Superman/Wonder Woman #8 review

After his Alaskan sojourn in Action Comics #31, and his changing metabolism having barred him from the Fortress of Solitude, Superman has retreated to his Metropolis apartment. There he sits in the dark, brooding. A concerned Wonder Woman tracks him down and is perturbed - but not frightened - by the changes the Doomsday virus is putting him through.

Clark is becoming a leering brute, but he still has enough sense of self to ask Diana to use her magic lasso to finish him off before it's too late, before he goes 'full Doomsday' and threatens everyone on Earth.

As the encounter plays out throughout the issue, we see moments from earlier in Diana's day as Wonder Woman plays detective. She visits the office of and meets Cat Grant for the first time. She helps Lois Lane out of a sticky situation as the girl reporter tries to gain access to a military base. And she checks in with Batman, who shares the results of tests he's carried out on a sample of Superman's blood.  

The book climaxes with a knockout bout between Diana and Clark, with Wonder Woman desperate to help her boyfriend regain control of his soul.

Writer Charles Soule shows once more why he's in huge demand at Marvel and DC Comics. He plays nicely with the crossover which began this week in Superman Doomed #1 and continued in Action Comics #31, while progressing this series' main selling point, the romance of Diana and Clark. Little by little, he's convincing me that this pair just might have enough in common, something beyond sexual attraction, to make a go of it as a couple. There are callbacks to incidents earlier in the series, as the more primal Superman challenges Diana to show she's committed to their relationship.

Diana is tremendously likeable, the dogged heroine out to save her man, a woman with faith that Superman will help himself. And should she be wrong, she knows she has enough power to take him on.

Heck, Diana has more power than ever as the new Olympian god of war, as we see here when she uses an ability to commune with any warrior. This helps her in assisting Lois ... though why Lois doesn't employ the Brainiac-given mind mojo she currently wields, I've no idea. 

Also impressive is Cat Grant, whom we see finally call out so-called business partner Clark on his rarely being around. It turns out she picked the worst possible day, but good on her. And good on Diana for the classy way she treats Cat, despite her having revealed the Super-Wonder Love Thang to the world.

There's also a great moment between Diana and Batman concerning a common trait. Seriously, Soule is so talented when it comes to getting to the core of characters, and finding rich superhero dynamics, that it would be criminal were he not to get a shot at a Justice League book.

The reveal of Superman's transformation is put off until halfway through the book and is well worth the wait. He is seriously creepy and scary here; Diana may not be afraid, but I'd be wetting myself. Especially as drawn by penciller Tony S Daniel and inkers Matt ('Batt') Banning and Sandu Florea. Their hulking, Doomsday-ed Superman is massively imposing, brimming with barely restrained power and menace.

As for Diana, she looks good in her battle armour, but ruddy amazing in street wear. I don't know if Daniel is perusing fashion mags, but the coat he gives Diana here is a winner - the boutique-owning Groovy Di Prince of the late Sixties and early Seventies would be proud. And the tiara-as-Alice-band works splendidly.

Every page looks great, thanks in part to colourist Tomeu Morey, who sets the tone for each scene with intelligence and skill. The precision of letterer Carlos M Mangual is appreciated too. Morey also colours Daniel's cover, which isn't as strong as the interior art, with Diana looking akin to an inflatable.

Still, that's a minor quibble. So far as this week's Superman Doomed entries go, Superman/Wonder Woman #8 makes it three for three. Surely group editor Eddie Berganza's creative crew can't keep it up? 


  1. I agree that Charles Soule is a very good writer and I understand he's become very popular at DC. I personally enjoy his She-Hulk book. But I have some strong concerns about the way Soule continues to rewrite Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, I think Soule has fallen victim to something a lot of writers do with Wonder Woman---he's changed who she is to suit his story. I've seen several people---including DCwomankickingass---comment that Soule has been writing Diana, at times, in Lois Lane's voice in order to give any plausibility to the relationship. Tim Hanley who just published a history book on Wonder Woman has had some good critique about the way Soule writes her as well. I notice a lot of similarities to the way he writes Diana to Erica Durance's Lois Lane. Unfortunately, Soule has lifted several scenes, traits and dialogue outright from Lois and re-purposed them. And I understand why. When written in-character, Superman and Wonder Woman have absolutely no romantic chemistry. When writers attempt to put them together, one of them has to be changed in personality in order for it to be plausible. Unfortunately, because it's DC, that person has been Wonder Woman. She's essentially become Lois Lane in her swagger but with superpowers and a sword. She's written completely differently in Azzarello's book. And she's written differently yet again when Johns writes her. And, sadly, I expect she'll be changed again when the new writers take over at the end of the summer. No one at DC seems to have any real idea about who Wonder Woman is and they change her personality repeatedly to suit whatever they are trying to sell. Characters like Batman and Superman, because of their iconic footprint in media, seem to have a more consistent recognition for writers because, despite changes to the narrative that occur, the character traits of these men are deeply ingrained and harder to switch up or re-purpose. But Wonder Woman remains someone that writers mold into who they want her to be. And that's a problem. Because of Charles Soule, her identity becomes more and more confused and tied to a man in ways that undercut her true purpose and role. She's written "strong" in the vein of "strong female character" and she certainly is the heroine that we all know she is. No surprise there. But she's been molded and changed to suit a man.

