Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Superman/Wonder Woman #22


Superman/Wonder Woman #22 came out this week, a dreary and brutal chapter in 'The Truth'. It is one of the worst books I have read in quite some time. It is relentless in its darkness. It is full of off-kilter characterization. And some of the scenes feel forced.

Now I have never quite understood why Superman and Wonder Woman are romantically involved. The relationship has never been presented in a way that seems to make sense. These characters don't seem to belong together as a couple. Emotionally, these two seem pretty different. So from the beginning, I have been a bit flummoxed by the title.

And  I have had my issues with the entire overarching story of The Truth since its inception. I have wondered why DC can't seem to handle Superman these days, trying to twist him into something he isn't .. for example, the current angry, mean-spirited, depowered jerk.

This issue seemed to encapsulate all of these things. It distilled all the things I don't like about the current DCU and the state of the Superman comics into something so purely awful that it is almost toxic. Peter Tomasi writes about as dark, bitter, and violent world as I have read. These aren't the characters I have read for the last 3 plus decades. None of these characters are likeable. None are heroes. I can't root for any of these people. This is a superhero world looked at through a mirror darkly.

Listen, I read these books to follow the characters and review. But Tomasi may have finally forced my hand. And so I will end this review with a question for all of you.

So this review is simply going to be highlighting the awful character behavior in this book.

Let's start out with the punch heard around the world.

Lana, who has outright disliked and isolated Clark since Doomed, decides that Lois' reveal is just too egregious to go unpunished. So, like the rational person she is, Lana decides the thing to do is to plant a right hook into Lois' jaw.

Lana punches Lois.

In this current DC universe, this is a natural response for someone. In fact, Lois isn't surprised by it. She is more surprised that it took so long to happen.

But for me, almost as bad as the punch is the following panel and the reaction of others. Steel looks sad that he witnessed it. But he doesn't speak up. He didn't try to stop Lana. He silently accepts it. And Diana, she looks absolutely bored. She could not care less about these two. She doesn't tell them that fighting each other won't help Clark. No one seems shocked. This isn't a surprising turn of events in the current DCU. That is depressing.

If you want to see what is wrong with the Superman books right now, these two panels are a prime example.

Lost in all this is the fact that Lois revealed Clark's secret so he didn't die in that energy draining chair.


Superman has fled to the JLA satellite. He is going to take a shuttle closer to the sun so he can try to repower. When Clark arrives, the Flash shows up and sees how injured Superman is.

Superman's response to his friend is to knock him out.

Superman, in trouble and needing help, decides his best option is to beat his friend unconscious. 

Because that makes sense. Superman should always beat up other heroes. That is what the Kents taught him.

We never quite hear if the proximity to the sun helps Superman. But he pushes his shuttle so much that the ship falls apart in deep space. Wonder Woman, who was following him in another ship, teleports into his ship and then teleports them both back to the satellite.

Now we finally get to the scene from the 8-page preview from Convergence. There is a slight word change here. Clark now says he doesn't know if he loves Diana, as opposed to 'I don't love you'.

But why does this scene even happen? If the Flash can teleport Superman away why is Diana chasing him in another ship. If she can communicate with him on radio, why follow? Did she think she was going to use her ship to make him get off course? And why does Diana teleport into Clark's evaporating ship to then teleport back to the satellite?

Why? To set up this dramatic scene of Superman declaring his non-love to Diana with the sun behind them. To get to this face-to-face in deep space the characters have to do things that don't make sense.

This ludicrous set-up - a shuttle chase that doesn't need to happen, a needless teleport to put them face-to-face - to make this scene possible makes the whole scene feel forced.


Back in the JLA headquarters, Clark admits that he is upset because Diana interrogated his friends. And so he says he is questioning the relationship.

Diana asks outright if Superman won't fight for their love. He says he won't.

