Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Superman/Wonder Woman #11

Superman:Doomed ....

Will it never end!

I must admit that my interest in this mega-arc has waned dramatically over the last couple of weeks. As the plots spin out of control, as the infection waxed ... waned ... waxed ... and then was cured because Baka believed in Superman (an overly easy answer to such a key plot point), I have just grown fatigued with reading this story. There is too much happening, too many plots and subplots, and too many feints by the creators. I don't know what is important. And I can't believe that the Doomsday virus was cured by good feelings.

This week Superman/Wonder Woman #11 came out, one of the final chapters of the arc, and writer Charles Soule basically continues the cycle I have described above. Last week's cliffhanger turns out to be a fakeout (like the Cyborg Superman cliffhanger was something of a fakeout, like the incurable Doomsday virus has been something of a fakeout). There is some action sequences that seem like filler. And yet another new plot element is added. Does DC think this bloated storyline is going to be easily wrapped up in this month's Superman:Doomed #2?

Tony Daniel is sadly not doing art on this book, most likely because he is hard at work on the new Deathstroke comic. So newcomer Thony Silva does interior. Silva's art is stylized. His characters look gangly and angular. And Superman oddly never has pupils. I think I would rather see this style on something like Deathstroke and bring Tony Daniel back.

The last issue of Doomed ended with another cliffhanger ... Non and Mongul leaving the Phantom Zone! Yet another new element added to this incredibly overly complicated mega-arc!

But I should have remembered some of the other cliffhangers in this arc, threats or events which quickly downshifted or disappeared. Here Non and Mongul see that Earth is being overrun by Brainiac. And despite their combined might, neither of them wants to face that threat. They actually retreat back to the Phantom Zone! So much for that cliffhanger.

I suppose I should be happy that they weren't added given my concern that there are too many moving parts here.

I did like how Mongul tries to explain to Non that he isn't scared of Brainiac as he is retreating.

And Lana continues to become smarter and smarter. Somehow she is able to figure out that Brainiac is draining neurological energy from the populace of Earth. But it is a progression from higher thinking to the most primitive neurologic impulses until everyone is dead.

Now how an electrical engineer can figure out an alien genius' neurologic draining mechanisms I don't know.

Look ... I love this Lana. But let's not make her too unbelievable. I would have had less of a complaint if Shay Veritas said this line.

Superman realizes that he needs to head to the Fortress and reorganize the few troops he has left. So Steel, Lana, J'onn, and Superman all head to the north pole to try to figure out a plan.

In one of the nicer moments, Cyborg stays behind to hold off the tough Brainiac drones so the others can leave. It is a nice page and a nice moment ... albeit brief. Very quickly, Brainiac adapts his mechanism to drain Vic's half robot brain as well.

If you count it up, only 7 free minds remain on the planet - Superman, J'onn, Steel, Lana, and these three: Bruce, Diana, and Lois.

Batman realizes that it simply isn't enough to defeat Brainiac. They need help.

So I don't know why Lois is green here when she had her normal coloring last issue.

It would have been nice to see some of the other telepaths on the planet to see how they fared. The fact that J'onn and Lois can shield people makes me wonder why others couldn't do the same.

But if it is true that only 7 are free and they need more firepower there are only a couple of places they can turn.

Superman turns to the mentally caged Doomsday. Why not let the monster take control again? After all, despite issue after issue of hearing how the virus was spreading, how this was an infection, all it took was the Ghost Soldier to tell Superman that people believed in him for the Man of Steel to cure himself.

I am so confused about this infection. Is it an infection? Like a disease? A mental problem? How can good feelings cure it? How can Superman willingly suffer the relapse? This whole ending of the Doomsday virus threat weakens the foundation of the entire conflict of this arc.

I also don't know why Silas never drew Superman with pupils.

And Wonder Woman goes searching for more firepower by heading into the Phantom Zone. Looks like she will try to lure Mongul and Non out to help fight for the cause. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

And it looks like Wonder Woman is willing to use Warworld as a bargain chip to get Mongul into the fold. Boy, I know that Warworld is a Death Star analogue. But this sure does look like a certain 'fully operational battle station'.

Well, another chapter down. The plot moved forward a bit. And we are set up for the final part (outside of the Supergirl crossover issue). Superman:Doomed #2 will be out soon and this arc will be over. And I will be thankful. I am hoping this will erase the last bits of Lobdell plot threads from the super-titles. I am hoping that Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder can get back to the sort of stories they were doing before this arc. And I hope I never have to think about what this Doomsday infection was all about. Because my head hurts from trying to figure it out.

Overall grade: C


Thomas Hayes said...

I'm not sure I can remember which was the last issue of SM/WW you actually liked, Anj. Are you going to ditch it after Doomed is over? What do you think about the new Tomasi/Mahnke team taking over in November?

alex said...

The only good things is Cyborg looks cool on this issue plus Superman-Martian Manhunter team up is awesome.

Anj said...

I don't know if there has been an issue for me that I loved.

But Tony Daniel's art was so super beautiful that I didn't mind looking at those issues.

I am a fan of both Tomasi and Mahnke so I think I will be in for a bit.

Jay said...

Mine has waned too, Anj. I hate saying it too as I'm a big fan of the creative teams involved, the original premise was interesting, and more importantly the actually product when it started was really good. To see it fall prey to common problems that befall a crossover has been disappointing.

Just hope now the ending can be satisfactory. Other than that though, can't wait for this title to get back to just Clark and Diana, and very much looking forward to the new creative team in November!

Martin Gray said...

I think I reviewed this issue myself. But it's difficult to remember. And it was likely just a week ago. As you say, it's going on and on and on, rambling away with feints and red herrings and just ... nonsense. Make it stop.

Anonymous said...

according to dc comics website superman doomed will be coming out 9/24 now

Although I did have the same question as you about green vs white/normal version Lois between the two issues. I prefer the green Brainiac-like look as personal preference of mine

- Soni