Superman/Wonder Woman #28 review

The Final Days of Superman has so far been a terrific storyline, full of well-played, meaningful moments as the Man of Steel tells family and friends he’s going to die. The last chapter ended with Wonder Woman showing up, demanding to know why he’d not told her. 
Well, anyone reading the last couple of months of Superman stories knows the answer – he’s no longer in love with Diana. We saw the break-up and he’s not give her a thought since then. Yep, we know the score. 
Oh. 
The Final Days of Superman has so far been a terrific storyline…
… is anyone convinced by this? Anyone at all? I get that this is a joint title, so Diana deserves some play, but there are plenty of interesting ways that a story centring on a former partner telling their ex that death is coming could go. Instead, writer Peter J Tomasi ignores the emotional beats of recent issues, and has the heroes instantly a tight pair once again. It feels untrue to the characters and mars hugely what could have been another first-rate story. 
The situation isn’t helped by the reintroduction of Ulysses, the wet, annoying villain from Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr’s disappointing Superman run. He’s back because the faux Superman introduced a couple of months ago looks to be channelling Superman’s solar flare power, an ability he exhausted battling Ulysses. Ulysses is at superhuman holding facility Stryker’s Island, where the fake Superman is also being held. This means Superman can question Ulysses about what he may know while Wonder Woman guards the fake. Of course, both men get free…
The escapes lead to a couple of pretty decent fight scenes, with artist Ed Benes giving us some really sharp back and forth action, especially in the two-page extract above – the panel shapes add pace while the compositional choices bring drama. It’s not enough to elevate this issue behind disappointing, though. The relationship of the heroes has taken a backward step, and Ulysses is one more element to take space away from the promised Super-League plotline, which isn’t mentioned at all this issue. Suddenly the cover has a Final Days of Superman trade dress, which is nice, but makes you wonder if this is yet another example of the Superman office changing horses mid-stream. 
This issue is competent. Benes and colourist Alex Sinclair produce slick, good-looking pages and the storytelling is fine. Paul Renaud’s cover is gorgeous, and digital readers get to see it without the last-minute trade dress. 

I suspect Tomasi didn’t really have a Wonder Woman angle on the Superman story, so fell back on a bit of tedious kissy-kissy. Next week’s Batman/Superman chapter will likely see my level of interest back up as Tomasi delivers more great work. If you’ve been following the current storyline, but want to save a few quid, skip this issue. Come back next week and we’ll all have a much better time. 

15 thoughts on “Superman/Wonder Woman #28 review

  1. The Final Days of Supergirl's Crotch Shield/ Super Diaper!

    I wonder how long ago this was all written as this seems to be another look at the 1990's with the death of Superman (followed by a “Reign of” with a new Superboy, a “Man of Steel” with Luthor in an armored super suit, a more prominent Supergirl (featuring Cyborg Superman) and another new Super-Man, and Lois in the spotlight (again, finally)) instead of a Super-League.

    I read that there is a new mandate at DC that upon “Rebirth” all characters are to be written and portrayed the same way across the board, so maybe this is the end of that.

    Amazon has already solicited a “Superman: Super League” hardcover to come out October 4th:
    “It's a new chapter in the Man of Steel's life that will change everything you know in the epic eight-part “Super League,” all written by Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN AND ROBIN)!

    “With his powers recently returned, Superman's time without his abilities has made him realize that the world is in need of more protectors…more super-powered beings like himself. But where will he find such beings? Can Batman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl help him find what he's looking for? And is Superman in much more danger than even he suspects?

    “SUPERMAN: SUPER LEAGUE ushers in a completely new era for the Man of Steel in an unforgettable graphic novel that is NOT to be missed. Collects SUPERMAN #51-52, BATMAN/SUPERMAN #31-32, SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #28-29, and ACTION COMICS #51-52.”

    This hints at the “Reign of The Supers” but with DC apparently making this a “Final Days of Superman” event, I wonder if the description of this “unforgettable graphic novel” will change.

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  2. This did feel like a step backwards.
    I don't like Clark/Diana.
    I don't like Ulysses.
    I thought Supergirl was sort of rushed away.

    Let's hope we rebound!

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  3. The black band, the arc title at the top, the triangles … the elements intended to visually link this issue with the rest of the crossover. In newspapers we call it 'furniture'.

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  4. Like you and your other commenters, I was disappointed with this issue. It really didn't offer the same fun as the previous chapters. And I can't say I was happy to see Ed Benes on art; I'm glad he's reigned in his propensity for gratuitous butt shots these days, but his work has always seemed really wooden to me.

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  5. Benes does give us dead eyes and pouty lips a lot. I recall seeing his art for the first time on DC's Artemis: Requiem. Brrrr. It sold like gangbusters but I much prefer his current stuff.

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  6. I remember loving his artwork on “Supergirl” on “Many Happy Returns,” but then when a female friend of mine pointed out: “It's all sex! Look at that! Look how she's drawn here! Look! She's even talking out of her butt! That speech balloon is coming out of her butt! Look at how there's a shower seen and every girl in the high school shower has the same build and is drawn “sexy”!” I had enjoyed some of the sexy, but then began to realize just how sexIST his art could be.

    Oh, my, I remember buying that Artemis series. I loved the character, and at the time I thought the art was great. Wasn't it considered “Mike Deodato Studios” then? In any case, I can finally clearly see how incredibly awful the art is and, like you, I shudder. (Even her look as Wonder Woman was stupid, as a different female friend had pointed out all those years ago to my clueless mind: “Her hair is so long that that would be detrimental in a fight, she'd just trip over it for one thing! The earrings are also detrimental, someone would just grab onto them in a fight and rip them out.” She hadn't seen the picture of her then, so she didn't include what was wrong with a thong, nor how she wouldn't be able to breathe or have any organs in a wasit/ torso drawn like that. *Sigh* It's a good thing we don't have art like that anymore. ;P

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  7. I know how you feel. I've always liked her, but just not actively sought appearances of her out. Seeing her prominent in a book looking cool makes me want to get it as long as she isn't totally evil, but I just don't want to support Lobdell, it's tough. Then again, I've missed reading about many characters in DC since 2011, so I'm sure I'll get by. 😛

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