Friday, April 3, 2015

Superman/Wonder Woman #17 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 3, 2015

Captain Obvious

Peter J. Tomasi's young run on Superman/Wonder Woman has not been great.  The only way I can explain it is that it doesn't seem to have a soul...or Soule.  Sure, Tomasi is punching the right buttons, but the chemistry between the two leads has been off.  Wonder Woman may have gained the strength of being the God of War, but personally, I wouldn't want to be around her.  She's just nasty and mean. Superman has been a little better, but has become a mere tool the last couple of issues.  Then there is the matter of the villains, Magog and Circe.  Magog is and always will be a joke and while Circe is a decent villain, her petty quest for vengeance feels small for a book this big.  Going into this issue, I was hoping for a glimmer of hope that this book would get back to it's better days when it was one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Let's find out why...

The issue opens with a little scene of Magog in the "care" of Argus.  He has reverted back into his actual little boy form (think Billy Batson) and the soldiers with him may get my vote for assholes of the week.  They make fun of him twice and shrug off the fact that the Argus doctors are going to dissect him.  I know that Magog caused a heap of trouble, but this is still just a little boy.  It's a mute point in the end, as the soldiers both get killed and Magog reverts back into the villain nobody wanted to see in the first place.

Meanwhile on the Island of Aiaia (e-i-e-i-o), Wonder Woman and Circe are at an impasse.  Circe has control of Superman and Wonder Woman has defeated all the Ani-men thrown at her.  So, Circe makes Superman attack his lover and Wonder Woman beats the crap out of him.  I have to admit, I loved seeing that.  Then Circe does the cool villain thing and gives Wonder Woman an human lives from Magog or save Superman from Circe.  She chooses the humans, but has something up her sleeve.  Actually, it's not really up anything and is so telegraphed that it made me laugh a bit...and I loved it.

Before Wonder Woman shows up, Magog is tipping over buses and yelling at anyone who will listen. I didn't get it.  Magog's main motivation is that the Superheroes didn't save his mom, but now he's proving his point by killing some other little kids' moms and dads?  Wonder Woman thinks it's ridiculous too so Magog switches it up a bit and says he's mad at her and Superman's romance. Really?

Back on Aiaia, Circe is so sure that she has a new plaything that she must not have seen the obvious...Superman has Diana's lasso.  It's a great callback to the Doomed story and allows Superman to escape.  For her part, Circe just shrugs it off and says there is always tomorrow.  Again...Really? That's it?  Hmmm...

The book ends with Superman and Wonder Woman ending the ridiculous reign of Magog with a "together" punch and Diana trying her hand at writing.  She doesn't seem to have a clue about what she's writing about, but hey, who am I to doubt Wonder Woman when I do the same thing every week.  Fake it Diana...fake it!  I guess this was supposed to be a nice, quiet, bonding moment, but like everything in this run, it felt a bit off.

After everything I've written above, I haven't lost faith in Tomasi...yet.  He's one of my favorite writers, but maybe this book just isn't a great fit for him.  I hope that come June, that changes.

Doug Mahnke's art isn't a problem at all.  It has gotten better with each issue and while I hate Magog as a character, I love his look.  

What you talkin' bout: There were a couple things that bothered me this issue.  Circe calling Superman a human was one.  I know it's pretty trivial, but it still bothered me.  Also, I thought Circe was going to turn Superman into an Ani-man.  I wanted to see that, but instead Circe says she turned him into a rage monster.  Very boring and unoriginal, if you ask me.

Bits and Pieces:

I hope this book gets better because this first arc was lacking...lacking the fun and chemistry that made it one of my favorites.  The Magog/Circe arc ended with a whimper and didn't further the overall story at all.  Doug mahnke's art was really good, but Peter Tomasi better regroup and focus so that the book can get back on top come June.  I've given the book a bit of a pass up until now, but my patience has officially run out.


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