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Superman/Wonder Woman #3 - Zod Review

4

It's time for Zod to make his debut. What is he up to, and more importantly, can Superman and Wonder Woman hope to stop him?

The Good

DC knows a book focusing completely on Clark and Diana's developing relationship wouldn't win many people over, so the series compensates for that by having a whole lot of hectic and big action. However, with this chapter, writer Charles Soule takes a more humanizing approach to the key cast. Don't worry, Zod absolutely makes a badass introduction, but this issue is primarily character-driven instead of being punch-driven.

If you've been following along, then you know Big Blue received an enormous boost to his abilities in this last issue. While that delivered a jaw-dropping battle moment, Soule didn't take that direction just to make Superman look cool. The move carries over into this issue and produces a solid heart-to-heart between Batman and Kal. Wayne being so open may feel a bit out-of-character to some, but given what he's just observed, it's an understandable choice and ultimately presents a great message.

Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey create an impressive looking issue. The character work and environments -- most notably Earth from a distance and the desert during a brawl -- are all solid and do a fine job setting the stage for each scene. Visually speaking, the standout scene is easily the conflict with Zod. There's some fantastic panels which superbly illustrate all of the emotions he's going through during the struggle. The look he gives Hawkman is as villainous as it gets, people. A few panels feel a tad rushed, but overall, your eyes will be pleased.

The Bad

Diana's sentiment in the end is touching, but the road getting there is unfortunately not all that interesting. When we're dealing with the opening development, the introduction of Zod, and Superman recovering from the last issue's power boost, switching to what the holiday spirit is all about definitely weighs down the issue a bit. It's well-written, but when dealing with so much great material, I'd much rather see all of those factors get more time instead of the book adding a topical subplot.

The continuity still feels a bit odd with Zod (and Doomsday, but he's only talked about in this), especially when the book decides to cite Grant Morrison's ACTION COMICS -- a series where Kal went to the Phantom Zone and briefly met Zod (AC #13). With all of his resources, it's weird to think he's never even heard of the villain before.

Martian Manhunter fans won't be happy, either. The first attack is understandable, but then the powerhouse feels downplayed to help convey how powerful Zod is becoming.

The Verdict

Soule successfully moves the overall narrative forward while also throwing plenty of variables into the mix. There's a lot of buildup in this issue and you can definitely feel all of the factors circulating. The cliffhanger's something we've all seen coming a mile away, but everything else has me incredibly anxious to witness how it'll all play out. With Daniel on-board, we know it'll be a good looking ride, too.

Plus, after her awesomeness in Man of Steel, I can't wait to see how New 52 Faora will be utilized.

33 Comments
Posted by TheAcidSkull

I don't Think MM was downplayed here, I mean, what has he really done in the new 52?

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Posted by Outside_85

@theacidskull: Beaten off the entire justice league on his own?

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Edited by TheAcidSkull
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Posted by Squalleon

@outside_85 said:

@theacidskull: Beaten off the entire justice league on his own?

Well...I stand corrected.

The battle was never seen. We just saw a moment of it. So the "beaten the whole league" is questionable.

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Edited by UltimateSMfan
@outside_85 said:

@theacidskull: Beaten off the entire justice league on his own?

For minds like mine you should really choose your words carefully ;)

As for the issue i really liked it but the part i did not like at all was Clark's obliviousness to Zod, i mean seriously!

Plus Zod seemed so cunning, was waiting for something to happen between him and supes but will havta wait till next year.

Edited by ColaNicole

@outside_85: people reference this too much. It was more a case of him holding them off than beating them. Supes or Flash alone would be tricky nevermind the whole League.

Posted by Outside_85

@colanicole: And the only other person who we have seen being able to do that has been Darkseid when someone isn't getting the benefit of ambush. Supes and Flash btw isn't a problem for J'onn the massively powerful telepath in a near-kryptonian durable body with density control.

@squalleon: Hence why i wrote 'beaten off', by which I mean he was able to fight them all and get away.

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Posted by cobra88king8

I absolutely loved Batman and Superman's interaction in this book. I enjoyed it more than how they interact in Batman Superman

Posted by Al_capOWN

Been thinking about this series, but IDK if I should start reading it or not.

Posted by sage1000

Considering Grant Morrision's run was all over the place in terms of continuity, that scene in AC #13 could easily be later than this story. My only problem with the continuity was the reveal at the end, it doesn't fit with JL. According to JL nobody knew about the relationship at least until watchtower went down ( the trinity were talking together about the secrecy of the relationship then in JL #19 jut before it went down) so batman can't be giving advice from the watchtower as it is down.

