Superman/Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Power Couple collects the first several issues of DC’s ongoing Superman/Wonder Woman series. This is another Charles Soule book; the man seems to be writing every major book that Mark Waid is not writing. I would ask how he does it, but he is a lawyer and hard-charging, self-doubting Type As love to take on more than they should so that makes sense. In a way, that’s one of the themes of this book.
In this book, Superman and Wonder Woman are dating. The story is broken early by, of all sources, an indie news blog that Clark Kent has been co-running since he quit the Daily Planet a couple of years ago. Someone sent Kent’s blog partner a photo of the Kryptonian and the Goddess kissing, and she published it before anyone else could. It was a “use the exposure from this gossip story to fund showing showing people real news” decision. So, the secret is out!
Personally, I like Wonder Woman with Batman, as seen in DC’s animated series. They’re always the coolest guy/gal in the room.
(I got distracted.)
But, having a goddess and a god-like being together makes sense. There’s a lot fo explore, both in butt kicking and in the characters themselves. When they aren’t beating up on bad guys, Soule explores the fundamental differences in Wonder Woman and Superman’s thinking about their roles on Earth, as well as their shared values. Even though Clark Kent is more or less a god, he self-identifies as a human, more or less. Diana doesn’t necessarily see being human as a positive. You know, typical relationship stuff. The book does have typical relationship problems, which can be fun considering the couple and the stakes. Especially interesting is the public’s reaction to the news.
While this ongoing series is popular, it isn’t my favorite story for either the titular characters or Soule. The book looks somewhat like the ads for bodybuilding supplements. Everyone is unnaturally ripped; everything is glossy. To be fair, there are some quieter series of panels and funny panels that Soule and Tony Daniel did a great job on. While both main characters are portrayed as actual beings with feelings and thoughts, I’ve enjoyed the Justice League animated/Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman versions of Diana much more. She’s simultaneously more aggressive and soulful in those versions, in my opinion. My final problem with the series as a whole isn’t the book’s fault as much as DC’s – the crossovers. I understand selling books is important for the bottom line, but disrupting a series story line just to shove in tie-ins with other series is a real problem when individual issues are $3.99.
In sum, I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from checking out any Soule book, but I wouldn’t make this my first recommendation for either a Superman trade or a Wonder Woman series.