I was hoping that having some of the Greek gods show up might make this issue more enjoyable than the first, but this felt like a lot of filler until the very last page when something actually happened. Nothing of any real significance occurred in the 20 pages before that. It’s only the second issue; they shouldn’t have run out of plot yet. I’ll have more on the emptiness of this issue momentarily, but first:
I am about to ruin EVERYTHING that happens in this comic book!
Granted, it’s not a lot, but still!
Read it yourself first!
So we picked up where we left off, with Wonder Woman fighting Doomsday. He beats her up for a bit and then disappears when Superman shows up. Wonder Woman and Superman then visit the Fortress of Solitude to talk about the Phantom Zone and Doomsday, and Wonder Woman gives the Man of Steel a pep talk about how he can defeat that evil beast. Because he’s so strong in so many ways; that is the theme of this issue, really.
As a sidenote, did Doomsday kill Superman in the New 52 universe? The conversation he had with Wonder Woman was ridiculously vague. I had no idea what sort of history Superman had with Doomsday, but Superman dying is a big deal. If it had happened, Wonder Woman’s reaction probably would have been “Oh look, it’s that big creature who killed you” instead of “Hey, who’s that?”
Carrying on, the duo visits Hephaestus so Superman can get some armour to protect him if Doomsday comes back. Hephaestus tests Superman strength by swinging his hammer at him, which Superman stops with ease. See? He’s so strong. Then Apollo and Strife pop in, make some disparaging comments about Superman, and Wonder Woman’s taste in men, and then THEY fight. And because Apollo is the sun, Superman gets turbo charged and tosses Apollo through the mountain. Because, as you may recall, Superman is very, very strong. Strife and Diana are all hot and bothered by this masculine display, and thus ends the main story of this issue.
Seriously, that’s it. Oh, and a page with Cat Grant, trying to call Clark.
Then, in the last three pages of the book, there’s a disturbance in the Sahara Desert and General Zod appears, all red-eyed, blood-soaked, and furious. I’m assuming that he will soon fight with Superman, which should be a good battle because, and I don’t know if you know this, Superman is quite strong.
Wonder Woman does nothing in this issue except get beat up by Doomsday, cheer up her boyfriend, and take him to visit her family. Superman, on the other hand, lifts a massive navy ship and beats the hell out of the king of the gods. I’m not sure why Wonder Woman is in this book, other than that she’s into big dudes who can beat up other dudes. That they are both superheroes is the only thing they have in common and the entire basis of their relationship, so I suppose it’s good for them that she likes his assertive displays of power. Lord knows they’ve got nothing else going for them other than dull, awkward conversing.
So the book wasn’t great. It was kind of bad, really, both because a) nothing important happened until the end, and b) what did happen was dominant displays of aggression by Superman while Wonder Woman looked on and swooned dreamily. Also, that big thing that happened at the end? We knew it was coming from the solicits AND even if you didn’t, if you had a decent knowledge of Superman lore you probably guessed it was coming once the Phantom Zone was mentioned. It was not a surprising reveal. I mean, Man of Steel is out on Blu Ray this week. Come on.
On top of these story (or lack thereof) issues, there was another problem: I read this book in about three minutes. Part of the reason nothing happened in this book is because it’s such a quick read. I mentioned in my review of the first issue that Tony S. Daniels was a little bit heavy with splashs and two page spreads, but he takes it to a whole new level here. A full THIRTEEN of the book’s twenty pages contain three panels or less. That doesn’t give you a lot of space for things to happen. Wonder Woman gets punched across a ship, two page spread. Superman picks up said ship, there’s a page. Superman catches a hammer, full page for that. Superman punches Apollo, better use up a whole page there. ZOD! Full page reveal, following a two page spread that exists solely to set up that reveal (I don’t think those poor Bedouins will come up again). I’m a little worried that the next issue is just going to be picture book style, one image per page with a bit of text.
This annoying misuse of comic book real estate is exacerbated by the fact that this book costs four dollars. Wonder Woman is $2.99 for the same amount of pages, with a reasonable number of panels per page, while Superman/Wonder Woman is $3.99 with less story. Let’s do a quick comparison on how much you pay per panel for the last issue of each series:
Wonder Woman #24: 128 panels at $2.99 = 2.3 cents per panel
Superman/Wonder Woman #2: 67 panels at $3.99 = 6 cents per panel
Not all panels are created equal, of course, but you’re getting way more bang for your buck out of Wonder Woman. You’re paying almost three times as more per chunk of story with Superman/Wonder Woman, and for about half as many panels. It’s not a good deal.
All in all, I think this might be the last Superman/Wonder Woman review for now. I’m going to keep buying it because it has “Wonder Woman” in the title and I’m a sucker like that, and I might post a few thoughts each month if any are warranted, but there’s just not much to talk about so far. If it gets better, and I very much hope it does, I’ll start back up with full reviews again, but until then I don’t think these reviews are fun for anyone. I don’t want to complain for a thousand words, and you probably don’t want to read that. So from here on out, we’ll be following the series in a much less in depth manner. I just don’t care for it.