That can however be forgiven since the book is just that good.

Posted by SandMan_

It was good, but short.

Posted by Johnni_Kun

@al_capown: It's a well written, however pointless book. If you are fans of the relationship, pick it up. However if you aren't, there's nothing really here that is necessary. Unless, you like seeing Superman being praised from issue, to issue. If you a big fan of Wonder Woman, you might to look elsewhere. Her, characterization is sub par, at most.

Posted by manwithoutshame

I think Zod could take MM in a fight.

Posted by ColaNicole
Posted by sage1000

@manwithoutshame:

I doubt it, with the way MM has been built up in JL and JLA as this all powerful person, the fight felt nerfed in Zod's favor cause if MM used his psychic powers the way he did against despero well... although that can be explained as MM holding back

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

@theacidskull: beaten the entire Jl and Despero solo. Just off the top of my head.

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Posted by TheAcidSkull
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Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt
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Posted by Rubear

@theacidskull said:

They say that is debatable.

We don't see all of the first, but second is undisputable truth. "Mine to break!!!"

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@rubear: I see, thanks for the scan.

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Posted by Mxyzptlk_CV

Why is the fact that MM got beat up by Zod on "The Bad" part of the review?...Some people may don't have a problem with this...

Edited by johnqestion

Well, Despero was a villain the League had dealt with already...Zod is new to the team and MM.

This series is one of the better ones of the new 52 and dunno why some think they too manly for romance in a comic...sheesh...the book is a solid balance that all good comic books need. The romance is handled really well. Fact, Soule gets these characters. From Supes to Wondy to Bats. Steve Trevor needs to move on though. Seriously.

Posted by ColaNicole

Yeah, people act like MM walks into every fight with telepathy. He doesn't and in this case got jumped and pounded. He needed to be taken down a notch so people could stop fan wanking him.

Posted by Alak

I finally got around to checking this issue out, but only did so because of what people were saying about MMH. I didn't think he jobbered at all. Both instances of him being struck by Zod were surprise attack that he wasn't expecting. Sure, Zod gave him a bloody nose but that's to be expected when a Kryptonian decks you in the face several times. J'onn stood right back up afterwards so he wasn't knocked out or anything. I felt it was a nice scene that built up Zod without disrespecting the New 52 MMH. Just because J'onn is powerful doesn't make him absolutely impervious to harm.

Posted by jdp180

Poor Martian Manhunter. He really got his teeth kicked in this week. I am loving this series. I have always been a supporter (I refuse to say shipper) of Supes and Wonder Woman. They are a true power couple. I just wish Clark wasnt such a sap towards Diana. That chick can handle herself.

Posted by Primebonnick

It was epic anyone got any ideas about who leaked that drive to cat?

Still whats up with steve trevor guy needs to move on not even Catwoman is this clingy to batman sheesh.

Edited by johnqestion

@jdp180 said:

Poor Martian Manhunter. He really got his teeth kicked in this week. I am loving this series. I have always been a supporter (I refuse to say shipper) of Supes and Wonder Woman. They are a true power couple. I just wish Clark wasnt such a sap towards Diana. That chick can handle herself.

It's all the guy knows though when it comes to people he cares about. Diana will soon teach him he doesn't have to worry himself sick for her.

Posted by CantDance93

I think why Zod Beat MM was just because he was surprised, if the fight continued i'm sure MM would have won. Zod's only been under the sun for minutes, he's not able to beat MM ...yet :p

Edited by BruceDragon

Nothing disappointing about what happened to MM. I'm pretty sure you can engage someone like him quicker then they're able to mentally respond to.

Edited by lifeboy

@al_capown: you should get it. They are foreshadowing ss and ww fighting Doomsday. Also, you are going to want to see when the sh! T goes down with ss ww vs zod and faora (who should be making her earth debut in the next few issues. Also, I can't get the image of the way ww was drawn in lingerie out of my head....

Posted by lifeboy

@ultimatesmfan: did you read that part at the beginning wher e superman says "I have all this extra energy." And batman asks "where's diana? Maybe she could..." and then superman cuts him off.

Haha, that was s o weird! Do you think the writer was suggesting that sm and ww have sex? Lol

Posted by UltimateSMfan