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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #20 Superman/Wonder Woman #20

Superman/Wonder Woman #20

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 19, 2015

Cover date: October 2015

"Dark Truth" - Part Three: "A Matter of Trust"

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jaime Mendoza and Sean Parsons

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman is in the Oval Office but instead of talking with the President he ends up discussing recent events with Steve Trevor. They argue back and forth until finally the President arrives and agrees to talk with Superman against the advice of everybody working for him. Superman tells him his life story and why he kept a secret identity. They discuss why the revelation has hit everyone so hard, before the Parasite arrives and attacks. Turns out he was part of Task Force X and one of the President's men activated him against the President's wishes. Despite the fact that the President had nothing to do with the attack Superman leaves but not before Trevor gives him the coordinates where his friends are being held. Meanwhile Wonder Woman is already there and uses her lasso on Jimmy, Perry, Cat Grant, Mister Santiago, Lana, John Henry Irons and Ms. Takahara to find out what they really think of Clark. She finally uses the lasso on Lois Lane who just wants to get this whole thing over with.

3Story - 3: My biggest beef with the previous issue is that it was a lot of action with very little in the way of story progression. This issue was the exact opposite of that. In fact this book might very well be the best written of all four of the Superman related comics that are associated with this whole TRUTH thing.

Top to bottom I enjoyed this issue. It was great seeing Superman stand up to Steve Trevor and I enjoyed his conversation with the President. Tomasi has laid out all of Superman's arguments nicely and really got into why Superman needed Clark Kent and why it isn't a big deal. More than anything I appreciated that Tomasi went out of his way to show that the opposition's arguments were flawed and faulty. There have been a number of times in the past ten years where a writer has someone tell Superman how dangerous he is or how stupid he is or basically criticize him and Big Blue just stands there and takes it. I liked seeing Superman "fight back". The cherry on top was how he kept cutting back to Wonder Woman interrogating Superman's friends with her lasso. I could argue the ethical merits of this but we haven't seen why she is doing it yet so I am going to wait until Tomasi explains her reasoning before weighing in on the issue though I am sure the comments section of this review will be full of people arguing about it.

While I am a little annoyed with Perry's reaction it felt honest, as did everyone else's. My favorite was Mister Santiago. Out of any character in the various Superman books he makes the most sense about why this whole thing is silly. Lana's reaction was, like Perry's, very honest and I appreciated that Tomasi went there with her. I especially liked Ms. Takahara's comments because I think they get to the heart of who Clark was as a person while he was growing up. Cat's time in the lasso made me laugh and once again Tomasi nails the character he is writing. One of the big things about Cat is that she always liked Clark over Superman. She appreciated who he was as a person so it was nice seeing that again. Leaving us on the cliffhanger of Lois was great and made me want to see that conversation right now.

So why did I give this issue a three?

It honestly has nothing to do with the quality of the issue. It has everything to do with how much I hate the fact that it had to be written in the first place. I know I've been banging on about how insanely short sighted and asinine the entire TRUTH storyline is as a concept but I really can't get past it. I probably should and it didn't stop me from liking this issue but the quality of this series infuriates me because I think that Tomasi has the potential to write character driven action stories with Superman and Wonder Woman without having to work within the frame work of TRUTH. I want to see Clark and Diana explore their relationship as they fight their enemies. I don't want to see Wonder Woman have to save Superman's friends or watch Superman and the President chat about why he kept a secret identity all these years when it's pretty obvious he had his reasons.

I think Peter Tomasi's talent should be put to better use.

Oh well. I have to play the hand I was dealt. At least this book has a Superman I recognize.

4Art - 4: In addition to being well written the art for this issue was incredible. Mahnke's page layouts were amazing and he made two people either standing in an office or walking outside while talking appear interesting and engaging. The jumping back and forth between Clark and Diana was handled well and I especially liked the page where for a moment they were in similar poses. Mahnke is fast becoming one of my favorite artists working on a Superman title and his work just keeps getting better month after month.

4Cover Art - 4: I have no issues with this cover. The art is fine and it fits into the theme that the Superman books were going for this month. It's always nice seeing Steel anywhere and for whatever reason I liked this overall design more than the Action Comics cover that I reviewed a week or two back.

5Variant Cover Art - 5: I love me some Bombshells variants. I really like the design they came up with for Wonder Woman and while I am not too hot on the Superman design I don't hate it either. Overall a really fun variant.

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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