tomasi added a really nice scene between Superman and Wonder Woman towards the end of the issue where Tomasi deals with Diana's desire to protect Superman now that he is not as invulnerable as he once was and Superman's desire to take care of himself and not have her get distracted in a fight. I'm not comfortable with Superman thinking of himself as a soldier because that's not who the character is supposed to be but for THIS Superman and THIS story I thought it worked.

Let's talk about that for a minute. THIS Superman. THIS story. As I have written in other reviews for this site I hate the entire idea behind the TRUTHwell, I can't even call it a story because it's not like all four of the Superman titles are connected at the moment. They're all using the idea that Superman's identity has been exposed and that he's lost a good deal of his powers as a spring board but everyone is going in their own direction. The foundation of the story direction is where my main issue is. Most stories are worth telling and worth exploring but at the same time just because you can doesn't mean you should. This identity reveal reminds me when Marvel did the same thing with Spider-Man back in 2006 but the difference here is that there doesn't seem to be a plan to put everything back to where it was in six months to a year.

Unless that is exactly what DC Comics is planning to do. I could be wrong there.

Anyway, the point is I absolutely hate this whole depowering Superman and taking away his identity thing. It plays to the "charges" those that don't understand Superman level against him. He's too powerful. Why does he pretend to be a normal guy? There aren't any villains out there that can take him on. I've heard these arguments and less articulate ones over the years and none of them have every held water for me because the point of Superman is that he has all these abilities but that he chooses to use them for the common good because of how he was raised. I don't get why people can't wrap their heads around that idea and I think if they can't they're a little broken inside. By going down this path DC is giving credence to all of those that don't like Superman at the expense of those that do and I just don't understand that at all.

So when all of this was announced I was given a choice; walk away or stay on. I've walked away before but it didn't take. It was less than a year before I came back and I know me so I chose to stay and when I made that decision I resolved that while I would hate the idea I would try to give all of the stories a chance, which is why I can dislike the foundation of this building but enjoy what Tomasi has done with the place.

As far as Superman and Wonder Woman's relationshipwell, I thought I had explained this before but apparently because I don't address my feelings about it in every review I write then somehow I am not doing my job. Or something. It's a bit difficult to read through the comments section sometime because so many fights break out that the original point gets a little lost. Anyway, I've long felt that Superman and Wonder Woman do belong together. Eventually. Like in the future when Superman has outlived Lois because he's Superman and will probably live longer. Lois should always be his greatest love. Lana was his first. Diana will be his last. Lois is the greatest. The thing is that DC isn't interested in giving us that right now. In fact certain creators, like John Romita, Jr., seem outright hostile to the idea. So once again I am given a choice; either walk away from the books over the fact that DC wants Superman and Wonder Woman to be together or stick with despite me not liking the underlying idea.

I'm reviewing this book so you can guess what my final choice was on that score.

So despite not wanting them to be together I am trying to give the idea of their relationship a fair shake and so far I've enjoyed what I've read. This issue is a good example of their relationship working. Diana is worried about Clark. Clark is worried about Diana. They actually talk about this and despite Superman not giving her much of a choice the relationship felt real to me. So I liked what I read. I'm not interested in arguing about whether they should be together or what their relationship means or taking every conversation they have and examining it to make sure that there isn't rampant sexism going on. I read comics and book and I watch movies and televisions for the characters and the stories. I want to get lost in a fictional world. I want to care about the people I am reading about and watching. I believe that inclusion and representation and making sure that any characters be they men or women, are presented as characters and not props are all important things and I notice when they are done badly but that's not how I approach my entertainment.

I don't have an agenda or an ax to grind.

I am not saying it's wrong if you do and if that is how you feel more power to you, you have my support but if that is what you are looking for in terms of reviews that I write then you are going to be sorely disappointed. The reviews written for this site are all done from the perspective of the individual writer. Steve doesn't give us marching orders. We aren't choosing sides for the site. We are expressing our personal feelings on the material. That's it. Nothing more. If you are looking for someone to write dissertations about the relations between men and women in fiction or how Wonder Woman is being treated or whatever then my reviews are not the place for that. I'm going to talk about the story and how it made me feel. That could change from month to month because I am moody and fickle but it will always be honest at the time I write the review. That's how I roll.

So this particular issue of SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN? It was okay. Nothing ground breaking. A bit padded. It will probably read better in the trade but I enjoyed it. I liked how Superman and Wonder Woman were portrayed. I liked seeing them fight villains they normally don't fight. It was worth the four bucks I paid for it.

And in the end that's all I really want from my comics.

5Art - 5: I LOVED the art this month. While the fight felt like filler story wise on an artistic level it was amazing. Mahnke pulled out all the stops to make the action dynamic and it had a definite rhythm to it. His Harley was particularly well done. I wasn't all that hot on her New 52 makeover but it has really grown on me. I was also taken with the injured Superman at the end of the issue. It's not something we normally see and Mahnke managed to make it upsetting without being gratuitous. Wonder Woman's costume continues to grow on me as well. The artwork on this series continues to be excellent and top notch.

4Cover Art - 4: I like this cover. It's a darkly playful cover and is very dynamic with Harley using Wonder Woman's lasso as a jump rope. I'm still not big on the trade dress and the black border but other than that this cover is okay by me.

4Variant Cover Art - 4: This is a fun cover. I'm not huge on the art but I do like TEEN TITANS GO! as a television series (seriously, that show makes me laugh) so it's nice seeing Superman and Wonder Woman in that art style.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2015

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