Thursday, June 18, 2015

Superman/Wonder Woman #18 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Cover price: $3.99
Release Date: June 18, 2015

Taken Six...The Truth

I like Superman and Wonder Woman being a couple.  I know I'm not the only one, but I also realize that there are those who hate it with a passion.  Luckily, those against it aren't forced to buy this book and can leave it to us fans.  Everyone is happy then, right?  I know that isn't the way things work nowadays, but a guy can hope.  Of course, being a big fan doesn't mean I'm always happy with every issue.  On the contrary, I've been pretty critical with this book and have gone on record as saying that it hasn't been the same since Charles Soule left.  I love Peter Tomasi as a writer so I've given him plenty of time to get settled in, but my patience is waning.  Did the two month long Convergence layoff and the fact that this issue is part of The Truth help get this book back on the top of my pull list?  Let's find out...

The issue opens up with a nice little recap of Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship.  It's only a couple of panels, but we see them fall in love and become a couple.  It ends in the present with Diana dealing with Clark's little issue of having little powers and no secret identity.  Just as I knew she would, Diana is not only standing by her man, she'll kick anybodies ass who tries to harm him.

One thing that Tomasi has done right since taking over this book is let Diana shine.  She was the strong one of the couple even before Clark's powers diminished, but now his life just might depend on her.  While I loved seeing them lying together (Diana is the big spoon, by the way), you just know the peaceful scene has to get broken up and it a call from Lana Lang.

While getting a call from an ex at 3:00 AM is never a good thing, this is worse.  Lana is calling from Smallville and looks like she's about to be Taken.  Normally, Clark could rely on his unique set of skills to make things right, but those skills are no longer, but Diana steps up and shines once again. The Truth may be a Superman story, but this issue is all Diana.

When they get to Smallville, something is not right.  Lana (along with Steel and a few other townsfolk) have just disappeared along with every Kent residence in town.  It looks like someone or something just scooped the buildings up and walked away with them.  To add insult to injury, every Kent buried in town have also been taken away as well.  Gross.  We do get to see the first Fortress of Solitude when Clark takes Diana to his grandfather's old bomb shelter.  Besides Diana being kick ass, this was the best part of the issue.

I was wondering how the people of Smallville would react to finding out Clark is Superman and we do get a little here.  My initial reaction was that the people were real dicks, but with everything that's happened to Smallville lately, I guess I can't blame them.  Trouble has been following him around lately and the cliffhanger proves that point.  I don't want to spoil what happens, but it came out of left field and just feels silly and forced.

I was a huge fan of what Tomasi did with Wonder Woman this issue, but as a Truth issue, it fell a little short of good.  After Greg Pak's recent Horrorville arc, parts of this issue just seemed to be treading familiar ground.  I understand what Tomasi is going for with the crazy ending, but it just felt off and out of place.  I hope I'm wrong and next issue makes everything right, but I'm getting tired of saying that each month.

Doug Mahnke's art is middle of the road here as well.  It's not that Mahnke isn't one of the best artists out there because he is, it's just that Tomasi's story doesn't give him much to do.  I liked Wonder Woman's new look, but besides that, there is nothing memorable at all.

Bits and Pieces:

While I loved seeing Tomasi continue making Wonder Woman the rock of this book, there wasn't much else going on.  The mystery of Smallville was too much been there, done that and the cliffhanger just felt silly.  I hate to say it, but overall this issue was just mediocre.



  1. This issue is my first for the Superman/Wonder Woman series. I hadn't been interested in reading a title with them together until the Truth saga began after Convergence. I would rate it a bit higher than you have (6.5 to 7 maybe?), but I agree with you on the flaws you mentioned (Not much action, forced cliffhanger, etc.). But I was surprised to have enjoyed the chemistry between WW and Supes as much as I did. I'm one of those people who were resistant to the change of Clark's love interest from Lois to Diana. But it really does make more sense that the two "gods" would be want to be with each other. And now that the relationship has become asymetrical (in regard to powers) it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Also, although, as you mentioned, Mahnke wasn't given much to work with in the story, I enjoy his art enough to feel like it makes the issue worth while. I could look at a page of panels with just faces drawn by Mahnke. His work is brilliant.

    1. I am still surprised about the backlash this book has gotten. I haven't been pleased with it since Tomasi took over, but I don't (and won't) dismiss it because Lois isn't Superman's girlfriend. Like you said, it makes sense for Superman and Wonder Woman to want to be together. Again, Eric and myself talked a bit on this week's podcast about the hate I got for just reviewing this book (not the score...just reviewing it) so I appreciate getting to talk to someone like yourself who was resistant to this book, but gave it a chance.

  2. There are some folks who are against it no matter what and refuse to give this romance a chance and attack those that do. It's sad that the Internet gets misused more and more as time passes.

    I'm one of those who grew up with Clark and Lois but eventually fell for Diana and Clark.

  3. Unlike Lois Lane who is more motivated by personal goals, Diana has the ability to think about Clark over herself. Diana has the powers of a demi-god but has compassion of human from her love with Clark which is touching.