You would think that I would be happy that Superman finally realizes that these two are ill-suited for each other. But instead I am surprised at Diana's non-response. She doesn't challenge him. She doesn't walk away. She doesn't do anything. She will allow him to brood and decide about their relationship's health. She will give Superman time to work this out while she waits. She is passive.

That doesn't sound like Diana.


With the 'race to the sun' plot point out of the way, Clark and Diana decide to hunt down the energy-draining villains from the last issue. We still don't know if it helped Clark.  So that whole space scene feels unnecessary, meaningless, and now even more forced. It was written to get us to that one splash of Superman telling Diana he doesn't love her.

The Flash decides to help them track these parasitic creatures, never even commenting on Superman attacking him. Does that make sense? That Flash just falls in line, not being angry or questioning of Superman's attack?

When the three can't track down the energy-drainers with technology, Superman decides that he'll use the Parasite as a living tracker. Luckily he has been working on 'special gloves' which allow him to touch the Parasite without being drained. Good thing that deus ex machina was lying around. (Think they'll be around the next time there is a Parasite story? Unlikely.)

So to get the Parasite, Superman and Wonder Woman attack an army helicopter which is bringing the villain to prison. Superman crashes through the copter's windshield. Because that is the safest way for him to commandeer this thing.

But think about this. Superman attacks an army helicopter to free the Parasite. Is he a hero? Because that is what I want my heroes to do, attack the civilians bringing a known super-villain to jail.

Even the art mirrors the tone. Superman, with his sunken eyes and scowl, looks like a villain 

Do you want to see a prime example of what is wrong with the DCU, look at this panel.


And Wonder Woman is along for the ride. She wants to help Clark.  She doesn't question this idea by Clark. She doesn't try to talk him out of it. She doesn't try to alter the plan. She is on board for an assault. She is the doting girlfriend who just listens to her man ... because that sounds like Diana.

She uses her sword to cut her way into the ship, coming within inches of skewering an innocent guard with her sword. The guards shoot wildly in bay.

How no one dies is almost too far-fetched to buy. How does this thing even stay in the air? How does no innocent get injured?

Is this how I want Wonder Woman to act? Following her man blindly, attacking innocents? So quick to unsheath her sword that she almost kills someone?

Horrific.

But the assault is a success. Superman and Wonder Woman are able to grab the Parasite, still shackled in a giant device.

He is helpless.

Superman body slams him into the ground from the copter.

Wonder Woman bashes him across the face.

Because battering and torturing someone helpless, even a villain, is what I want my heroes to do. After all they should inspire me.


And Superman?

He decides to pile on.

When Parasite asks why he has been kidnapped (because that is what this is ... a kidnapping), Superman responds with a boot to the face.

Superman angrily kicks someone helpless in the face.

Because nothing says 'Superman' more than him lashing out angrily at everyone in the world. Nothing says 'I'm here to help' like a kick in the kisser.

Have I shown you enough? Do you see how Peter Tomasi has no idea of who these characters are? That Eddie Berganza shows just how wrong a choice he is to edit the super-books? That the DCU is a horrible place filled with horrible people. A place where there is no distinction between good and evil.

Nothing here has felt right. Nothing here is heroic. Nothing in this plot is good or compelling.


It is a shame because I love Doug Mahnke. The art is beautiful even if the subject matter is horrible. Look at this panel with Diana springing into action. I paused here because it is so dynamic and sharp. Put Doug Mahnke on a book more deserving of his stuff. I also like the cover by Cary Nord is actually quite pleasing to the eye. It is like a lure to get you to buy the book. Then you read the inside and feel you have been taken.

But the bottom line is that there is nothing I can get behind in this book. It starts with Lana punching Lois. It continues with Superman attacking innocent guards to spring a super-villain. And it ends with Superman and Wonder Woman physically abusing a helpless villain.

This isn't Superman. This isn't Wonder Woman.

So a question.

Do I continue to review this book, hopefully informing people and keeping them away from it?
Or do I vote with my dollars and drop the book?

