Weekly Wonder Woman: Superman/Wonder Woman #7, Smallville: Lantern #5 and Justice League Beyond #16-17 - The Medium is Not Enough TV blog
A round up of the DC comics featuring Wonder Woman in the week ending 11th April 2014. The Medium Is Not Enough is a UK media blog with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There’s a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover UK/British TV and look for the best in international TV as well. Add in film, theatre, art, books, comics, events and media journalism and you’ve (hopefully) got one of the best places on the web for media lovers.
Superman/Wonder Woman #7
Is it any good?
It’s still very good, but this issue is a little lighter than normal in terms of plot, it has to be said, although it contains some great character work.
Largely, it’s designed to do two things: catch the strip up with activity in other titles; and get us ready for the Doomsday crossover that’s coming in the next few months. To do that, we have a slightly strange jump of who-knows-how-long between the events at the end of last issue and now, during which Diana and Clark aren’t supposed to have seen each other at all. A bit unlikely, given the declarations and events of the previous issue, but given how isolated Wonder Woman is as a title and what has been going on there, a necessity one suspects.
Either way, writer Charles Soule and artists Paulo Siqueira, Eddy Barrows and Barry Kitson (standing in for Tony Daniel) do a decent job of addressing those events as swiftly as they can, with London, which was pretty devastated by the First Born in Wonder Woman, clearly being rebuilt in the background of various panels this issue. We also see Diana addressing a question that will have been pressing on the minds of Wonder Woman readers since that tumultuous issue and which Brian Azzarello naturally hasn’t even attempted to answer in any depth – what does it actually mean for Wonder Woman to be the Goddess of War? Soule gives us an answer that’s both interesting and in character for Diana, but I’m sure there’ll be more to come.
One especially nice touch this issue is Soule’s use of the two characters’ different methods of recuperation to tell us more about them as people. Superman heads off to his Fortress of Solitude and gets his Kryptonian technology to look after him. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman heads off to find her Amazon friend Hessia, who uses the Amazons’ purple healing power to heal her.
You remember the Amazons’ purple healing power don’t you? It hasn’t been used as part of the nu52 before, but it’s been a part of Wonder Woman lore since Steve Trevor crashed landed on Paradise Island and Diana used it to heal him in William Marston’s very first issue of Wonder Woman:
Soule uses this to show not just the difference between Superman and Wonder Woman as superheroes – one is very much a science-fiction superhero, the other a superheroine of magic and myth – but as people: Superman is used to being alone, to solitude, whether that’s as a twice-orphan, the near-last Kryptonian, as a blogger without many work colleagues or a man without many friends who don’t wear masks and capes; Wonder Woman is used to sisterhood, to being part of a collective and to giving and receiving aid from her friends. It is to some extent why she seems to drive and control their relationship, since by embracing togetherness, she basically knows how to navigate it better.
Soule shows this again in the club scene. Firstly, the club doesn’t look like the mosh pit ofWonder Woman #4, where Wonder Woman dressed very differently (and was conspicuously taller)…
So although this could still be Soule capitalising on that previous piece of character background, it seems more likely that Diana simply likes dancing at lots of clubs, which shouldn’t be totally unexpected in a character with Greek heritage (although one who clearly hasn’t hung out much in Greece if in her experience, not all men like to dance – or is that perhaps a dig at Steve Trevor?). Indeed, here, Diana is clearly loved by everyone in the club, wants to spend time with other people and wants to dance, and the warmer colours of her outfit versus Clark’s darker colours reflect their different levels of sociability:
All this shows us sides to both Clark and Diana that we’ve not seen in any other nu52 titles. Together with all the relationship details, it’s certainly an issue to squee over.
Artistically, the issue is a bit more variable than normal, thanks to Daniel’s absence: on the whole, Siqueira and co do a good job, but Siqueira’s artwork is notably starker than Daniel’s. That works well for ‘drained’ Clark in the first few pages of the title, but gives Diana a slightly harsh quality. The flipside of that is that Barrows’ and Kitson’s work later in the title is at least as good as Daniel’s, although not as precise, and facially, they give us a prettier Diana, albeit one who is a little more, erm, well endowed than normal.
As an intriguing footnote, I also wonder if perhaps the starred tanktop is a reference to Donna Troy, Diana’s pre-nu52 sister:
Something to think about, hey?
While not the usually action-driven piece – Doomsday largely just floats around in the sea a lot, while various baddies discuss how bad he is – it’s still a really good issue and things are only going to hot up subsequently as the next story arc kicks off in earnest.
