Review: Superman/Wonder Woman #2, Smallville #69

Also featuring Wonder Woman

Superman/Wonder Woman #2

This month in Superman/Wonder Woman, it’s a surprisingly early crux point for that usual relationship milestone: the boyfriend’s meeting with the girlfriend’s family. Although Supes has already had fun with Wondy’s nephew, Eros, over in Young Romance, with Wondy apparently needing some new weapons to deal with Doomsday, it’s time for him to meet her brother Hephaestus, weaponsmith for the gods. Except brother Apollo and sister Strife have decided they’re not that sure about Wondy’s new beau and get a bit snooty.

Also this week, we’ll be having a look at the conclusion to Smallville’s ‘Olympus’ arc, as well as a brief glance at Forever Evil #2 and Justice League of America #9. See you after the jump.

After Wonder Woman gets something of a hammering from Doomsday, after which she’s saved by Superman…

Wonder Woman gets hit by Doomsday

More hammering

Superman saves Wondy

…Superman reveals that Doomsday was one of the creatures held prisoner in the Phantom Zone, which might be having problems. Superman, despite not having died at the hands of Doomsday in this timeline, clearly has issues with him/it, but Wondy gives him some reassurance.

Wondy reassures Superman

But decides some new weapons might be handy for Superman, given the situation.

Superman meets Hephaestus

However, Apollo has been watching with Strife from up on Olympus and doesn’t think Superman deserves gifts from the gods.

Apollo and Strife arrive

After suggesting that Superman is a bit of an inferior, Apollo ’slut shames’ Diana, Supes gets a bit miffed, and Apollo gives him a slap for his trouble.

Apollo slaps Superman

Which annoys Supes. Apollo unwisely tries to sun him to death, which is just what Supes needs to twat Apollo.

Superman twats Apollo

Superman kicks Apollo

However, Doomsday isn’t the only thing coming out of the Phantom Zone. Go on: you know you want to say it…

Zod arrives

‘Kneel before Zod.’

Is it any good?
You know, just for once in the nu52, it would be really good if Wonder Woman could take on and defeat a notable enemy by herself. Just once*. But whether it’s been in her own book or Justice League, she’s either been kicked around or needed help to defeat things that she could have handled by herself in the good old days. It also doesn’t make her look good if her enemies are shown to be easily defeatable by other superheroes, even Superman.

Here, in Superman/Wonder Woman #2, we have Wonder Woman having to be rescued from Doomsday before she can execute a cunning plan, even of escape; we get Superman out-muscling Hephaestus; and we get Superman finding it relatively easy to beat up Apollo, who gave Wonder Woman such a hard time back in Wonder Woman #11. Yes, Supes did get an extra burst of sun energy from Apollo to do it – although he describes it as being merely like a shot of adrenaline – but

  1. As the book points out, Apollo should know because he’s on Olympus that sunshine is Superman’s Scooby Snacks. Plus, you know, having the gift of prophecy, being the god of wisdom (more or less) n’all…
  2. Being god of the sun, he should probably notice that Supes has a big load of sun bottled up inside him and either not use the sun as a weapon or just steal all of Supes’ sunshine
  3. If Superman gets his power from the sun, shouldn’t the sun be more powerful than Superman?

You can probably argue point 2, but at the very least, it makes Apollo and (by implication) Diana look a bit weak and pathetic compared to the all-powerful Superman. Wondy beating up Apollo after he gives Superman a bruising/sun-sucking (a Magneto-esque “My, do you really get your entire power from the sun’s light… let’s point those fists of yours in a safer direction, then”, perhaps?) would have been a far more edifying spectacle, to me, at least.

Oh well, fingers crossed that later down the line Wondy will get to save Supes. And that someone, somewhere will actually notice the nifty two swords thing Brian Azzarello gave Wondy in issue #15 and get her to use them in a fight.

Less nitpickingly, despite being all about Supes and how awesome he is, it’s still a pretty good issue, if less dense than the first, which managed to fit in an awful lot. We have some nice moments between Diana and Clark – although, again, it’s noticeable that all the relationship and emoting side of things is coming from Wondy, while all the job-related things are coming from Clark. Commitment issues from Clark? Let’s hope not – I suspect more that this Clark is a bit more emotionally closed than we’ve seen pre nu-52. Diana, despite her pastings, does get some good, humorous moments, as well as new details such as her ability to heal even broken arms quickly thanks to her divinity. Charles Soule handles the pantheon reasonably well, although Strife’s ability to fly is a new one. The collapse of the Phantom Zone and the arrival of Zod only bode good things. And Tony Daniel’s art is as fabulous as ever, doing some great work with Cliff Chiang’s original designs.