Because this an awful book with awful characterization.
Or maybe this is just the sort of world DC Comics wants to be publishing right now, which isn't for me.

Overall grade: D- (raised from F because of Mahnke)

51 comments:

Martin Gray said...

I say yes. You stop. I stop. Hopefully more people will stop and DC will hear about us and consider us a representative sample to be multiplied, and listened to. The other books, we continue reading unless they're as utterly repulsive as this one.

There has to be a red line.

Great review. One question that struck me after writing my own: why does Superman assume Flash would try to deny him a JLA shuttle?

Anonymous said...

Martin, because all the characters here are brainless? I'm still laughing at Tomasi's reply that his characters act "like people not diplomats." If only...

As for the question, I say drop the book, burn all issues you have, and post the video of it so we can watch it delighted.

And, honestly, I'd still give this issue a F, even with the good art. And I still think it'd be a high grade for such a garbage.

baudyhallee said...

I say yes, continue to review. It's a public service at this point. I understand it won't help your health much, but it might just save others.

Great review. There are no heroes in the Superman books & if there are, they get suckerpunched by angerballs.

Zoraida said...

Great review Anj,

As much as I would love to see the video of all the books from this serie been incinerating, I think you should keep reviewing this. There are so few good, insightful and fair reviews about this book and DC is not listening to what fans have been saying about the awful way they have been directing Superman's books. We need some kind of voice, reviews count!

This issue is the lowest of SMWW, everyone was awful from Lana to Steel, Wonder Woman or better say Wonder Submissive was as much as a villain as Superman was. I think Geoff Johns was totally right when he predicted this couple was going to end BADLY, Peter Tomasi just made that a fact.

Zoraida said...

Sorry I meant there AREN'T so many good reviews on my earlier comment!

Veronica said...

"Lois desereve the punch and she act like a jerk kent taught him to be a man People say superman act like a jerk in the new 52 he shows the human side of him feelings anger, sad and fear in the new 52 not some alienated guy like old asshole superman"

no she doesn't. she didn't acted like a jerk.

so superman acting like a jerk on new 52 is human? well it is, but doesn't mean is right. u know other human things? kindness, love.

ANJ, I think you should stop reviewing, time to stop buying this crap.

mayak46 said...

This issue wasn't worth the proverbial paper it was printed on. That said, is DC paying any attention to their falling orders in general? Every month Diamond releases the monthly orders and The Comic Chronicles uses that information to provide estimates and it's not good for this book or the Superman titles in general. So I just don't know what metric they are using?

I vote stop because of mental anguish and all.

Doug said...

No one wants to see this from these characters! But keep reviewing and find ways to share on Twitter with DC accounts. They might pay more attention to social media coverage than they do to sales.

Godzylla said...

Yes, Anjinia, there is a sanity clause. Get out while you can! This was abominable. Incoherent, illogical, amateur, nonsensical. This script doesn't work no matter who the characters are.

Anonymous said...

I can feel the despair and annoyance in your review about what this issue entails and means for characters you like so much. If I recall, your Superman/Wonder Woman reviews have been the least best scored consistently and before Truth, you were already planning on dropping this anyway. I've been a huge Superman fan ever since I was little but if it weren't for Lois and Clark, I would not be buying any Superman comics currently. I don't like Truth in its entirety so if you don't like one of the series after giving it a try, it might not be to your taste. There could be a benefit in informing others about how bad Superman/Wonder Woman is but your purchase is another number on the sales chart which is the bottom line for DC these days over fan reactions and meaningful feedback.

Louis

Anonymous said...

The singular piece missing from the comments is that this book is being dragged into the superman story lines. When Soule and Daniels wrote Power Couple it was an awesome storyline that was a standalone. Since then this book has been plagued by having to fit in with Doomed and then Truth.

That is what is weighing the book down - not the relationship - see WW #45 if you really want to see Wondy portrayed poorly and not the writing which has to fit in with editorial constraints.

These two can have awesome stories and adventures by their twosome - if the writers were unshackled from the pressures of continuity.

The writer is betraying their anti Diana / Clark bias all over this article as far as I am concerned

Anj said...

Thanks for most of the comments.

I think this whole time in comics is weird and in DC comics in particular as they try to bring in new readers with something different ... even if that different clearly doesn't work.

Regardless of the relationship, I don't want to see Superman or Wonder Woman beat up someone helpless or attack their friends or attack innocents who are trying to lock up a villain. I don't think my 'bias' about their romance matters there.

Thanks again!

Anj said...

One more thing, I love dissenting opinions and discussion. I don't like name calling and curses.

So let's keep the comments above board.

garyb said...

I've had to stop buying the mega crossovers from DC, they just largely don't make any since, or DC so wrecks the characters that they become (pardon the pun) cartoons of them selves.

I've appreciated your reviews, which have only served to justify my lack of purchasing them directly. On the other hand, I do think if the stories had been better meriting better reviews, that I would have been willing to pick up the books.

I can't ask you to keep buying bad books so that you can review them for us.

Drop the books.

Bob said...

22 issues? $88? On something your just kind of "eh" about? That's still a bit of money spent on something you don't even really want. I say drop it.

Bob said...

And that's not even counting the annuals & tie ins

dglloyd said...

More biased nonsense from a deluded Clois shipper. There's definitely a pattern going on.

Fact: The SMWW book is great. This particular issue was awesome (as is usually the case). The characterizations are wonderful. The power couple relationship is the best thing to happen in comics in decades. Some Clois shippers, like the reviewer here, will never understand and will attack the book with baseless, opinionated drivel without a single trace of substantial critical analysis. (And will sometimes even stoop so low as to use political correctness as a weapon because they have no real arguments to make.) How typical.

And, in answer to your question: Yes, if you don't like the book then DON'T READ IT! Duh! The fact that you actually needed to ask this demonstrates your sense of logic (or lack thereof). Still, if you really want to dedicate your time and energy to spewing out relentless hatred for a comic book you don't like then be my guest; it won't really achieve much (there are plenty of bloggers, reviewers, etc out there writing positive things about the book. In the end, your efforts simply say: Some like it, some don't (which everyone pretty much would've figured anyway)

Here's an idea: Maybe instead of ranting about the things you don't like, maybe start ranting about the things you DO like (like the new Clois book, for example). Maybe then, you'll actually start to enjoy yourself a bit.
You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

dglloyd, I read your comments with interest- genuinely fascinated by the ability to label such hamfisted storytelling as 'awesome'. I think the review was at pains to address the weak plot and undercooked character motivation but if that doesn't constitute critical analysis fair enough. The derailment at the end and the ultra patronising 'You're welcome' was a bit uncalled for though.

To Anj, I agree with baudyhallee, this is a public service; wading through this excuse for a 'superhero' comic so we don't have to. On the other hand, I also agree with Bob. You deserve better.

Liz

Anj said...

I eagerly await your review so I can learn what I am missing. 'Wonderful characterization', 'the best thing in comics for decades' ... You clearly have a lot to say. So tell me where to find your analysis.

But if you find my reviews 'baseless, opinionated drivel without a trace of substantial critical analysis' you should move on.

Anj said...

Thanks Liz!

Anonymous said...

Booting a chained villian in the face is now a great characterization.

What a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

You're totally welcome! You articulated exactly what I feel about this book, and DC in general, which is such a gift for a fan- thank you.

I've also helpfully critically analysed dglloyd's critique; blah blah blah my ship is better than your ship blah. Some real insight there. (ps Although... I totally want to start stooping low and using political correctness as a weapon in my life more- I don't even know what that means but it sounds kind of subversive and fun!)

Liz

Anonymous said...

I will start this coment by stating I don't read SM&Ww. I'm not a fan of the couple because the very idea of them together bores me to tears. I see no interesting romantic potential in a couple that, when they are true to themselves, are nothing but two powerful almost immortal beings.

That being said, I'd also like to state that, even if I did find anything remotely interesting in this couple, the way they are portrayed in this relationship would have quickly turned me off them. I like healthy relationships, and there is nothing healthy in a relationship that turns the people involved in the worst version of themselves. And that's what I've been seeing every since those two got together. They became more violent and lost all sense of moral each day they are together. It's just so toxic that sometimes I wonder if they are being written like that because the writers are traying to show us why they don't work.

Unfortunately, I don't credit anyone who writes a story that portrays one woman senseless punching another and no one saying a word about it as having any kind of good sense. Therefore, I'm forced to admit this isn't someone telling a story with the message 'this is toxic relationship' or even 'this is wrong'. This is someone who actually believes in violence and in solving disputes with punches instead of using their brains. This is someone who believes in violence and in attacking defenseless people, and possibly someone who aproves of torture (because what was that scene with parasite but torture?) since his heros are portraying doing it.

In another words, those two characters as they are, right now do not deserve to be called Wonder Woman or Superman. Please do continue with your reviews because we need voices crying out loud against what has been done with those two characters, not because they are together, even if I do agree they are not suited for one another. Howver, regardless of their status quo, this is more important than that. This is about two iconic characters they are not even the caricature of their past selves. They are a living joke of what they used tor represent: hope, love and compassion. Values our world desperatly needs, as this very comic isadly proves...

mayak46 said...

The same can be said about people's subjective reviews. If you don't like the review don't read it. Or at the very least do not come in to another person's blog and insult them. This is *subjective*.

I don't see this as a shipper issue at all. I will give an example. In the early 1980s before the crisis hit, Clark and Lana were together. Lois had split from Superman.

The context of the Lana scenes in "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" was what was going on during that time.

Yet everybody behaved in recognizable character form. This, in my opinion, is not recognizable character. Granted, I'm old. I've been reading for 45+ years now and perhaps that is why I react the way I do to the story.

In this universe with Clark and Diana together, the people I knew wouldn't be beating up on Parasite or anybody else. They would be a formidable force together for peace and goodwill.





Anonymous said...

Vote with your wallet and drop the book, I know I did. Much like Supes and WW, I don't know if I love DC comics anymore. All the decision-making lately has been really lacking on them. Not just how they portray their characters, but even elementary business matters. New Supergirl TV show coming out with lots of hype??? Let's make sure there's no comic out while it premieres.

I find way more enjoyment picking up titles from other companies, ones I probably would've never tried in the past. Use your dollars to support a brand more deserving. The only comic I won't stop buying is Teen Titans. That's mostly out of a sense of duty and blind hope. I won't stop you if you have the same reasons for not dropping this book, but I just can't take it anymore. I'm off to read some light hearted/ comedic stuff. Well still have Harley I guess, though I think I like Squirrel Girl more. Off that tangent in case anyone from DC reads Hey DC Why so serious? Not every character can/should be Batman!

-Bith

Godzylla said...

It's a long-arranging joke (of a bizarre sort) that I am "a reader," my eyes are naturally drawn to words. I analyze the books I read and even the films/TV shows I watch. These entertainments are scripted, after all. Don & Maggie Thompson used to have a phrase to describe the type of story that we see in this issue of S/WW: an "idiot plot."

An idiot plot is a story where the characters do things only because the plot dictates it, without reason, allowance for situation, or considering characterization.

A haircut appears to have confused the League computer. I think they need to upgrade their software. Superman seems to have hit Barry so hard that he either doesn't care that his friend cold cocked him or is too terrified of him to dare complain. Barry needs to grow a spine as much as Superfratboy needs to chill out and grow up. Clark and Diana have their own atmospheres apparently because they can talk in space. There is no publication of air masks, nor of radio, nor telepathy. This is only the first few pages and the idiots keep performing. This is simply bad writing.

