Continuing the super-powered soap opera that is Superman/Wonder Woman, we find our titular heroes at a relationship crossroads. Are a mother turned to stone and an emotionally-distant Batman really the best confidantes in this situation?
Writer Charles Soule does a masterful job tying this title into the main Wonder Woman ongoing as well as Action Comics, a delicious payoff for fans following either title. His portrayal of Diana as reluctant and Clark as petulant are well done so as to seem obvious; of course Wonder Woman would have no patience for Clark Kent cosplay, she doesn’t quite understand humanity. Tony S. Daniel is doing great work here, illustrating quiet, contemplative scenes with an uncharacteristic softness and still delivering thunderous fight scenes, of which there are plenty. It’s a delicate balance between drama and action to make a book like this compelling, and Superman/Wonder Woman #5 strikes that balance fairly well.
The fighting in this book does get a bit gratuitous, with a full eleven pages dedicated to fisticuffs–twelve, if you count Superman’s scuffle with a monstrous phlegm monster freed from his Fortress menagerie. Zod and Faora’s initial scene also feels like violent padding, though I suppose it shows that they love enough to pummel each other.
With half the issue given over to fight scenes, we don’t get much in the way of relationship development between Clark and Diana, though the fights are well-choreographed. People following Superman in his own title or Action Comics will find this version quite familiar and satisfying, but the Diana here is sort of an amalgam between her character in Wonder Woman and how she is portrayed in the pages of Justice League. This, I think, is to Charles Soules’ credit. While Azzarello and Chiang’s work on Wonder Woman is compelling, it doesn’t seem to blend well with what we’ve come to know of the DC Universe. Though it’s a quick scene, I love Batman’s interactions with Clark in this series. He really is the worst best friend a sensitive soul like Supes could have!