(a) Tony Daniel
Superman/Wonder Woman hasn’t had a positive reception. Months before this debut issue hit stands, comic book fans complained about the over-saturation of the Superman and Wonder Woman’s romantic relationship. The couple’s intimacy has been a lightning rod for debate since it was introduced in Justice League #12, and DC hit the nail on the head by hiring rising star Charles Soule to pen the story. Artist Tony Daniel did not help the case for Superman/Wonder Woman when he compared it’s projected fan base to that of the Twilight movie series. While he didn’t come out and say it would actually be like Twilight, the damage was done for many, many readers. It’s unfortunate because those readers are missing out on one of the best ‘New 52’ titles of 2013.
Whether it’s Soule’s appropriate balance of romantic drama and superhero action, or Daniel’s impeccable artwork, Superman/Wonder Woman #1 immediately shows how much potential a series like this has in the ‘New 52’. An anthology DC Team Up-type title might have been the better route to go instead of creating ongoing duo titles like Batman/Superman and Superman/Wonder Woman, but DC clearly wants this to be a thing. From the opening pages, it’s quite evident Soule has a grasp on these characters in their new incarnations. He understands that Clark Kent isn’t a born fighter, and therefore relies primarily on his powers while simultaneously using them as a crutch. Soule sees in Diana a fierce, warrior woman who can’t seem to break down the emotional barriers of the only other being on the planet with whom she should be able to relate.
The story is captivating because, for the first time really, Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship is front and center. Not just their romantic relationship, but also their working relationship as heroes. In the past, Clark and Diana’s actions have always reflected on the Justice League in some form or another. Whether or not their heroics in Superman/Wonder Woman will have greater ramifications through the ‘New 52’ is yet to be seen, but for the time being, it’s nice to read a story about these two titans working together without worrying about how the League will react on the next page.