Godzylla said...

Long-standing joke. Stupid phone…

mayak46 said...

Also, if one is going to use the term "fact" then please provide the formula or equation used to derive the answer. Stories are subjective. This isn't science. it is literature. Saying something is great or awful is subjective. There is no experiment or scientific reasoning that can back any of us up to prove an opinion is "fact". This is not a quantitative exercise. We all bring our own bias to the table. To suggest that only one person is biased is not to understand the term.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you what to do but I dropped it, along with Action, Superman, and Batman/Superman. The Truth story line is awful and this is not the kind of Superman I want to read about. I honestly have no idea what the editors and writers are thinking. I don't want to read about a Superman who hijacks a prisoner and then beats the crap out of said prisoner while he's still chained up, even if it is Parasite. That's just not Superman.

Honestly, I'm about to drop a lot of DC titles. The latest issue of Teen Titans wasn't that great and it got rid of Superboy for no real reason. Plus Lobdell looks to be back on the book which is not a good thing in my opinion. He's the one who gave us a future Bart that's a mass murdering terrorist and a Solstice that turned murderer so she could go to prison with Bart. If Lobdell is back, and Superboy is gone, I'm dropping the title.

At least we have the Supergirl TV show to look forward to as the only thing showing us how true Super characters are supposed to act.
-Kon30

Uncle Screensaver said...

Stop. Just stop. I think you should have stopped long ago. You don't like this. It's not true to the characters or the creators of the characters. You need to be a customer, not just a fan, and stop giving DC money to continue making this garbage. As long as comic book companies continue to treat customers/ fans like crap, and their characters, and the customers/ fans continue to hand over their money, they're not going to stop, and they'd have no reason to. Spend the money on something that would make you feel good, or support the characters you like by buying classic versions of the characters in trades, books, and so on. Stand up for Superman and just say "no"!

Dan said...

Keep reviewing please if only just to archive it. I'm sure there's an arc here and it would be interesting to have reviews of it all in one place for people to see.

Uncle Screensaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Uncle Screensaver said...

Oh, a suggestion!

If you want to review something, why not review some of your favourite comics featuring the characters as you love them, so you can show others why things WORKED before! Take some of the stories from the "Best of" DC Digests that showed that Pre-Crisis there were actually good stories being told. Review Pre-Flashpoiint stories, and trades from then, to give people an alternative to what DC comes out with now. Review the trades that DC continues to reprint or are willing to put together to show why the classics are called that. Review Archives or the cheaper Chronological trades. Compare to what was to what is now and how some things today may work or could build on that and why you feel DC is failing at this. Show the evolution of Superman becoming the hero that he was (and still is) and why you (and countless others) love the character. People right now are being inspired by a bright and heroic Supergirl and will be looking for that kind of character for their child or themselves, let this be a place where people can come by and see those kind of things.

Overall, though, if you decide not to buy to review these books any longer, if find out that the comics being created today are turning out to be something you want to buy again, then do so, and if you want you can get the back issues of those missing and review them then.

Zoraida said...

Dear Anj,

If you have a good relationship with your LCS could they allow you to read this book for free in the store? so you won't buy the book but also be able to continue reviewing this? As a customer I have stopped buying all this books with the exception of Superman: Lois and Clark, but I am not in the reviewer side so I can only provide my voice against this abusive treatment from DC on social media, for me it would be a total lost to see no more of your insightful reviews about this book, as I've said it before there aren't too many good reviews as this one online when we should be getting more and talking more about this wrong direction about our favourites heroes.