Rating: 4/5

Smallville #69

Smallville #69
So a somewhat intriguing end to Diana’s introduction to the Smallvilleuniverse. As well as confirmation that this Wonder Woman is also a goddess…

Diana is a goddess

…we essentially have a flashback to Volume 3 of Wonder Woman with Diana remaining behind as a diplomatic envoy from Thermiscira, while also staying undercover at the DEO as ‘Diana Prince’.

Diana will be an envoy

Agent Diana Prince

We get a head-nod to Etta Candy and the invisible plane…

Etta Candy and the invisible plane

And Wondy’s planning on dating Steve Trevor…

Steve Trevor will be seeing more of Wonder Woman

It’s a nice way to finish things off and I’m hoping there’s going to be a lot more Wonder Woman in Smallville.

Forever Evil #3/Justice League America #9
Meanwhile, back in the regular DC universe, we discover in Forever Evil that the Justice League is stuck inside Earth 3’s Firestorm in a hell of their own imagining.

The Justice League are trapped

And in Justice League of America #9 that Wonder Woman is still fighting in her hell. And is very tall – not that you’d know it from any other DC comic except Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman is tall

* Yes, I am aware she beats up Artemis in issue #12. I said notable.

  • SofNascimento

    Well, notable battles that Wondie won by herself that I can remember:

    The Minotaur in issue #0
    The Hydra in Batwoman
    She casually defeated Supergirl
    She defeated Artemis a second time

  • I think they all fall in terms of being 'notable enemies', with perhaps the exception of Supergirl. None of them have been shown to be serious adversaries to anyone of the superhero persuasion and they've all shown up and been beaten inside of a page, more or less.

    The defeat of Supergirl was excellent, I grant you, but again, not exactly an enemy. But I won't argue the point.

    What I was trying to get at was that any antagonist who shows up for an issue or more has needed more than just Wonder Woman to defeat it. Certainly no headliner (eg the First Born, Apollo, Cheetah, Hades, Poseidon). The most she's ever managed to do is talk people into surrender or a stalemate. A victory of sorts, perhaps, but you'd expect something a bit more from DC's headline, most powerful superheroine, I'd have thought.

  • monkeypants2230

    What the heck is up with that black tight body suit with the skull Diana is wearing and really don't like modern WW working for the government ala CIA spy. It just does not work imo. If she is using an ID it needs to be something more in keeping with the evolution of the character.

  • monkeypants2230

    Well #1 was totally dominated by WW. Really Supes needed a moment and simply got his. WW should not defeat Doomsday casually. That makes no sense. Nor was she “rescued”. DD vanished. This threat wiped the floor with the JL, Superman etc in old canon. So often we see Clark knocked around as the one to show the level of threat…look at JL. What I took away here is WW is so strong and yet DD can break her arms…and even with that she's not giving up. It establishes to the reader DD is death and Diana is a badass even when she's down.

  • 1) That seems to be roughly the DEO uniform in the Smallville universe
    2) It's basically a callback to the start of Volume 3, when she was undercover at the DEO as Diana Prince, which in turn was a callback to the start of Volume 1 when she worked for the US government.

    I agree it wouldn't be quite right for Volume 2 Wonder Woman, but I think it's fine in Smallville and the other volumes.

  • “Well #1 was totally dominated by WW. Really Supes needed a moment and simply got his. “

    Was it? They both got equal amounts of page time. Clark had the whole sub-plot involving Cat and his work. But because Wonder Woman is essentially taking the lead in their relationship, she has a gal pal to talk to and Clark doesn't and is quite emotionally closed off, Superman seems quite passive in comparison.

    In terms of action, though, it's the reverse. Superman gets slapped around in #1 by Doomsday but comes out of relatively unscathed. Wonder Woman, who's been arguing that she knows all about fighting and that she can teach Superman a thing or two, is left broken and bleeding at the end of issue #1. That's just after she's been knocked out by the Norwegian navy. And in issue #2, before she can do anything – use one of her two atom-sharp swords, fly, do something tactical, etc – she's rescued by Superman picking up the boat, which may (or may not) have caused Doomsday to disappear.

    Similarly, when we get to the gods, Superman physically dominates, proving the equal of Hephaestus and then slapping around Apollo before Wonder Woman can do anything. That's just after Wonder Woman has given her dire warning about how tough her opponents are.

    I'm not saying Supes shouldn't get to fight and show how great he is. I'm not saying Wonder Woman should have slapped around Superman's mortal enemy (Doomsday). I'm saying that Superman shouldn't have simply slapped around her mortal enemy (Apollo) and that rather than Wondy saying how great she is in fights then getting beaten up, she should be given a chance to demonstrate how great she is in fights. Or at least that she's not the comparative walkover she seems to be in most nu52 titles with notable enemies (Supergirl fight excepted).

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