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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Wonder Woman Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman #22 Superman/Wonder Woman #22

Superman/Wonder Woman #22

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 21, 2015

Cover date: December 2015

"Heart of the Sun"

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jaime Mendoza, Sean Parsons, Johnny Desjardins
Cover: Cary Nord
Variant Cover: John Paul Leon

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

A blood spattered and pensive Clark teleports to the Justice League satellite.

The security system, readying weaponry doesn't recognize him until he verifies his voice and identity. Racing to investigate, Flash greets his team mate but is shocked when he spots his blood soaked friend.

In Virginia, Diana sees off a helicopter with all the captives. Steel, Lana and Lois have remained behind on the base much to her chagrin. Lois is adamant she wants to go with Wonder Woman to help Clark as is Lana. John however points out that Clark didn't want anyone to follow him. Lana interjects that Clark didn't want Lois and Diana with him, not her. John reluctantly has to stay behind as the base is not yet running at full capacity. When Lois makes a snide comment, Lana loses her cool and punches Lois square on the jaw.

After they bicker for a few moments Diana activates her teleporter and vanishes leaving Steel to recall the helicopter to collect the two angry women. Diana meanwhile arrives on the satellite to see blood everywhere and Flash out cold. Waking him she finds Superman has taken a shuttle out into deep space and she races in one of her own to intercept him.

Radioing Clark she discovers he wants to try recharging his powers by getting as close to the sun as possible. The shielding on the shuttle holds but the craft is being pushed to its limit, so much so, the electricals are beginning to fail and Clark's clothes are catching fire. Diana instructs Flash to do a two step teleport, first she materializes on Clark's shuttle, the second to teleport them both back to the satellite. Sadly it is at this moment when they are face to face again that Clark chooses to tell Diana he wants to finish with her.

Flash makes a quick exit from the med-bay as Clark and Diana have a heart to heart. Diana swears she didn't lie to Clark when she located the Planeteers. Clark denies her justifications of her actions and tells her, for now at least, he need to focus on what's happening to him - not them.

Back in the monitor room, Flash, Wonder Woman and Clark activate the scanners looking for power surges. The attack earlier was specific. They needed powerful beings either to feed off of or to power something else. The scans reveal nothing, the attackers have gone dark. Clark then realizes he could draw them out with another source and equips himself with dampening insulated gloves. Diana insists on accompanying him and when Clark misreads it as a boyfriend/girlfriend team up, Diana tears him down a strip. Aside from relationships they are Justice League team mates first and foremost. Flash offers to call in the League to assist but Clark smiles that he has the God of War at his side.

A helicarrier passes over Louisiana carrying a prisoner of great value to Belle Reve. The crew are unprepared for Clark's fist as he smashes through the windscreen and silences their comms. The pilots unload clips into Clark as he makes his way to the cargo hold. Clark crushes their pistols and instructs them to continue on their flightpath.

Diana enters the cargo hold from below and forces the soldiers protecting the cargo lockbox into submission. Wonder Woman rips the door off the lockbox to reveal Parasite inside. Superman grabs the Parasite and they leap from the helicarrier hurtling to the ground. The impact shatters the villain's muzzle and he swears to punish them, laughing off their gloves to prevent his absorption powers. Diana, short of patience, punches him in the face but it doesn't silence him, so Clark slams his boot into the villain. The force sends Parasite through the trunk of a tree and once he stops snarling, Clark offers him a deal he can't refuse.

To Be Continued...

5Story - 5: The punch Lois gets is worth the 5 in itself, though it should have been a lot harder.

In terms of the rest of the story though, it is unclear if the flight to the sun did go some way to a recharge. It surprised me he didn't do it sooner. The most powerful moments were the confrontation of Lana and Lois (with remarkable restraint from Diana) and of course the sad realization that Clark and Diana should end their relationship.

Diana shows remarkable fortitude in light of the situation and continues to stand by his side. As a team mate her loyalty to the League is unwavering. Clark is driven, not cruel, not angry or conflicted but calmly determined, a trait he rarely utilizes. Turning the tables on his foes with a Parasite-shaped honeytrap was also very clever.

We've known the break up was happening for a while and it's good to see despite them no longer being lovers they can still be a powerful duo. Tomasi has written an extremely well thought out story that handles both the action and the emotion with a perfect balance.

I'll be honest, I have never bought into Clark and Diana as lovers. As partners, like he is occasionally with Batman? Absolutely.

It will be interesting to see them continue as ex-partners.

5Art - 5: Doug Mahnke's emotive art adds overwhelming impact to several scenes this issue. There were so many great scenes but the one with Lana letting loose on Lois looked great and was brilliant fan service. Then there was the exploding shuttle, that visual of a literal explosive end in slow motion was just superb. Even the scene where they steal Parasite from the helicarrier was fantastic. After enduring, yes enduring, the rickety rollercoaster art of John Romita, Jr. I have seen the greener grass.

3Cover Art - 3: Each rotation of books in 'Truth' has had a theme, many that don't work, some confusing, some out to be artistic and stylistic. This cover for example has a very art and style based theme. Does it work? As an image, yes, as a cover? No. But that's after the fact. After reading the book I found myself disappointed that the cover didn't take more advantage of the story, though the air of depression relating the break up is present. It just isn't as powerful as it could have been.

3Monster Variant Cover Art - 3: Harpy and Minotaur? Not sure I would have equated Wonder Woman and Superman to those particular 'monsters' but it's a great cover aside from that.

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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