Friday, January 29, 2016

Superman and Wonder Woman: Power Couple Comic Review

by The Wanderer

Authors: Charles Soule
Illustrators: Tony S. Daniel and Paulo Siqueira
Publisher: DC
Genre: Superhero
Series: Superman and Wonder Woman New 52 Volume 1

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I believe there’s an old saying that goes something to the tune of “worse than a comic book romance.”  Well whether that is an old saying or not, this comic lives up to that moniker.  Power Couple embarrasses itself along with two of DC’s longstanding veteran heroes as it tries to forge a romance that isn’t even remotely believable, and one that challenges the longtime Lois Lane/Clark Kent relationship that’s become a staple of Superman comics.

How did Superman and Wonder Woman fall in love? What’s their connection?  The best reason we get … they’re both superheroes and they are both potentially beings that can’t die … sound romantic?
I didn’t think so.

There are a number of cliched romantic moments … like Superman and Wonder Woman sitting on buildings and talking, each frantically rushing to save the other in a moment of trouble, and both battling romantic fueled teenage angst. This relationship never really gets on an adult level.  At one point the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship gets announced to the world.  What follows is page after page … after page … of vanity media reaction shots to the news that Superman and Wonder Woman are dating. Really?

Comics have had a poor track record in developing female characters with the same quality as their male counterparts.  Credit to DC for realizing this, however they don’t manage to correct the issue, but instead espouse audiences with some well-intentioned ignorance.  Wonder Woman, development wise is just not on par with Superman.  In this comic Superman runs the Fortress of Solitude, works towards discovering his alien past, runs a blog (who said newspapers aren’t dead?), keeps in contact with and helps lead the Justice League, and manages to try and start a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman. On the contrary, Wonder Woman in this comic starts a romantic relationship with Superman and trains with her Amazon friend … and while they’re training all they talk about is Superman.

See a problem here?

It doesn’t matter how many times Wonder Woman or Superman say that Diana is a strong, independent woman … believe me they say it a lot in this comic.  But actions speak louder than words, and Wonder Woman seriously lacks depth with what she says and does. Wonder Woman has great development potential, and the writing just squanders it. Part of making a romantic relationship that the reader is supposed to get behind in a modern story work usually requires that each member of the relationship be equal, which this comic fails to do as Wonder Woman fails the Bechdel Test in spectacular fashion.

As for the rest of the comic our heroes get caught in battles with Zod, Faora, and Doomsday.  The build up to these fights is less than spectacular becoming afterthoughts in the process.  The artwork is solid, but it in no way shape or form can save this mess of a story. I’m venturing to guess that this DC’s attempt to try and bring in fans of YA romances (aka as the Twilight crowd). If you’re into surface level relationships that aren’t realistic then this comic might work for you, but if you’d like to read about a non-shallow adult relationship, look elsewhere.

Score: 2.9

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