This continues to be an enjoyable title that does a good job of exploring the romance between the two characters and showing how it actually does work. Now, if you’ve already made up your mind about this relationship and HATE IT, there’s nothing in here that’s going to change that, but if you’re a bit more open-minded, this is good stuff, and a nice blend of two different sides of the DC Universe.
Charles Soule begins the issue with Wonder Woman taking on Doomsday, and he totally kicks her ass, even going so far as to break her arms. But just as Superman arrives, he vanishes. This fight probably was a little too short, but I suppose that brevity was to show that Doomsday wasn’t really there permanently, but as a sign that the Phantom Zone is breaking, and a sign of things to come. Superman takes Wonder Woman to the Fortress Of Solitude to show her the Phantom Zone and explain who Doomsday is and why he’s such bad news. Clark is worried that if Doomsday comes back, he won’t be able to defeat him, but Wonder Woman reassures him, saying that he will win, not just because of his physical strength, but also because of who he is inside and because he won’t be alone, he’ll have Wonder Woman alongside him. I liked this scene a lot, and it showed how this book isn’t doing what many fans feared, and making Wonder Woman into Superman’s inferior, just his girlfriend, but instead showing how they are equals and true partners.
To help prepare for Doomsday, Wonder Woman takes Superman to see Hephaestus and get him to create a suit of armour that would protect Superman. Whilst I still find it weird to see Azzarello and Chiang’s reimaginings of the Greek Gods outside of the main Wonder Woman title, this was well-written, and it was cool to se Superman just grab Hephaestus’ hammer and showcase his strength. Superman gets another chance to show how tough he is when Apollo and Strife show up and act like tremendous douchebags, which is a lot of fun. Apollo doesn’t approve of Wonder Woman going out with Superman, and in fact, he thinks it’s even worse than when she was with Steve Trevor, that at least he was human, Superman is an alien, a thing! Superman obviously objects to this, as well as to Apollo implying his sister is ‘slutting’ around, and they get into a fight.
At first, it seems like Apollo is way too powerful for Supes, but Soule cleverly connects the fact that he’s a Sun God to Superman’s powers, and that means that whenever Apollo hits Superman… Superman gets stronger. I thought this was pretty damn cool, I suppose it is obvious in hindsight, but it was a great example of this title putting two elements of a shared universe together that had previously been disconnected, and making something new out of it. Plus, Apollo has been such a dick throughout Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, it was past time to see him get his due. Superman throws Apollo up out of the Volcano, which impresses Strife to no end. Crucially, Soule adds a line of dialogue where Superman tells Wonder Woman he knows she could have done the same, again, showing that they are equals.
Superman then thanks Hephaestus for the help, because he knows trouble is coming, and he is right, as the issue ends in the Sahara Desert, where none other than General Zod escapes from the Phantom Zone, killing a poor tribe of Nomads. It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing General Zod back in the mix, especially if Soule takes some cues from Man Of Steel. This issue was mostly set in the Wonder Woman milieu, but the big villains are all Superman, it’s a nice mix.
Tony Daniel’s art was excellent here, perhaps the best I’ve seen from him since his brief tenure on Teen Titans towards the end of Johns’ run, the action in this book looks fantastic, and whilst he doesn’t match up to Chiang in depicting the Wonder Woman villains, he’s pretty damn close. Other than the fact that the Cat Grant subplot didn’t really go anywhere, this was a very good superhero comic, and the fact that it’s focused on a couple, not a solo hero or a team, does make it feel unique. I really think people should try this out, give the relationship a chance, it won’t last forever, and at least it’s something new!