Greetings from the Odinson,
Before I get started, I want to take a moment to address a comment sent in by a gracious Lone Star Comics customer. A few weeks ago, I did a column on the writer/artist Jim Starlin (see The Odinson Talks About Jim Starlin). In it I discuss three seminal tales from this marvelous creator and the overall motif of his body of work. Here is the comment I received.
As an avid admirer of Starlin's art and writing prowess (I own copies of most of the books/series mentioned.), I thought that this was a great read; not to mention that it's an exceptional primer for anyone wanting to pursue an interest in his work. To get one started, I highly suggest finding copies of his Captain Marvel & Warlock series work (The 4 Warlock issues of Strange Tales are cool books to have in one's collection too!), not to mention The Death of Captain Marvel GN and the Infinity-Gauntlet (and related books/series) family of books. Truly, a Master of the comic book arts! (Keep up the good work Jim!) – Mark. T
NOTE: Mark is referring to the Adam Warlock stories from Strange Tales (1951-1976 1st Series) #178-181.
There are two things the Odinson takes from this comment. 1) Mark is definitely a Jim Starlin fan, sincere and knowledgeable. 2) This is easily one of my all time favorite feedback comments I’ve ever received since I started So Sayeth the Odinson back in 2005 (for the Mycomicshop weekly email) and 2011 (for the Mycomicshop.com blog). I wrote back to Mark to show my appreciation for his comment and I’d like to take a moment to share with the rest of you what I said.
I just wanted to thank you for your comment. In a few short words, you completely encapsulate everything I'm trying to accomplish with these columns. You said "…it's an exceptional primer for anyone wanting to pursue an interest..." That is my goal with every single column I do. I'm trying to get people who are fans, who are not fans, or who may be potential fans to look at comics, stories, characters, or creators again, in a different light or for the very first time while adding a bit of my own enthusiasm to help convey the excitement I get when I read these comics, graphic novels, or watch these TV shows and movies.
And there you have it folks, the mission statement of the Odinson. I love comics, movies, music, and pop culture in general. And while doing this column if I can convey that love and appreciation, maybe pass on a little knowledge or share in the fandom of other fanboys and girls and at the same time, hopefully, entertain a little, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. Thanks again Mark.
Now onto this week's subject.
Justice League #12 hit the stands last week and features a highly eye-catching cover. It seems DC Comics is finally doing what they have been teasing at for years. The Man of Steel and the Amazing Amazon have finally struck up a romantic relationship that will play out in the New 52 over the next several months. I for one say it’s about time. Superman and Wonder Woman get together as a couple. It just makes sense.
Even as a child growing up and watching the Super Friends, in my head, Superman and Wonder Woman were always together. He’s the world’s greatest super hero and she’s the world’s greatest female super hero. They go together like Romeo and Juliet, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Ross and Rachel. I understand longtime fans pining for the days of Lois and Clark, but it’s the same situation as the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson relationship. Every possible story that can be told about this relationship has been written and the Superman/Lois Lane dynamic has been looked at from every angle imaginable. It’s time for new stories, new romantic interests, and new horizons.
Superman and Spider-Man’s history with Lois Lane and Mary Jane are wonderful and romantic. And they’re all still there to be revisited. The Odinson is a major supporter of continuity, but if one good thing comes from reboots like Brand New Day and The New 52 it’s that we have a fresh start and can explore many different avenues with these classic characters and maybe discover something new and exciting.
There have been several occasions when DC almost pursued this plot but at the last second pulled back. I would imagine it’s hard to match up Diana with someone. She’s so beautiful, powerful, and smart that there are very few suitors out there that readers would agree were her match. I’ll be the first to admit that the Odinson is not an expert when it comes to Wonder Woman’s love life. I, of course, know about Steve Trevor, the daring soldier that melted Diana’s heart and helped introduce her to the world outside of Paradise Island. I also know that JLA for a time hinted at a budding romantic relationship between Diana and Batman, but that was fleeting.
That’s another reason why Superman and Wonder Woman as a couple makes a ton of sense. They match each other perfectly. They’re both powerful, iconic, and, as the conversation and moment they share in Justice League #12 illustrates, they have a lot in common. They both know what it means to be the icon and hero to everyone else but at the same time feel alone. They both know what it feels like to be an outsider, even among their friends and teammates. Wonder Woman was raised on an isolated island of myth and magic by a tribe of warrior women and never saw her first man or the modern western world until she was an adult. Superman is the last survivor of a doomed planet, an alien with godlike powers walking amongst mere mortals. There’s a connection there that they share.
Justice League #12 isn’t the first time Superman and Wonder Woman have embraced in a passionate kiss. I remember back in Action Comics #600, seeing these two iconic heroes locked in an romantic embrace on the cover made this an absolute must-buy issue. It also didn’t hurt that the story was written and drawn by Modern Masters John Byrne and George Perez. In this Post-Crisis DC Universe, Superman meets Wonder Woman for the very first time in the pages of Legends. Then over the course of the next several months (i.e. Superman #5), Clark can’t seem to get that mysterious raven-haired beauty that helped in the campaign against Darkseid out of his mind. So he asks to meet with the Amazing Amazon (in Action Comics #600) and after laying a super smooch on her, the two icons decide they are better off as friends. Oh, and they team-up to take on Darkseid for one more round. It’s a good issue.
If ever there was a time when these two could have hooked up it would have been in Action Comics #761. By magical means, Superman and Wonder Woman are transported to the mystical realm of Asgard where they spend a thousand years waging war with the gods and have nobody but each other as company. But Clark’s love for Lois would not allow him to stray and Diana’s respect for their friendship would not allow her to push the issue. This is followed up by a great little tale in Wonder Woman #170, where Lois Lane spends a day with Wonder Woman and both gain even greater respect for each other and discuss their relationships with the Man of Steel.
In two alternate DC future timelines, Kingdom Come and The Dark Strikes Again, Superman and Wonder Woman are in full bloom romantic relationships, even having children together. I saw an interview with Frank Miller once where he voiced the same opinion as the Odinson, saying that of course Superman would be with Wonder Woman, she’s the only person that can match him.
The attraction between these two characters is even evident when they fight. By the time I’m done reading Superman #210-211 or the Infinite Crisis tie-in tale Sacrifice I feel like shouting “Hey, you two! Get a room already.” In The 18th Letter, a story from Legends of the DC Universe #30-32, a madman will stop a war if Wonder Woman spends one night with him. As Diana makes her decision, Superman arrives to give his advice. But his reaction to her way of handling the situation is not good. Yes, he is concerned for his friend, but is there something more bubbling just below the surface here? Could jealousy be playing a role in his reaction?
For 75 years DC has toyed with the notion that there could be a romantic tie between these two icons. But, and understandably so, Superman’s romance with Lois Lane was always at the forefront. There just never seemed to be the right moment for Clark and Diana within the confines of continuity. Perhaps Alan Moore said it best in Superman Annual #11 with his classic tale For the Man Who has Everything. In this story there’s a brief embrace and kiss between the two and Superman asks why they don’t do that more often. And Wonder Woman says it’s probably too predictable.
That may have been the thinking that has kept these two kids apart now for the better part of a century. But one year after the launch of DC Comics The New 52, the time is right to finally explore new possibilities. And that includes a romance between two of the biggest super hero icons in the history of comics.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell