Comics

The Unnecessary Drama of Superman and Wonder Woman: Part 2

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Superman/Wonder Woman wrapped up its first story arc in issue #6. It came together quite nicely, but the road to get there was melodramatic and paints a very boring picture of Clark and Diana’s relationship in their downtime. I talked about this series before, back when issue #1 was released, and I sort of set it aside after issue #2 because I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes.

Issue #03

Issue #03

First off, I don’t think this series has passed The Bechdel Test yet. Every time Diana goes to Hessia, it is to discuss her relationship with Clark. We know Diana has friends and concerns outside of Clark, like you know, Zola. But this comic series is less interested in creating a well-rounded portrait of Diana and more interested in petty details about the stuff a new couple worries about. Like what to get your alien superhero boyfriend for Christmas while he sulks on the darkside of moon and gets life advice from Batman.

Did you think I was exaggerating? (Issue #03)

Did you think I was exaggerating? (Issue #03)

Oh, by the way, Zod showed up. He just sort of randomly appeared in the Sahara desert and ravages a bunch of guys walking by. You know, typical Zod stuff. Once they finally get him to chill out and Superman takes him back to the Fortress of Solitude for a time-out and some Kryptonian heart to heart, the actual plot thickens. Turns out Zod is playing Clark to get Faora onto Earth so that they can access Warworld and bring over a giant army to take over Earth.

Which means we can finally move on from Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship “problems”, right? Wrong! Someone leaked to Clark’s own news site a paparazzi shot of the two locking lips, and because Clark is too preoccupied with Doomsday and Zod and Apollo trying to punch Clark into volcanos (didn’t work out for Apollo too well, amusingly enough), his coworker let it go to press! Shock! Awe! Scandal!

Sigh. Yes. That’s nice. I just. I cannot articulate how much I do not care about this part of their story and relationship. It feels tired and petty. I think the only good panel to come out of this is Hal complaining to Barry.

Issue #04

Issue #04

Just let that shot sink in and laugh with me.

Meanwhile, Zod and Faora are getting their evil plans in motion, and Diana returns home to Themyscira for plot device purposes, where she conveniently leaves her golden lasso (established earlier as the one way to hold Zod when he was first captured) to keep wild beasties from escaping Tartarus. She arrives just in time to save Clark from being punched into Kryptonian paste.

Then finally, there’s issue six, where something of interest actually happens. I didn’t believe it was possible, but when this comic ignores the drama of Clark and Diana trying to define their relationship and what they want from it, the story goes places. They start exploring in actions what makes Superman and Wonder Woman an awesome power couple and how they work together to defeat their foes. And you know what? It’s awesome. They save the world with no thought of their own survival because they are superheroes, and it is drawn beautifully.

sww-006-1

Issue #06

Writer Charles Soule talked to IGN about this issue, giving his take on these last few pages. (Warning: spoilers!)

I think that they did what they needed to do in that moment. I thought it was a beautiful moment where they came together. As far as we know, they saved the world for the umpteenth time. I think that every relationship has its ups and downs. Right now, they’re very, very strong together.

To which I say: Yes. More of this. More of this, please. No more waffling on Clark’s part about keeping Diana safe from his secrets or about what the world thinks of them, no more of Diana questioning herself and what she means to Clark. They are better people than this, more sure of themselves than this. These are very human insecurities, and neither of them is human. These are the concerns of teenagers and dime store romance novels, not heroes. We gain nothing from seeing their doubts splashed so plainly in ham-handed conversations with their friends where instead they could have been shown to us in subtler means.

Maybe Superman and Wonder Woman won’t always be a thing. There’s always Steve Trevor, who does show up for a moment, but is as easily forgotten as their existent yet nonexistent relationship in the New 52. Lois Lane is off being her awesome badass Lois Lane self in her own one shot, which, by the way, you should totally pick up if you haven’t already. But, for the moment, DC seems to have found the sweet spot for these two. Fingers crossed they don’t fuck it up.

Purple-haired Pepper Potts.

2 Comments

  1. Kelly

    March 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    I’m torn between “should I catch up” and “maybe I’ll just wait until Rachel reads the next arc.”

    • Rachel

      March 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      We really need to extend that “We ______ So You Don’t Have To”

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