I always find fascinating that so many SHIPPERS of Superman and Wonder Woman confuse their opinions with facts when they are unable to offer a non-biased "criticism" when it comes to this book and relationship. It is frightening their capacity of going to blogs or sites and start insulting other PEOPLE for a ship. No matter if they put a name or show themselves as ANONYMOUS, it won't make a difference because at the end of the day they are still bullies. It is not OK to read a review with the mere purpose to insult and offend people to "defend" a point of view. That doesn't make anyone more or less reasonable or objective, it just make you another internet bully. No wonder why those comments against this review are defending Superman and WW actions here.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, if a reviewer is already biased on a certain topic, he or she should be mindful not to reflect it in their review. Otherwise, it is just a very lonnnnng forum post.

As for me, this is where I stand:

Do I support the Superman/Wonder Woman romance? Yes
Do I enjoy the Truth arc in this book? No
Did Lois deserve the Lana punch? Yes
Did I enjoy the punch? No
Do I hope the Superman/Lois friendship survive this betrayal? Hell Yes!
Am I a fan of a Superman/Lois romance? Hell no!

This, in a nutshell, is where I stand.

Anonymous said...

DC threatened by Lois? No way. She's possibly the most overused supporting character in comics. She's just not romantically involved with Superman now, that's the only difference.

Anonymous said...

Facts versus opinions....this is like the pot calling the kettle black. Is the "so many" your opinion or fact? If fact, what sort of metric did you use to arrive at the "so many" statement?

Bottom line, some shippers from both camps make this mistake a lot.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the concept of shipping does not only relate to pairing non established characters, but established ones as well.

Furthermore, a shipper could be one whose decision of enjoying a book rests on whether or not their preferred pairing is portrayed. Or even if they buy the book, one of their dislikes of the book itself is the fact that their preferred pairing is ignored.

mayak46 said...

Except I'm not presenting my opinion as fact nor is Anj. The only person using the word "fact" is you.

Why are you reading a review by a person who you disagree with? The pairing isn't the issue. The characterization however is.

Anj said...

Anon,
I know you think I am a rabid Clois shipper who will trash anything With Clark and Diana as a couple.
But I would ask,you to go back and read all my reviews.
I say over and over that all I want is a good story. I'll accept a lot if the story is good.
I enjoyed Byrne's Superman. I enjoyed a flame wing Angel Supergirl. I enjoyed a Red Lantern Supegirl. I rolled with Alan Moore making Swamp Thing an elemental. Those were all good stories that engaged me as a reader despite ideas that initially seemed wrong. There is no preconceived notion or bias that can't be undone by powerful storytelling.

I have even said that I would accept a Clark/ Diana romance if it was written in a way that felt right and natural. Read the reviews.
Unortunateky, there has been nothing in these stories that have convinced me that these two should be together. Their romance scenes together read awkward to me.
Add to that this vicious cold angry new characterization and this simply doesn't work for me.

And that is the deal about reviews. By definition, they are personal responses to a work. And so I try to say why I like or dislike something. It is why my reviews tend to be so lengthy.

Enjoy this book and relationship. I am happy for you if this works for you.

Godzylla said...

The only bias I see here are the people coming to this page and complaining that this review is preoccupied with the relationship. Anj's preference for Lois & Clark is mentioned as a caveat, but the review is about the story and the characterization, so the review is exactly what it should be: a review of the story as presented.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Anj: az suggestion. Quit buying the book. Do this instead, if possible. Wait for the trade to come out and get it from your library. I've never bought a single issue of SMWW, but have felt it hard to quit buying a few other DC titles over the last few years.

But I enjoy your reviews and as someone stated above, $88.00! Review the trade, seriously.

ernest gonzalez said...

Because of superman's condition idiot

ernest gonzalez said...

Like mayak46 said, the pairing isn't the issue, but the characterizing is! Lois is no more which is better, but you guys are going to ruin this ship next if you keep whatever this is up...

Martin Gray said...

Hey Ernest, you seem awfully threatened by someone who can actually form an argument rather than simply post drive-by insults. Say hi to Deletionland for me

Anonymous said...

