Yesterday, IGN broke the news that DC is launching a new series in October called Superman/Wonder Woman. Written by Charles Soule with art by Tony Daniel, the book “will serve to explore the budding relationship between the DCU’s most powerful heroes.” Here’s a look at a preview piece by Daniel:
If you’re at all familiar with this site, you know that I’m not a fan of the Wonder Woman/Superman relationship, so news of this book isn’t making me too happy. I’m all for Wonder Woman finally having a second title, but not like this. I have some thoughts:
1) Superman is first, which annoys me. I know he’s got the big movie and everything, and he’s the bigger draw, but he’s first EVERY time DC mentions the relationship. It’s always “Superman and Wonder Woman”, and never “Wonder Woman and Superman”. And now that’ll be cemented in comic book form.
2) Wonder Woman hasn’t had a regular second series since the Truman administration (or the St. Laurent administration, for my fellow Canadians). Queen Elizabeth was still a princess when Wonder Woman last starred in Sensation Comics. After six decades of progress for equal rights and such, Wonder Woman finally gets a second title and she’s a) second fiddle, and b) the main star’s girlfriend.
3) The promo art isn’t a cool, kick ass team up, or something dramatic and striking like Jae Lee’s upcoming Batman/Superman covers. Nope, it’s a kiss. Yet another kiss, in fact… it seems that’s all we see them do. Somedays, counting all the New 52 art where Wonder Woman is kissing some dude, it seems that’s all DC thinks Wonder Woman is good for. They’re superheroes. It’s a superhero comic. The promo art for Batman/Superman wasn’t something indicative of their personal relationship, like Bruce and Clark watching football on a couch together or something. It was all black and white and heroic and cool, and a different image for each hero even. But Superman/Wonder Woman is all about the romance.
4) Have you read any stories with this romance? It’s rough stuff, entirely lacking the appeal of pretty much every other relationship each of them has ever had. Wonder Woman’s guest arc in Batwoman had more sexual tension than any Wonder Woman/Superman story I’ve read yet.
5) “Exploring the budding relationship…” is just a terrible pitch. Again, it’s a superhero comic. What are they actually going to do in it? Who’s the bad guy? What’s the first solicit going to be? “The DCU’s two most powerful heroes face their greatest challenge yet: their fear of intimacy! Can they work through their feelings to find the true love they’ve always wanted but have been afraid to have?”
6) What about Lois? She’s barely around in comics, despite the HUGE movie they just released. The Superman/Clark/Lois love triangle has been a great source of stories for ages, and has played out in a lot of fun ways. Lois on her own is a fantastic character, and I think she deserves her own book, but something with Superman makes a lot of sense even if it didn’t have a thing to do with romance.
7) I was hoping Trinity War would involve them breaking up, so now I’m just bummed.
Now, while I’m not enthused for this series, I should make it clear that my problem is with the series itself and the folks in editorial who thought this was a good idea, not the creators. I haven’t read much from Charles Soule yet, but I’ve heard fantastic things, and Tony Daniel is a solid artist who’s done some nice work at DC over the years. I just think everything about this relationship is so dull and silly, and a whole book about it seems rather unappealing.
So yeah, this is dumb and I am annoyed, but I’m not at all shocked. DC and I just aren’t seeing eye to eye when it comes to their treatment of ladies, real and fictional. I think there should be more of them, in powerful and prominent roles. They seem to think that ladies = romance, and turned Wonder Woman into Superman’s girlfriend. And that’s how it’s read so far. Superman’s not Wonder Woman’s boyfriend; Superman is Superman, and Wonder Woman is his girlfriend. Anyway, look for the book and my review in October. It might be quite a scene.