Thanks to the Superman: Doomed arc I’ve had to traverse over multiple series just to know what the hell is going on in SUPERMAN/ WONDER WOMAN Issue #9. But if you’re up to speed like I am, then you’ll know that there’s nothing but great things to say about not only the Superman: Doomed arc, but for this issue specifically, it’s a great addition to an already strong Superman arc.
Ever since the series began, Charles Soule and Tony Daniel have been a force to be reckoned with, sort of like a familiar duo, but I doubt they are romantically involved like the other power couple I’m thinking about. Early on in the series it was very “couple” driven as the Man of Steel and Princess of the Amazons worked out the kinks of being in a relationship.
The focus has been shifted though in light of the Superman: Doomed arc putting all the attention on Superman, and his battle with an evolved Doomsday living inside him but Issue #9 does well to remind us that Wonder Woman is very much a key player in Superman’s life. I’ve always been one of those people who thought Wonder Woman would be better suited with Batman but this series has done well to make a believer of the super relationship. The two share incredible moments together that only they can help each other with. Anyways time to get to the nitty-gritty with Issue #9, let’s get right into it with the POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES.
I’ll admit I’m not too knowledgeable about the Wonder Woman mythos so when I first started reading SM/WW I didn’t give the character Hessia much thought. In this issue though she was instrumental to the plot line and showed she is capable of being more than a background character.
We know her devotion lies to Wonder Woman but will she be misguided as she tries to protect Diana? Tugging on the cape of Superman is historically not an ideal scenario. The panel where Hessia dons her battle armor is one of the best panels drawn by Tony Daniel, who continues to show he’s one of the best artists out there.
Back to Charles Soule though, he does a commendable job of joining the elements of the SM/WW series with the elements that come with Superman: Doomed. This issue is more action packed than the typical SM/WW, so there isn’t that much space to give each title character their own moments to shine. Wonder Woman does not have her typical spotlight in this issue but Soule did a good enough job to make her seem just a tad more than a regular supporting character.
On to Tony Daniel now, his art for depicting Superdoom is incredible. He captures all the convoluted emotions of Clark trying to escape through Doomsday, which is very apparent in the face. The sheer magnitude of drawing Superdoom is a grand task, to try to balance Superman and Doomsday in one body without making the hulking mass look stupid is challenging. But Daniel does a great job, just look at the panel below for example.
Finally the attempt to have more supporting characters in this issue was noble, though it may not have worked out completely, something I will discuss in the Negatives section. The addition of a more active Hessia, and the Red Lantern Corps makes for a very interesting and fun read.
That brings me to my first criticism about this issue, the Red Lantern Corps themselves. Though they play a minor role in this issue, they still left a bad taste in my mouth. Since Charles Soule took over for the writing duties for the Red Lantern Corps he’s made it a point to make sure the team is not just some :punch first ask questions never” kind of group.
He grounded Guy Gardener and Co more so they became more complex. They don’t just fly around punching things without thinking about it first and I think that’s what happened in this Issue #9. They just flew up to Earth and punched Superman because they heard he’d gone bad. First of all that’s just stupid, you don’t punch Superman unless you know for certain he is not himself. You do not punch the strongest man alive without stopping and making sure this is the last option. Also it was not cool to see Kara so open to punching Clark to begin with, he’s your cousin girl at least try to reason with him first.
Besides the Red Lantern thing, as I said before Wonder Woman’s screen time was cut drastically this issue so we could follow the storyline. Now I didn’t mind too much because the plot demanded it, but I won’t argue with people who say she deserved more time regardless. She didn’t come across as a costar this issue.
This is another strong addition to both the Superman/ Wonder Woman series and Superman: Doomed. Praise should be given to Soule and Daniel as they successfully balance all the elements that come with the issue and also offer a new side to Superman that will impact the rest of the series. If you’ve been following Superman: Doomed, then #9 is a must have.