For some reason, this book is one of the most controversial launches of the year, and I really don’t get it. Either people care way more about Steve Trevor and Lois Lane (Editor’s Note: Woah, don’t bring that up again! And anyway, you don’t even have an editor, you’re talking to yourself! Natterin’ Niam) than I thought, or people are just complaining for the sake of it. For years, people have wanted a second Wonder Woman title, and now we have one, and it’s somehow not good enough. And for some bizarre reason, having two people of equal strength be in a relationship is somehow bad for equality? I just don’t get it, the romantic relationship between these two characters is something new and exciting, and that’s in short supply at DC these days, so I welcome it.
This first issue is no classic, but it was solid enough, and Charles Soule has shown, both in the pages of Swamp Thing and his Lex Luthor one-shot, that he knows the world of Superman. Here, he tackles Wonder Woman’s milieu just as adeptly. Soule is a good writer, trust him, even if you don’t like the relationship lemons, he’ll make lemonade.
The story here is fairly simple, Superman and Wonder Woman go on a date, where they discuss the fact that Diana wants to go public about their relationship, whereas Clark wants to keep it a secret (In the end, they may not have a choice, a mysterious person has a video of them kissing, and has sent it to Cat Grant, could it be Booster Gold? He disappeared when they first got together). They are then called off on what seems like a routine mission involving a heavy storm off the coast of Norway. But of course, it’s not routine. Superman gets his ass kicked, leaving Wonder Woman alone to face… Doomsday! It’s pretty much always an event when Doomsday shows up, and it will be interesting to see how Wonder Woman fares against him (it?).
Soule also shows us some of each character’s supporting cast, as we see Clark Kent discuss his Blog with Cat Grant, and Wonder Woman spar with Hessia, another Amazon. Even though Hessia is a new character, I really liked how Soule is bringing in some of what Brian Azzarello has introduced to Wonder Woman. Apart from a brief appearance from Hephaestus, the Wonder Woman we see in the pages of Justice League almost feels like a different character, much more of a superhero, than the one in her own title, but here, Soule is presenting an effective hybrid of the two versions. So he’s reflecting Wonder Woman’s relationship with Superman and membership of the JLA, which are never, ever mentioned by Azzarello, but also bringing up the events of the solo title, like the Amazons being turned to stone, or Wonder Woman’s history with the God Of War. I love Azzarello’s run, and am glad that DC are creating a second book, rather than editorially interfering with his series like they do everywhere else.
Tony Daniel is an artist that I run hot and cold on, but this is probably the best work I’ve seen from him since his brief run on Teen Titans. He’s already drawn both of these characters many times before, and his classic, superhero style really suits the tone of Soule’s story.
I really think people should check this series out, these are two of the greatest superheroes in comics, and this title is actually doing something fresh with them. It’s also worth noting that, any fears about this title making Wonder Woman look weak are unfounded, if anything, she comes across as the more powerful and confident character here. Of course, I’m sure people can find a way to twist that into this series being sexist too. This is a perfectly good superhero series, and whilst this first issue is mostly about defining the relationship, the involvement of Doomsday gives plenty of room for excitement.