    Meanwhile, as we go on over a year where Lois herself has been possessed or not in control of herself, I just wonder what will actually be left of Lois Lane that hasn't already been re-purposed or taken or lifted if and when these writers actually start allowing her to be a real character again in this narrative. Time will tell.

    Charles Soule is a good writer and because he's a good writer he's working hard at the job he was hired to do. The problem is....the job he was hired to do is going to, I fear, cause a lot of damage to some of the most iconic women that DC owns long term. And that's a problem that I can't overlook no matter how talented the writer is or how many villains Wonder Woman slays with her mighty sword. Just my opinion. Take it with as much salt as you can find. ---Shades

    1. Hello Shades and thanks for the comments. We've been into the 'Wonder Woman is a Lois rip-off' previously so I won't go on at length, but will reiterate: Wonder Woman has been written in many different ways, as has Lois. They've had similar personalities many times. And Diana has been a smart, supportive, fearless heroine for decades, long before the Erica Durance TV Lois was around.

      The Brian Azzarello Wonder Woman is so inauthentic to me that if Charles Soule wants to tweak Diana's personality, I'm great with that.

    2. Smart, supportive, fearless heroine? Of course. Truly all of these women fit that description though. That's a generic strong female character descriptor.

      And yes, Lois has changed many times through the years though her personality has been more consistent within the last 25 years as media has continued to define her for generations of women.

      I'm talking about much more specific comparisons here that can be made. Small details that are so close that I have no alternative but to assume that Charles Soule saw them done with Lois and chose to use them in his book. I'm happy to provide detailed examples of why people take issue with it if you are ever interested. I think you would be surprised at how much has been borrowed. ---Shades

  2. I think every writer and fan alike a have a different view of wonder woman. The great wonder woman you speak of can be someone else's problem.

    Any writer can make a relationship work out of superman and wonder woman but it all depends on the reader if they like it. Sometimes if the reader doesn't like the idea behind story and no matter how good it is they won't like it. It's just like you said it's your opinion so your entitled to like it or not.

    1. Hello, and thank you for your words. I certainly didn't like the idea of the romance, but Soule and Daniel are making it enjoyable - and I accept it's a stunt storyline, with an endpoint.

    2. I've been enjoying what Soule and Tony have done as well. I don't expect them to have a perfect run with the series but I appreciate the work they put in.

  3. One of the things I like about this book is it shows that, although the characters are considered as demi gods and have the power to prove it, they still keep their link to humanity in their own way and love all of each other and not just one side. They are each other's link to the goodness that lies within and aren't just sexual partners.

    1. That's a heart way to put it. Keep Diana away from those crazy Olympians!

  4. This Doomed story wasn't something I had faith in. I mean at all. Having read all three book a lot of interesting stuff has happened
    Lois using her power to better do her job
    Someone claiming the battle with doomsday is responsible for what happened in Smallville
    Hopefully all of Superman's/ Clark's thoughts are his own and not the doomsday virus talking it puts a new spin on Superman and makes him more human which I like.

    One major dislike is Steel. Why no helmet? And why was he able to survive being close to Doomsday when that fighter pilot earlier suffered serious burns and died (?) when he was 100 of miles away?

    This issue was the weakest of all 3 for me. Diana Prince playing detective, no one, not even freaking Lois Lane recognize Wonder Woman with out her tiara on her forehead?
    I know who really notices fashion models when cameras aren't flashing? And no one really expects them to be out in public like that but isn't Wonder Woman the most beautiful woman in the world? How does a room full of reporters miss that?
    The the scene with Lois makes no sense as in doomed and action she used her powers to get pass the guards but just to show off Diana's powers it was left in?
    The conversation at the end between her and Clark was good however that bit I did enjoy.
    As for their still doesn't feel all that deep to me. In #6 when Superman told Diana he loved her it seemed it was only due to the situation they were in
    And now it's been months and she's yet to of said it back, to me it feels like they're just close friends trying to force something that isn't there

  5. Hello Sam, and yes, the lack of recognition for civvies Diana makes little sense, but look at all those years when Clark was a newsreader, and people didn't recognise him (don't mention the super-hypnotism)!

    Hopefully Steel will get a new helmet, so he doesn't look too Silver Surfer.

    1. It makes way more sense than just putting a coat on. Clark had a different hairstyle, glasses, posture, etc. Diana's civvies are just plain stupid here. Apparently Soule and Daniel even had to make excuses on social media for it, saying that they hadn't wanted Diana dressed that way but were overruled by higher ups. It's simply dumb and unbelievable. Diana has worn a disguise several times in the New 52 already. She knows full well how to manage it, can take it on and off with a swoosh of her lasso, and surely must care enough about Clark's privacy not to blow his secret to hell on the off chance that no one will notice her, including celebrity gossip expert Cat Grant. It was, inexcusable, sloppy work plain and simple.

    2. If we can accept hot reporters never noticing Superman among them every day - the changed hair and glasses really doesn't cut it - I can equally easily accept Cat Grant not noticing she's talking to the woman paying her rent. She's probably drunk.

      If people on social media really give a toss about Diana they might protest the little matter of pirate-rapist Amazons.

  6. Ah but I like super hypnotism it always made sense to me. I also thought on top of every other ability Clark developed under earth's yellow sun, a low level telepathic ability also makes sense if he had it.

    1. I thought the Spellbinder story was the coolest, more logical thing ever, at the time, Sam. Thinking on, though, what about all the times Lois noted Clark looked like Superman, or how did the super-hypnosis work from the back, and so on? I prefer to think of Superman as a Christopher Reeve-style actor.

    2. Tell me more about the spellbinder.

      I know this is a flaw in Lex but even in All-Star Superman he mentioned how similar Clark looked to Superman with his hair cut and plucked eye brows (just associating it to the style of the times)

      I'd agree with Clark being an actor like Christopher reeves if some effort went into the art to make Clark and Superman appear different

    3. Hi Sam, there's a terrific recap and analysis of Superman #330 at the Superman Homepage, but here's the most relevant bit:

      'That sets us up for the story's finale, which makes the battle with The Spellbinder pale in comparison. In a nutshell, Superman has figured out that his very own simple disguise is making people believe that Superman and Clark Kent appear differently enough such that no one will think one is the other.

      Yes, he finds that his glasses - which have lenses made of the Plexiglas from his Kryptonian rocket - are channeling low-level subconscious projections from Superman himself to make people believe that Clark and Superman appear differently. Whereas ordinary glass or Plexiglas would not have this effect, Clark's super-lenses do, because they are from Krypton - and "things" from Krypton take on super-special characteristics on Earth, as did Superman himself.

      As Clark puts it, "What (people) see is the image of Clark I try to project". From a drawing of himself as Clark that he's obtained, we see that the image projected and seen by others of Clark Kent is somewhat frail, not very muscular and relatively thin - and perhaps almost balding - all very un-Superman-like. Superman goes on to surmise - and effectively explain to us readers - that this effect not only is projected in person, but is carried via photographs and cameras. He further explains, presumably to ward off readers from writing in with all sorts of discrepancies that the effect must linger even in situations where Superman has temporarily lost his powers.'

      Full details at:

    4. Aw man I thought I remembered something weird with his glasses but thought I was crazy I'm a have to check that out

  7. I don't know if you had your rosed colored glasses on, but there were a lot of problems with this issue which mostly made Wonder Woman look like a reckless moron with poor instincts when it comes to Clark Kent. In addition to Diana's idiotic lack of a credible disguise, Soule made the odd choice to present very contradictory plot points. Why is it that Diana remembers to check in with Clark's human friends, Cat and Lois, but completely forgets to check for Clark at his apartment?

    I still have no idea why Soule had to rely on some nonsensical contrivance to show off Diana's God of War mind control powers when Lois had similar abilities.

    I'm also curious what your thoughts are on Clark supposedly reaching out to Lois in his strange state to apparently say things to her over the phone that would make Lois think he was coming onto her in a way that would be inappropriate for someone supposedly in a committed relationship. On top of Clark's litany of complaints about Wonder Woman, there seems to be a lot of messiness this pair has to deal with.

    1. The bit with Diana not just going straight to Clark's apartment was a bit rubbish, but I still like the moment with Batman to which it led.

      The late night phone call bit is indeed rather icky but he is becoming a monster. Lois will likely forget it when she gets her own mind back, and we can file the story away with the horrible post-Crisis Sleeze moment.

      One way or another, the clock is ticking for the Diana/Clark stunt romance.

  8. The coat Diana wears, and pushing her tiara up as a headband, was a look created by Chiang for her solo book. Credit where it's due!

  9. Nice one Sean. I wonder if Chiang created the look as a Sekowsky homage.

  10. Hmmm...hvnt read dis yet but u do provide a very insightful rvw.

    Y hv u stoppd reviewing MIGHTY AVENGERS?


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