Man the Superman/Wonder Woman camp is really embarassing itself with those commentators on Anj's review. Anj's preference on Superman's romance is irrelevant on the bad characterisation and unwanted depictions of iconic characters. That's the meat of this review. Even if it did impact the review, so what? A review is supposed to be based on what the reviewer thinks of the issue and it doesn't hurt that Anj's reviews are fair minded and keen in analysis. Shame they can't see it.

Also I'm guessing this review is getting close to the number of comments on the Action Comics #41 review. Another record broken hopefully.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anj. I have a suggestion: A few weeks ago, you mentioned that you have a special box of comics that are "reading copies" of your favorite issues and story arcs from past years. You mentioned that the three-issue Byrne Matrix arc was included in the box. I am curious what else is in the box, as I am always looking for quality comics to read and re-read. This is particularly true since I have gone from being an avid reader of pre-Flashpoint Superman and other DCU books to collecting only two title: Sensation Comics and Justice League United, both of which are cancelled in December. I dropped all the Superman books two years in to The New 52 for all of the reasons you describe in this review. Superman has not been right for me ever since the "Grounded" arc from before The New 52 began. You have mentioned over and over since that time that "This doesn't feel like Superman," "DC doesn't know what to do with Superman right now," and I wholeheartedly agree. So I chose to "vote with my dollars" and drop all the Superman books. I'm not saying you should. You are one of the best reviewers out there, and I have loved this blog for many years. I am just saying that paying for something that you do not enjoy is not worth it.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

You should either drop the book or get the trades from the library as Wayne Alan Salle suggested. I am definitely in favor of Uncle Screensaver's suggestion that you should replace your reviews of Superman/Wonder Woman with reviews of more deserving material. The new Super Power Girls shorts and the extra issue of Bombshells each month for November and December come to mind.

Anonymous said...

I loved Lois being with Clark, but I also didn't mind the change of him being with Wonder Woman. I could see how that could work and was actually looking forward to it. It didn't really start off too badly either. Now though DC has just seem to have gone and turned all their characters into completely different people who just happen to have the same powers, looks, and names of the heroes we grew up with.

Face it man, these guys are barely heroes anymore. They are slowly and surely becoming bigger and bigger jerks, at least Superman anyway. These aren't characters to idolize, these aren't characters I want to be like, or I would want my children to be like. It's a disgrace and disservice to every long time fan.

I don't care if Superman is with Lois, Diana, Lana, Jimmy, Perry, Cat, etc. Ship him to whomever you like so long as you do it well an it works for both the character and the story.

What I want is to pick up a Superman title and not have to double check that I didn't pick up a copy of Injustice by mistake.

Jay said...

I didn't like this issue. Probably the worst of the run. And I'm a big fan of the title and the relationship. But there's simply a lot wrong here. First and foremost, then entire basis of Superman's being upset at Wonder Woman still makes absolutely no sense and so everything that comes about from it suffers greatly. She did absolutely nothing to warrant him being this upset, that cannot be stressed enough. So what you get is, instead of a tale in which we see a Superman slowly feeling the weight of all this crap on him, acting off, but allowing the audience to at least understand why he's acting off, you have him just being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk. In other words he looks way worse than intended and its all a trickle-down effect from this faux-betrayal. On the plus side I at least liked that Diana wasn't taking any crap and fired back at his attitude, but again, everything falls apart because of one poorly executed story beat. Unfortunate. I have no problem reading a story in which this identity thing is really messing with Superman's head--these things always do, historically. But if you want me to believe he's mad at his girlfriend, even if it is in exaggeration because of his increasingly neurotic state, you still have to at least portray her as doing something that could be at least from a warped POV be seen as a backstab of some kind. The set up in previous issues did not even accomplish that much. So the whole thing is DOA right off the bat.

Now I have little doubt where this is headed. He'll receive an epiphany somehow, dust himself off and get back to being Super again like he always does, and at that point do some major making up to Diana if she's still interested. But this type of story could have been told so much better.

Caoimhe said...

I agree with the suggestion given above to drop the book and wait for the trade.