What a Sucky Liar
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke, Ardian Syaf, Tom Derenick, Jaime Mendoza, Jordi Tarragona, Mark Irwin, Will Quintana and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 30, 2015
The Superman/Wonder Woman book has been hit hard by the whole Truth storyline. Of course, Superman doesn't have his powers or identity, but that's the least of the power couple's problems. While Diana dealt with Clark's depowerment with grace and discretion, Superman has been a self centered prick and went so far as to dump everyone's favorite Amazon. While Lois Lane fans could be seen dancing on the rooftops, I had no idea where this book would go without the world's great power couple not being...you know, a couple. Peter Tomasi skirted the issue a bit by having them maintain their working relationship and that's what lead them to team up with Parasite and take on Mr. Bend. Last issue ended with Parasite kicking much ass and Wonder Woman being taken prisoner in a power sucking suit. Where does that leave Superman? Right in the middle of the shit! I really enjoyed last month's issue and while I haven't been looking forward to any of the Truth Superman titles lately, I wasn't upset that I had to read and review this here. So, does this month's issue continue the fun and maybe, just maybe, make me slightly more positive about the state of Superman books in general? Let's find out...
This issue starts with Wonder Woman still struggling in the "power sucker suit". I really don't know what to call it, but it's a power suit that sucks power, so I'm going with it. While the Truth books have all been guilty of picking and choosing Superman's power set, this was one of the better scenes showing the struggle a depowered Superman can have trying to save someone he loves. I know that they broke up, but I still think he loves Diana no matter what Lois fans say. While Parasite goes to town on every bad guy he can get a hold of and Firestorm continues his suspended nap, Superman is trying desperately to free Wonder Woman...and getting his ass kicked in the process. While this is all happening, we get Bend's daddy issue monologuing for good measure.
As far as opening scenes go, Tomasi gives us a pretty good one here. All the elements are (re) introduced and it's all so action packed and beautiful looking. Then Bend falls into the arrogant villain trap and tells everyone within ear shot his grand plan. I know it's a pet peeve of mine, but it always kills me when it happens.
After filling us in, he puts his plan in motion leaving Wonder Woman and Superman alone. I know that's another classic out of the generic villain playbook, but at least it makes sense in the overall scheme of things. However, it gives Wonder Woman the opportunity she needs to become...a cheerleader. Maybe it's more of a motivational speaker because when Superman looks like he's about to throw in the towel she steps up and yells, "You're still Superman, Damn it!" and it seems to do the trick. Who knew that after all the trouble Clark has had since June, all he needed was to be yelled at?!?!
After freeing himself, Clark grabs Parasite and goes after Bend. After a confusing little scene that seemed like the end of Parasite and Superman, Bend's plan is ended and it looks like everyone survived, even Firestorm. That's when everyone gathers to pick up the pieces. Bend is going to Blackgate and Parasite is going back to Belle Reve. What? I thought that Superman promised him his freedom. Parasite remembers that as well and calls Clark on it and...he just admits he was lying all the time. Sorry Parasite, you've been played. While the whole thing made me chuckle, it also pissed me off. Parasite was by far the biggest hero in the last couple of issues, saving both Superman and Wonder Woman multiple times. That's all going to be little consolation to the purple power sucker when he is back in his cell.
Before going on, I do have to point out one major issue I had at this point of the issue. When Superman tells Diana that he'll take care of Bend and Parasite, he scoops them up and flies away with them. Flies...away. Flies...away. What the fuck?!?! When did he start flying again? Did Wonder Woman's yelling give him back all his powers? This is what has killed me in all these Truth books since June. And before anyone starts yelling that he's just jumping...bullshit. Eric tried to pull that one when I showed him the picture and I don't buy that Superman is taking Bend and Parasite to prison, one jump at a time!
The issue ends with Bend being taught a lesson in respecting his elders. I guess he learned it, but I'm not sure he's ever going to be able to put it into use. As an older gent, I always like it when the younger set gets put in it's place, but this might have been a bit of overkill. Oh well, off to Superman Annual #3 to continue the story.
As a whole, I enjoyed this issue. The ending may have been a bit forced and Bend's ending didn't pay off after the setup, but I liked the interaction between Diana and Clark and I always love seeing Parasite. Sure, Superman dicked him over, but did anyone really think they would just let Parasite free? As far as the Truth books have gone, Superman/Wonder Woman hasn't been half bad and this issue continues the trend. It isn't perfect, but it's not horrible either.
The art wasn't horrible, either. When I saw that the art team had more members than a "I'm From Barcelona" concert, I had my worries. Surprise...the issue looked pretty damn good. I wasn't ever thrown off by any transitions and even after looking at it again quick, I think everyone involved did a bang up job. Kudos to all forty seven of you.
Bits and Pieces:
Superman/Wonder Woman continues being one of the better Truth books and that was not meant as a backhanded compliment in any way. The issue may have wrapped itself up a little too quickly after the long setup, but the action scenes were exciting and I really liked the interaction between the two leads. I am still waiting for all this Truth nonsense to end, but after we come out on the other side, I may think back fondly at the last couple of issues of this book. Maybe.