In Superman #30 first, though. Ah, crossovers…
Q:I think the only reason why people call it sexist is because they feel that Diana will be turned into a damsel in distress but if people continue to read SM/WW and actually comprehend, Diana is far from that. The argument also comes off as bias, contradictory and more than likely doesn't make sense. The bigger picture is they don't like the change nor even try to give it a chance and that's with practically everything new 52. I'm reading the book and Charles Soule is doing great job!
I agree there are people genuinely who worried that Diana could be overshadowed by an alpha male but as you say, just pick up the Superman/Wonder Woman book and see how authentic Charles Soule writes them as people and as a couple and as heroes. Many people have confessed they really did not know what to expect with the Superman/Wonder Woman title and were pleasantly surprised at how good it was and how it has become one of their favorite DC and even in some cases favorite SM or WW title. Just look at all the different reviews we link to across the internet. Most respected comic-book sites who review a wide variety of comics, have praised the book. As Greg Pak said it can be quite tough writing icons with vulnerabilities and even flaws and still make them heroic. Sometimes writers are guilty of mary suing characters so they are too perfect and lack any complexities and that makes a really boring read in my opinion.
But I think one cannot miss there IS a loud vocal minority that actually accuse the pairing and it’s readers of sexism long before the first issue was even out and still after 7 issues condemn it though they have said they won’t buy or read it. They are angry about the pairing because it is not the pairing they like.
Q:Mr Pak, I keep coming across some fans who keep calling those who write the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship and support the coupling as sexist and promoting misogyny. I really don't understand this myself as I never saw SM as a symbol of male repression and WW is a unique, strong, independent hero and if anything she challenges/contrasts with Kal's pov in many interesting ways. Seeing you have touched on them as a couple and will be writing Diana, do you think you are promoting sexism?
Thanks for the question! The short answer is no, I don’t think the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship necessarily results in sexist storytelling, nor would I ever purposefully promote sexism in anything I write.
I might write about sexist characters or write about worlds/scenarios imbued with sexism — you can see that in the attitude of the crusaders in TUROK right now. But I hope I’m not doing so uncritically.
I totally understand how folks can get worried about how Wonder Woman is handled. She’s a huge character who represents a lot to millions of people. And, as with Superman, I think writers have a special challenge to write her convincingly as a human being with the flaws and foibles that make characters dramatically compelling while maintaining that very special kind of heroism that makes her so special.
But I think if you look at my record, I’ve worked hard to write interesting and multi-dimensional women in my films and books. I’ll continue doing that with Diana to the best of my ability.
Readers, as always, will be the judge of all this.
All the best.
Thank you , Greg Pak!
Q:That design is fantastic for Diana and Kal's daughter! Hopefully they will have a kid in the future! And will you be putting up more scans of WW from Batman and ....#30?
If there is anything blog worthy we will reblog for sure from other people. I don’t really follow Batman books so I have no real need to pick up that title as it is about Batman/Damien’s storyline than Diana’s.
Q:Dear friends: I was just curious to ask your opinion on the internet bickering that goes on everywhere. I've seen you class-ily defend this site against other passionate shipper combinations. But what I want to know is, have there ever been reports of WW/SM shippers attacking Bats or Lois shippers? Or is it only just them that attack un-provokingly?
I can’t speak for around the internet, it is a large place with many people, but if this blog or other sm/ww shippers were routinely going around doing that on tumblr or twitter one would see it on the Wonder Woman or Superman tags. Scroll through the tags and you will see for yourself what and how people blog. You can also scroll through our archive and you’ll see we mainly celebrate our couple and try to have fun here. Sure we answer asks ( some are very hostile and insulting btw) or share our opinion on why we prefer our couple over other pairings but I don’t believe all SM/WW shippers spend their time ranting at other pairings. SM/WW fans and DC creators on the other hand have been called sexist and misogynistic and lacking in taste and stupid etc by detractors.
Q:I absolutely love this blog, I really do. Keep up the good work :)
#Superman #WonderWoman #Batman
The Epilogue in Kingdom Come where Clark and Diana ask Bruce to be the Godfather to their firstborn is one of the best scenes ever with the Trinity in comics. The feels.
Story 6: Feels Like Forever (Part 1)
If you’re reading the Superman/Wonder Woman series this fic is perfect as it references events from the books! It’s also a wonderful read.