It’s odd that DC would put out a title like Superman/Wonder Woman, chronicling the relationship between the two superheroes, when the hubbub over the company’s stance on its characters not being allowed to marry has only recently subsided. DC’s Co-Publisher Dan DiDio has made it clear that, “heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives,”* yet the crux of this first issue by writer Charles Soule repeals that sentiment: Wonder Woman not only wants to be with Superman, but wants the world to know about it. To what end DC is willing to carry on this relationship is the looming question presiding over this first issue, that will ultimately determine its place in the company’s mainline of books. In the meantime, there’s enough content that’s at least worth checking out this inaugural issue.
In terms of the narrative, Soule presents the plot through multiple points in time, showing a much more confident Superman in the present, handling hero-level disasters with Wonder Woman than the Clark that’s shown in the past, attempting to talk to Diana about their budding relationship. Both time-frames show an important through line of Clark not being able to handle his new-found relationship; as Clark, he tells Diana that he wants to keep their budding relationship a secret and later, as Superman, he sends Wonder Woman away so he can handle a raging storm all on his own. It’s conflict enough to have Clark and Diana at opposing ends of their commitment to one another, so the decision of Soule to include a threat of a video of the couple sent anonymously to Clark’s writing partner, Cat, feels like a superfluous addition to the plot. Of course I want to know who sent the video and what’s with the sudden appearance of a certain villain at the end, but both of these plot-lines seem better suited for the entire Justice League, not just two of its members.
Tony Daniel’s pencils prove to be up to the task of rendering a power couple like Superman and Wonder Woman and his gorgeous trifold cover (with Matt Banning on inks) is evidence of that. Shots of Superman and Wonder Woman flying over the city and rescuing a fallen airplane are captured in grand fashion through full-page spreads, and on the whole, the action looks fantastic. In the closing moments of the issue as Wonder Woman battles a monstrous foe, panels are overlaid showing Clark and Diana together in silhouette that serves as both a clever artistic and narrative touch. Daniel’s pencils get a bit out of hand in the quieter moments of the book unfortunately, particularly the rooftop conversation between Clark and Diana where both of their faces appear overly haggard, due to an abundance of lines. Superman and Wonder Woman haven’t been through that much hell, at least not yet.
GNN Comics Grade: VERY GOOD (7/10)
Greetings true believers! John is the Comics Director of GNN and when he isn't reading books with pictures and made up words, he can be seen on twitter @thisjohnd or on Facebook. To contact him the old fashioned way, his email address is email@example.com.