As a #WonderWoman fan I avoided this title. When I went to pick up comics in the DC section at FirstAid Comics, I tried to avoid looking in the area I knew it was in. I assumed it would at best disappoint me and at worse, upset me like Batwoman after issue #24. One of the covers I couldn’t help but see, issue #4, really had me worried that my girl Wonder Woman was trapped in a bad romance novel.
I wasn’t at odds with the plausibility of their relationship. I could see them hanging around the JLA Watchtower on a slow day and hitting it off and … I should add the disclaimer right here; I know they aren’t real…*ahem*. Anyway, before I read this I mused that the friendship between Superman and Wonder Woman and their status as coworkers,of a sort, could drift them into romance in the hands of the right writer. I also thought that in the hands of the wrong one, it could come off a bit forced or too convenient.
The only way to make it work, I reasoned, would be to really stay true to who Clark Kent and Diana Prince are individually and what makes them such loveable and iconic heroes. Then, write a story that shows how their strengths, weaknesses, and personality differences bring them together or push them apart. They should not be presented as the de facto King and Queen of the DC Ball, but powerful individuals combining to make a true Power Couple.
I approached this graphic novel with limited backstory on Superman; especially pertaining to his profile in the New 52. However, I have a lot of Wonder Woman mythos on my shelves and I am currently reading her New 52 run. I appreciated some of the continuity that bridged from Wonder Woman to SM/WW. Diana is going through a lot of changes, not the least of which is her new status as a god of Olympus. Brian Azzarello tinkered with her origin story a bit as well, but she is represented in both comics as Wonder Woman or Diana, princess of Themyscira. Clark Kent, I know, grew up on a farm in Smallville, Kansas and was raised as a “normal” boy. This alone makes for differences in how they see the world and themselves in it. Superman is one of the world’s most powerful beings and Wonder Woman is another.
After reading Volume I, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Charles Soule is doing a fine job with the story. There are some scenes I take issue with, but I’m a Wonder Woman fan girl and as such, hard to please on the matter. Nevertheless, Soule did not leave me feeling like he took my beloved Amazon warrior and turned her into Superman’s girlfriend. Also, Superman is never relegated to an obtuse muscle-headed boyfriend archetype either. Instead, they are the heroes I recognize.
Soule does well incorporating elements of their relationship and their roles as superheroes. By issue #2, our Power Couple is given the duty of saving the world as well as family drama. They are given major differences to work through as a couple as well: Wonder Woman is Wonder Woman to the world and/or Diana, but Clark is Clark or Superman. This causes disagreements between them. Sometimes they are not able to hash out disagreements before being abruptly called to duty. Busy people, you know. It’s not all bad though. They fight together now with more intuition as a couple, helping each other and solving problems more efficiently together. At one point, they realize that if they had not been together in a certain situation, they would have both been doomed without the ability to leverage each other’s unique strengths.
Soule, for the most part, glides through issues #2-#7 with little drag and keeps the reader invested and sometimes even touched. There is no pretense or annoying tawdriness. The art team of Batt and Tony S. Daniel back up the plot brilliantly. Sandu Florea and Paulo Siqueira show up as part of the art team in issues #4 and #5 and they do alright. There was one frame so dramatic an affecting that I seriously imagined what it would look like enlarged and framed on a wall in my house.
I was reluctant, but now I’m invested. This is an enjoyable title, but it doesn’t create a huge sense of urgency to see what happens next. For this reason, I have not yet committed to adding this title to my pull list, but I will be looking forward to the next collected edition. Three cheers for Clark and Diana!
*I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review is not for pay and is my opinion alone.
Photo courtesy of DCComics.com