At a glance, “Superman/Wonder Woman” #25 has a lot of potential. Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Jonathan Glapion and Scott Hanna take the dire physical state Superman was in at the end of “Action Comics” #48 and have Wonder Woman try to get her fellow gods to save him. For most of this book, however, it feels like something we’ve already seen before.
It’s nice in concept to have some of the other Greek gods make an appearance in a title other than “Wonder Woman,” but Artemis, Strife, Hephaestus, and Eros’ journeys into Superman’s mind hammer home old and slightly unoriginal concepts. Not killing/trying to save others, not rising up against those who fear him and not fleeing for greener pastures all feel a little old hat for the character; Tomasi isn’t exactly plumbing new depths here. That’s why the final challenge with Eros stands out so much, as it examines Superman’s feelings towards Wonder Woman. With their relationship on slightly rocky ground in recent issues of “Superman/Wonder Woman,” having Eros explore how Superman really feels about his romantic partner goes somewhere interesting. This is a relationship that can’t simply be summed up in a few words, and I appreciate that Tomasi shows us how nothing is ever simple when it comes to love.
Mahnke, Mendoza, Glapion and Hanna turn in some solid art for “Superman/Wonder Woman” #25. I’m the most struck by how well they captured Cliff Chiang’s redesign of Hephaestus, with his almost Hellboy-like stature and glowing forearm. The character radiates power here, and he makes a strong impression. Similarly, Strife’s lackadaisical body language comes through well here, as she feigns a lack of interest within her circuit through Superman’s mind. Superman himself is ironically the one who feels a little off-center this month, often looking a little blocky or stiff. While I like the idea that Superman is half-costumed during the challenge, it never quite looks right and is ultimately a little more distracting than anything else.
With a solid conclusion and a good cliffhanger to lead into “Superman” #48, “Superman/Wonder Woman” #25 takes a slightly uninspiring first half and rallies into a strong finish. It’s nice to see this “Savage Dawn” storyline start to wrap up the Superman titles’ current story arc, if only because it’ll be good to see the various creative teams unleashed after it’s over. Tomasi, Mahnke and company have little sparks of fun and interest here, and hopefully they’ll get to follow up on them a bit more before too long.