This week Superman and Wonder Woman race to stop Zod’s plan to take over Earth, and Carol Danvers returns in Captain Marvel #1!
Superman/Wonder Woman #6
General Zod’s plans come to fruition in the latest issue of Superman/Wonder Woman, a comic book that’s way better than it should be. Written by Charles Soule and drawn by Tony S. Daniel, Superman/Wonder Woman continues the ongoing story that introduces Zod and Faora into the New 52, and while it’s not entirely the best introduction to the series, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.
Picking up from last issue’s knock down drag out fight, Wonder Woman and Superman travel to MT. Olympus in hopes of getting some new firepower from Hephaestus, Wonder Woman’s brother. (SPOILER: Wonder Woman is Zeus’ daughter now). After receiving some pretty bitchin’ power armor, the two track down Zod and Faora, hoping to stop them from creating a portal into the Phantom Zone, which would release the monstrous Doomsday. Thanks to their power ups, Supes and WW are able to defeat Zod and his lady… that is, until Apollo, bitter that Superman punched him through a mountain, blasts some solar energy onto Zod and Faora, supercharging them. The two villains make quick work of our heroes, and Zod reveals his plan: he doesn’t want to bring Doomsday to Earth….he wants to bring an army of Kryptonians to Earth! Superman and Wonder Woman are then thrown into an abandoned nuclear energy silo, where the only hope of stopping Zod is by setting off a nuclear explosion ( and before you go all Man of Steel on me, there’s no one around for hundreds of miles).
I honestly feel that Superman/Wonder Woman is some of Charles Soule’s best work in comics. It would be really easy to make this a boring book about a couple with superpowers, but Soule does a really excellent job of humanizing both Superman and Wonder Woman. They worry about their relationship, wonder if they they’re right for each other, and have all of the same doubts and concerns that regular couples do. There’s a fantastic moment early on in this issue where Superman admits to Wonder Woman that if they’re going to be fighting together, he will always worry and try to protect her. Wonder Woman’s response (“if I had doubts, we wouldn’t be together”) is fantastic, and completely in tune with her character.
Much like Soule’s writing, I also think Superman/Wonder Woman is some of the best work of Tony S. Daniel’s career. I’ve always been a fan of his art before, but I have to say, he’s been knocking it out of the park with every issue of this series. From the quiet moments between Clark and Diana to the extreme over the top superhero action, Daniels’ art is absolutely phenomenal, and one of the main selling points of the series.
This issue does have some flaws though. For all of the awesome action that occurs in this book, we don’t get to see the fight that leads to Superman and Wonder Woman being beaten by Zod and Faora. I understand that there’s only so many pages in a given comic book issue, but a few extra panels would’ve been nice.
If you had told me a few months ago that I’d be reading Superman/Wonder Woman and not only enjoying it, but that it would also be the best Superman book on the stands, I would’ve laughed in your face. But it is. It’s got a ton of heart, touching moments between the two leads, and fantastic, jaw dropping action. I’m just as surprised as you are, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite DC titles. It’s easy to dismiss Superman/Wonder Woman as a cheap cash-in, designed to hook readers into the Superman dating Wonder Woman gimmick of the New 52, but those who do dismiss this book are missing one of the best books that DC is publishing.
Captain Marvel #1
Carol Danvers is back in Captain Marvel #1, which brings previous writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and new artist David Lopez back into the All-New Marvel NOW fray. I’ll be honest, I only read the first issue of the previous series starring Col. Danvers, and while I thought the writing was good, the art was so bad that it put me off the book for a while. So, with no knowledge of Carol’s adventures prior to this issue, how’d it hold up?
Pretty good. There were a lot of little things in the story that kind of confused me (how exactly does she live in the Statue of Liberty? Is that even possible? What about the tourists? ), but all things considered, this was a pretty fun start to the new series, and I can see now why people are so interested in Carol Danvers, cause she is a pretty badass lady.
A lot of DeConnick’s script sets up the opening of the issue, which finds Captain Marvel in space with a rag tag crew of aliens. After leaving us at a pretty big cliffhanger, DeConnick turns the clock back six weeks to set the stage for what makes Carol want to go off world in the first place. I really like DeConnick’s take on Danvers. She makes the character feel like a real life person, and not just your standard super heroine. Even Carol’s quips, which would generally rub me the wrong way, work really well in this issue, and I found myself really enjoying getting a glimpse into Danvers’ life as an Avenger and as a pilot.
Thankfully David Lopez’ art is a much better fit than the previous artist. His art is clean, expressive, and really captures the balance of big superhero action and small character moments that this book requires. The real standouts of the issue are actually ones that feature her interacting with the same character in their two lives: Captain Marvel and Iron Patriot’s discovery of an alien pod above New York, and their discussion of their relationship (and Carol’s desire to go to space) as Carol Danvers and James Rhodes. Both cases are prime examples for why Lopez is a good fit for this book, and showcase his strengths as an artist.
While I’m not officially a member of the “Carol Corps” just yet, I have to say, I was pretty impressed with this new Captain Marvel. It’s got a very strong central lead that’s a great example that not all superhero comics feature dudes, and the art was very strong. For fans old and new there’s plenty to like about Captain Marvel #1, and I finally see what all the fuss is about.