Writer: Peter Tomasi
Art: Doug Mahnke and Ed Benes
Inks: Jaime Mendoza, Dan Irwin, Don Ho
Colors: Tomeu Morey and various
Reviewed by: Brett Israel
One of the surprises I’m coming across recently is the quality work coming from the somewhat fanboy maligned DC line (not including Batman). When I see something blanketed as bad or just dismissed so strongly from groups of fans, I generally want to check it out for myself, and many times find myself on the other end of the spectrum, as is the case with some DC books (also, all my thoughts on Rob Liefeld). In the past couple months I’ve been trying some titles I dropped off of or never tried, and one of them was Superman/Wonder Woman. I picked up the first issue last month and really enjoyed it, however, with the latest installment, I was a little more shaky.
The reason for this second guessing? The inconsistency of the art, especially in the second half. In the last issue, I loved the Doug Mahnke art, as it brought me back to his work on Green Lantern, specifically during Blackest Night, which I loved. Here however, whether it was due to timing or something else, he had help from Ed Benes, who is a great artist in his own right, but the two styles don’t necessarily have a style which mesh the greatest. Even with those styles, I could probably still enjoy the issue a lot with them doing what they do best, but the various inkers and colorists really shone through. From page to page, it didn’t look like it was drawn by the same person, and the character began to look so different, that it was jarring and drew me out of the story. The first sequence, with a young Magog, was Benes at his best, and I was onboard. Immediately after that (especially the title page), Mahnke had a few pages where he looked great, especially the full page spreads, but other then that, the art looked a little rushed. On the other hand, this kind of issue, is definitely not a reason for me to immediately jump off. For all I know, this could have been an off month, and on issue 16 we can hit that stride again.
The story here was first an origin tale for Magog and a battle between the three which I previously mentioned. The biggest plus of the issue for me is Tomasi’s character moments in these two scenes. Firstly, Tomasi makes Magog a much more viable and well fleshed out flawed man than I thought he was pre New 52, in that he harbors some anger toward Superman and Wonder Woman for not saving everyone during the War against Darkseid. Even though the rest of the issue is a big fight (more or less) with the last page showing who’s controlling Magog’s rage, Tomasi inserts great moments between Superman and Wonder Woman. What I love about these is that basically Superman wants to help Diana in fighting Magog, even though Magog is powered by magic, one of the only things that Superman is damaged by. Diana more or less says, “stop being a macho idiot, I am the God of War, let me do what I do best and kick this guy’s ass.” I love seeing a strong Wonder Woman coming out on top against the strong male characters like Superman and Batman, and Tomasi is giving us a strong, no bullshit Diana that I’m asking for. If this continues, I’m gonna have to continue on with the series.
On the whole, the issue seemed to be transitional, in being a big battle. While Tomasi brings us some great moments, the art left me a little wanting. The series, especially if we can get a consistent Mahnke, still looks to be compelling going forward.
3 Cars over the bridge out of 5