Today, Mikyzptlk and Taylor are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 1, originally released October 11th, 2013
Mikyzptlk: Superman and Wonder Woman have been an item for a little while now. I was as surprised as anyone to hear the news about their romantic union, and I was a bit worried as well. For whatever reason, the news just didn’t sit right with me, and I felt I needed some convincing as to whether these two characters were right for each other. Although Wondy and Supes have been seen together in a handful of stories since they’ve started shacking up, I still haven’t been convinced as to why these two characters would want to be with one another, besides the fact that they are both super strong and super hot. Superman/Wonder Woman is primed and ready to explore the relationship of these two iconic characters, and while I still may not be convinced that they should be together, the first issue of this series does a good job at making me consider the merits of their entanglement.
Clark Kent is having a drink with his news blog partner, Cat Grant. They begin discussing how they need start breaking stories in order to get more hits. Elsewhere, a figure has saved an image of Supes’ and Wondy’s first kiss to a flash drive, and is mailing it off…somewhere. Meanwhile in London, Diana is sparring with her fellow Amazon, Hessia. She’s discussing her frustrations with Clark wanting to keep a lid on their relationship. Diana decides to start showing clark how to celebrate their secrets, romantic and perhaps otherwise. When the two meet, Clark explains that he wishes to keep things secret not just for safety, but because the two give the world so much, he feels that their relationship is just for them. As the two try to get a little “afternoon delight,” Clark is interrupted by the Watchtower. The two head out to investigate a boat caught in a storm, but come up against a problem far worse.
Don’t worry folks, that’s just Doomsday, but he’s never been known to cause too much of a ruckus. On the other hand, I’ve been wrong before. Anyway, the first issue proves to be fairly entertaining and somewhat assuaging. The biggest concern that I had about Wonder Woman becoming Superman’s girlfriend is that she would become known as Superman’s girlfriend. Or, ya know, his “woman”. My concern was that the importance of Wonder Woman would be overshadowed by the fact that she’s with Superman now. Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case for the most part, aside from a few instances, and the fact that Brian Azzarello hilariously refuses to acknowledge anything outside of the confines of his book.
Writer Charles Soule assuages my concern as he makes sure to place a spotlight on both of these characters equally. In other words, Superman/Wonder Woman seems to be about Superman and Wonder Woman. Soule gives us a peek at their relationship by beginning to explore the attractions and frustrations that these characters have with one another. Soule also begins to explore the unique attributes that both characters have, which leads into how these two characters might be better off with one another after all, and why their relationship might just be important.
Soule seems ready to dive deep into the relationship of Clark and Diana in a realistic and meaningful way. While Clark seems steadfast in his way of thinking, Diana is frustrated by the limitations Clark is placing upon her. Their interactions in this issue is not only true to their characters, but their problems seem all too human. For the first time, I’m actually excited to see where this relationship goes from here.
Not only that, but Soule is clearly ready to deliver on action as well. I mean, the dude busts out Doomsday in the first issue! Artist Tony Daniel helps to convey that action in usual style. While I may not always appreciate his pencils, he knocks it out of the park in this issue with his clarity and emphasis (just look at that Doomsday shot!). His work is no doubt aided by the inker, Batt, and the colorist, Tomeu Morey.
Alright Taylor, what did you think of the first issue of this series? I liked it enough to check out issue 2, would you say the same? Are you interested in reading this romantic action book, or would you rather leave this relationship up to your imagination? Lastly, do you have any thoughts on that mysterious package and its final destination? That’s going to cause some trouble, I’m sure.
Taylor: Before anything, when are we going to see the genre of “romantic action” become a major player in the type of media we consume? Action, Sci-Fi, Romance, Drama, and Comedy have just been missing Romantic Action (or Romaction) all along!
Like you, Mikyzptlk, I had my doubts about this whole concept from the very beginning. Let’s just say that the idea of the two superist of the superheroes shacking up isn’t exactly what I would base the bread and butter of a comic series on. The reason for this was that it just seemed to hokey and steeped in the pulpy past of comic lore. Of course, Wonder Woman and Superman are going to be a couple because why the hell not? It makes too much sense. I was repulsed by the idea that simply because two heroes share the same skill set they should become romantically involved in each others’ lives.
Then I got to thinking: was it actually such a silly idea? I’ve never prescribed to the idea that opposites attract. In fact, in my life I’ve found it to be quite the opposite. That being said, wouldn’t a superhero have the most in common with another superhero? If so, why shouldn’t they date? It’s this kind of mentality I think Soule brings to this title and because of it I was pleasantly surprised by this first issue. Like you Miky, I enjoyed that Supes and Wondey’s relationship is being treated as two equal partners rather than falling into archaic gender roles. But what’s more fun is seeing how their relationship is based on the things they have in common, like their superness. Having both seen a bunch of weird stuff in their travels, it only seems right that Wonder Woman wouldn’t be the type to be wooed by regular flowers. Instead, she gets one that feeds on cooking oil.
While some might find the idea of a plant fed by cooking oil strange, Diana is right there with Clark. Who knows where the hell that plant came from – probably from some planet twenty light years away that Superman was on once to save an important scientist. The point is, the gift exchange in this scene epitomizes what these two characters share in common and why it makes sense for them to be a couple. Theirs is a world of the spectacular, so naturally their gifts for each will be spectacular as well. In addition, that this scene brings up some of the faults in their relationship is all to familiar and realistic. Who hasn’t had a pleasant moment with that special someone go from being a lovers tryst to a lovers quarrel?
Another, more in-your-face, example of this delicate treatment of the romance is splashed across the first two pages of the issue. In it we see Superman and Wonder Woman dead center and each with the major players in their lives represented on their respective side of the page. It’s arrogant and dashing and I think it’s fucking awesome.
The first impression you get when you see that spread is, whoa, that’s a lot’s of people. And not just a lot of people, but a lot of different people. Superman and Wonder Woman, as portrayed in the New 52, comes from very different worlds. Superman walks in the realm that could vaguely be called a science fiction opera while Wonder Woman finds herself steeped in the myth of Ancient Greece. These two have very different backgrounds and the visual representation of that fact by showing the people they know is subtle and illuminating. For all that, however, the second reaction I had when looking at this page is, are these two heroes really all that different? Sure, they may fight different baddies and have different adventures, but at the end of the day when they hang up the cape or whip, they still have to deal with saving the world and being one of the most powerful beings in the universe. If that doesn’t unite two people I don’t know what does.
Still, I do have some concerns for this title. Wonder Woman has been such a strong revelation in her own series that seeing her submit to Superman, even as a member of a super-sexy power couple, feels a bit weird. Ultimately, for me, my enjoyment of this title will come down to how the relationship between the two heroes is handled. If this first issue is any indication, I would say I could end up enjoying their adventures for awhile.
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Like many of on this site I have been all-in on Azz’s Wonder Woman and wanted to continue to see a strong version of Diana in Supes/WW. I was looking forward to this and was not disappoint at all. In fact, I was blown away with Tony Daniel’s art as he is an artist that I never really connected with before. Maybe taking him out of Gotham and allowing him to draw pretty people as opposed to Penguin, Joker, Two-Face, etc.. is just what the doctor ordered. Cliff Chiang is the gold standard when it comes to drawing Diana but Daniels did an excellent job with her here.
Yeah, Daniels was great in this issue. Honestly, he draws one of the best versions of N52 Supes that I’ve ever seen.
I am curious to see where this title goes–I have two major potential problems with it, and it will be interesting to see if these are resolved enough for me to enjoy this.
First, I don’t like how Superman has been handled in the new 52–I have always liked the idea that Superman is Clark Kent first, grounded in his upbringing in the Kent family and struggling with his interactions with humanity and trying to fit in. This is a big reason why Lois Lane was such an important character, and a natural focus for Clark’s affection. I also think this is why Superman Unchained is interesting–the idea that trying to be human, to fit in, and let humanity solve their own problems without super-powered interference has been Clark’s MO, rather than stepping in as Superman, playing god, and solving things himself (look at Jupiter’s Legacy to see how well that goes). I feel like in the new 52 the focus has shifted from Clark-centric to focus more on Superman’s superness, and Clark has kind of become a convenient smoke screen to hide behind. I like the idea of Clark wanting to have a human life with human ambitions, a human job, even a family. The minute Superman becomes his full time job, and super people the center of his personal life, it becomes easy for things to start drifting in the direction of general Lane/Jupiter’s Legacy.
Second, given DC’s “no marriage, no domestic bliss, all heroes must suffer” stance, I can’t see this going anywhere good, and I am not sure I want to sign on for a Superman/Wonder Woman train wreck. I like both characters too much.
But Soule’s been pretty good across his other titles, so barring editorial interference, maybe he can pull this off.
Taylor, I was also made uncomfortable by Diana submitting to Clark. If I know anything about DIana though, it’s that the conversation isn’t over just yet. I really do appreciate Soule’s handling of their relationship in this issue. It’s incredible how true to form both characters were, which is why I feel that Diana is going to get the compromise she is seeking from Clark before this arc is over.
I’ve not bought this issue, or this relationship, but I might have to if you give it such high marks. I’m firmly of the belief that Clark belongs with Lois. If you wreck that love story, in my view you have diminished the Superman mythos. He sees himself as human, even if he isn’t. I’ve seen enough seeds planted in the other books (Action & Superman) to indicate that Clark is infatuated with Lois that I’m convinced they will ultimately wind up together. That means that this relationship is certainly doomed. The book, however, could still go on, in the same way that Batman/Superman does: the adventures of the team, not their romantic adventures.
All that being said, I’ve never been comfortable with Supes and Wondy together, not sure why. I did like the animated JL version where it was Bruce and Diana that were an item, though.
Oh, and it’s “when they hang up the cape or lasso,” not “whip.” Wonder Woman uses a lasso. Unless they’re in the bedroom, then she might use a whip, who knows?
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