Friday, December 26, 2014

Superman/Wonder Woman #14 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 24, 2014

Kingdom Comes Again

Superman/Wonder Woman is one of my favorite books and that's why I have kept an open mind with Tomasi and Mahnke jumping on the book.  I was not a huge fan of their first issue as Tomasi started his run by turning my favorite power couple into two bickering jerks.  Doug Mahnke's art didn't do the book any favors either.  However, the intriguing cliffhanger had me anticipating an issue more on par with the great stuff these two normally give readers and the book that Superman/Wonder Woman are used to getting.  Unfortunately, this is not that issue.

After last issue, I had a bunch of guesses about who this Wonderstar is.  My favorite was that he was the son of Wonder Woman and Superman from the future. coming back to save his parents.  As usual, I was dead wrong.  Get used to it, it happens a lot.  I'm not saying that the real identity was bad, I just thought that Tomasi would let it stew for a little while longer.  Dead wrong again. See, I told you.

The issue starts off with a mysterious and obviously insane villain ruminating on the evils of woman and one wondrous one in particular.  It's pretty intense and morphs directly into Wonderstar.  Hmmm...  The new shiny hero is pretty happy with himself after saving Supes and Wonder Woman from the Atomic Skull and Major Disaster, but they have questions they want answered.  Unfortunately, he can't answer them.

While they try to jog his memory, he flies off to save the day from three of the craziest (and dare I say, lamest) villains I've seen in a long while.  The Norse looking Mammoth, a prom date villain named Debutante and a living crash test dummy named...Crash. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm. The fight serves two purposes.  Making me laugh and letting Wonder Woman use her lasso on Wonderstar.  Even though the lasso seems to show he is telling the truth about himself, something still seems off.

Things get weirder as Superman and Wonder Woman continue questioning Wonderstar and after a few pages, it's obvious he's not working with a full deck.  Then it happens.  Tomasi shows the reader who Wonderstar is.  If he is anything like his past self, he hates classic characters with their high and mighty moralistic way of doing things.  In other words, Superman and Wonder Woman.  While it makes sense and has me excited for next month's issue, I really thought the mystery would last at least one more issue.  The new mystery is how Superman and Wonder Woman are going to get out of their current situation.

I'm not going to mince words, this issue was not great.  While I'm really intrigued with the cliffhanger and where it's going to take the book, this issue itself was okay at best.  I'm all for Tomasi putting his own stamp on the book, but it's quickly getting away from what made Soule's run great...Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship.  I hope it doesn't disappear completely because without it, this book has little reason to exist.

This was also another disapointing issue by Doug Mahnke.  I don't like his Superman and I hate his Wonder Woman.  I don't want to sound superficial, but he makes the most beautiful hero in comics look awful.  I've seen him do both characters well before so I'm not sure what's going on here.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue ends the mystery of Wonderstar (a bit premature for my liking) and while I'm excited by the cliffhanger, what comes before it is disappointing.  Peter J. Tomasi is still struggling to get the voices of his main characters and the book is slipping away from the thing that made it so great.  Doug Mahnke's art is not up to his usual standard and all that combined has me scratching my head.  I hope this book gets back on track again soon because I want to recommend it to everyone again.  I can't do that this month.



Unknown said...

Not gonna lie, if who the surprise is is as powerful as he was before...the super couple are in some deep shit

Unknown said...

I have noticed tomasi takes a couple of issues to find his I am onboard till April

Jim Werner said...

oh guess is he isn't, but that would actually be a cool change of pace for this book

Jim Werner said...

I'm with you. I haven't bailed, It's just been very disapointing

comicheretic said...

I trust in Tomasi. He will bring the emotional intensity that was felt during some of Soule's run. He has a strong track record over in B&R. Also, I am a fan of Mahke's art work. Expressive faces. I liked the issue

Jim Werner said...

I just think he (and the reader) are getting used to the change. I'm sure it will keep getting better, he is a great writer.

Green said...

"Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship. I hope it doesn't disappear completely because without it, this book has little reason to exist."

I disagree, they can be only friends and the book can exists because it just like batman/superman. For me what makes the book weak is the romantic relationship

comicheretic said...


Jim Werner said...

well, no matter how it gets there, I hope it gets better