Review: Superman Wonder Woman #20
There is a particular story type in superhero comics which is particularly difficult to read, and that is stories that focus on the legality of superheroes. Part of the inherent suspension of disbelief about superheroes is that they are allowed to work outside of the law, and so when stories rise up which focus on the question of that ability to operate, then it tends to be a pretty weak story. An example of this occurred recently enough in the most recent Fantastic Four series where various members of the team were either sued or imprisoned after a sequence of legal problems. Of course, if comics wanted to, that is all that they could be about, as it doesn’t take the needs of a story arc to cast a hero into legal trouble, but really heroes if they really existed would be under hundreds of legal actions at all times. It is a most necessary aspect of superheroics to look past if one wants to be a part of this world as a reader.
The Superman DC You revamp therefore hits another stumbling block here as Superman is in front of the president of the United States and is forced to make his case as to why he is trustworthy, what should really be a foregone conclusion after all that he has done, a fact that is even highlighted here. Equally though, everyone involved is presented as so daft when it comes to why he might want to have a secret identity, another one of the great suspensions of disbelief. From a logical standpoint it would be even very easy to figure out the identities of masked heroes like Batman, let alone those without masks such as Superman, and so the concept of the secret identity is as important to look past as are the legal ramifications of superhero’s actions. While that is one half of this issue, the second half is equally off target, as Wonder Woman frees and then questions the people from Superman’s past, but then interrogates them herself. That she is interrogating them about Superman is pretty strange from a moral standpoint, as she is both his colleague and his romantic interest.
In effect the DC You version of Superman is quite clearly a failed experiment at this point. It was perhaps interesting to see a deconstruction of the iconic character, but equally it has taken the character into areas which are dull and boring, not into areas which are compelling. Other series have been ineffective at showing the meaning of this change, but perhaps the entire concept has hit rock bottom here as it wastes it time with Superman and then throws off a characterization of Wonder Woman as wildly untrue from what it should be. Dc You is about making the heroes more approachable, but it is not working here, and the company probably needs to get the real Superman back as soon as possible.
Story: Peter J. Tomasi Art: Doug Mahnke
Story: 4.5 Art: 4.5 Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass