For anyone who was concerned at the Superman, Wonder Woman relationship story -never fear. Writer Charles Soule steps up and builds a world bigger than the two most powerful superheroes on Earth and elevates all the heroes and villains in DCU! Last issue ended with the reveal of General Zod with blood on his hands and rage in his heart. This issue kicks off with Clark trying to burn off some of the excess radiation from the sun with the help of Batman, and Wonder Woman struggles over the first Christmas with her super beau. Soule legitimately builds on the real friendship Clark and Bruce have without the undertones of suspicion we usually see.
The action and intensity compounds exponentially with Zod. Alone and confused in the desert he shows his violent nature when a poor soul needs help and Zod responds...well, how you’d expect Zod to respond. The General, much like Superman, is learning about the powers our yellow sun offers, but that progress is tested when Steve Trevor, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter and Vibe show up to stop Zod.
This book quickly begins to feel more like a Justice League title rather than just the two titular characters in the title, but Soule manages to make it his own and not just a rip-off of what we’ve already seen. The events take place prior to Trinity War, which still puts all our heroes on alert and a mission of discovery. The action is quick and reactive, which is what you might expect from such a high-tension environment, and Soule uses it to its utmost effectiveness.
Zod is in charge until Superman and Wonder Woman arrive, and then the tension goes from physical to psychological. This is the first time the super couple stands their ground and puff out their chest to assert authority and control. Soule manages to make it feel more necessary than solely based in fear. Once Zod is in custody and off the Fortress it moves toward a discovery and shared learning between Kryptonians, but tensions are still rumbling in the undercurrent.
Tony Daniel is...well, Tony Daniel. He makes even the most stark simplistic scene of Zod alone feel like an action-packed explosion with minimal effort. The fight scenes and all out action should please even the snobbiest of fanyboys. It’s simply superhero storytelling at its best. Everyone feels massive and imposing from panel to panel without having to rely strictly on splashes to make an impact.
Soule manages to bookend nicely the romantic relationship aspect of Superman and Wonder Woman, but treats readers to something so much more than a simple love story. He really sells the emotional impact of what a gift to someone you love should mean and pulls it off flawlessly. Superman/Wonder Woman is an underrated title that certainly deserves much more attention because it has all the best qualities of what a book like this implies and what it says between the pages. Don’t make the mistake of passing on this because of what you think it is because it’s more epic than just two superheroes in love. It’s a dynamic, action-packed, dramatic and exciting superhero comic that soars heads and tails above the majority of books on shop shelves.