Superman/Wonder Woman #1 Review
Review by: Rob Neil Gruszecki
An Alien and a Goddess reach out longingly to one another as they plummet towards a whirlpool in the centre of a raging storm. They each take separate facets of the impending catastrophe to handle and race through the skies in a flash. Met with the unexpected below water and above the two both struggle to try and make sense of the madness in front of them. As Superman is blasted out of the ocean by a powerful explosion, Wonder Woman is met with her own at the hands of a military opening fire with a fearsome tank. Interspersed between moments of cinematic action the two’s love story unfolds as they ruminate on how best to be together in battle and outside of it.
From DC’s New 52 is a new ongoing with Superman/Wonder Woman, chronicling the two lovers and their time in and out of the Justice League. This first issue in the series throws them deep into the thick of a frightening swarm of demolition and eventually monsters from the nightmares of the DCU, meanwhile tackling their current arc as a couple. The catalyst for the series was one that didn’t strike me as interesting as I really find it hard to care who my super heroes are making out with on the side of fighting otherworldly forces but I’m glad to say that the character development in the romance department is organic in its unravelling instead of shoehorned in and superfluous. The majority of the book focuses more directly on the adventures of the two gods anyway and the moments delving into their affair are cleverly placed and a necessity to the issue in its telling. Not in anyway to say that I think the two characters having a relationship is “bad”, just simply that this particular one hasn’t been a feature of the New 52 universe that has interested me.
Scripting the new ongoing is Charles Soule who has recently taken over Swamp Thing after the departure of Scott Snyder and Red Lanterns after Peter Milligan left the book. His writing is also responsible for the upcoming series Letter 44 from Oni Press. Soule juggles the elements of two industry titans as they wrestle with foes as well as their feelings for one another adeptly and his delivery in the book is to be commended. He managed to tell a compelling story, with complex layers and emotional facets that entertained and captivated me from the first page. The story is set in motion seamlessly and is delivered smooth with transitions in and out of the present to flashbacks that serve as tension builders for the action and intriguing groundwork for the rest of the series and the trajectory of its two lead characters.
Tony S Daniel of Detective Comics fame pencils the interiors of the new ongoing and does stellar work. I was sincerely disappointed with how shamefully DC comics dropped the ball with the creative team of Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel (along with many other creators recently) on Action Comics so was pleased to hear that Daniel would be pencilling another Superman title later on with what has become Superman/Wonder Woman. His views of carnage and combat are strongly at work in these pages and he showcases his talent for big action in some pretty brilliant layouts. A real beautiful feature of the first issue is his three-page fold out cover that really shines on the glossy paper as Superman and his catalogue of villains bleed out and onto the back cover while Wonder Woman conversely soars out to the opposite side and onto a fold-out flap that displays all her foes and family. A lot of the comic is very cinematic with massive, splash moments happening in multiple full-page or double page spreads that really play as a good example of the talent an artist like Tony Daniel offers the mainstream comic world. Without spoiling too much, the reveal towards the end of the book of a truly formidable enemy results in an excellent last page that teases a really frightening fate for one of our heroes.
Superman/Wonder Woman is an exciting first issue with interesting character developments and a whole lot of explosive action where it counts. The creative team of Soule and Daniel have cooked up something that I think is worth a look.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
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