Saturday, August 22, 2015

Superman Loves Wonder Woman #20

I finally went outside today around seven PM and it looks like the end of the world up here in Portland! It smells like it too. The sun was a fiery red haze and the air is thick with smoke and burning and death and destruction. While walking to Fred Meyers, I passed by the people who sit out front of a halfway house on the way there talking about the cause. It seems to be the final leg of Project Cloverleaf. They've stepped up the chemtrail attacks! In less than a week, everybody in Portland will be mindless zombies programmed to spend, spend, spend so that the economy can grow, grow, grow! I also learned that one of them once fucked a demon in the ass and another one's mother was a real shrew. Now, I could believe the actual news reports about the smoke in the skies being from a fire in Washington but I think those halfway-homeless guys were really onto something.

It doesn't matter to me if the world ends before I read Tomasi's new Superman Loves Wonder Woman but I might be a little bit pissed if the world ends directly after I finish reading it. I don't want to die with a bad taste in my brain. And that's what'll happen if Peter Tomasi doesn't pick up his game and start making this book as wonderful as he made Batman Loves Robin. I mean, Batman and Robin. Maybe I should speak directly to Peter. I do have some pull at DC Comics! I'm pretty sure I got all of their horrible comics cancelled and finally made them see the light about Ann Nocenti's writing.

Dear Peter,

Come on, jerk! We loved and trusted you! Your name on the front of a book meant something! How could you let the fans down?! Even if editorial is forcing this stupid fucking story line and the ill-fated relationship of the title on you, you can't just roll over and write shit because you're pissed at them. Think of the fans! Think of the people who will never buy another Peter J. Tomasi title because they were soured by your work on Superman Loves Wonder Woman. I mean, this work has been awful! Just...just vile! I would rather go to a live poetry reading with white people reading poems while the audience drinks wine and contorts their faces in ways that try to show that they're getting more out of the poetry than any of the other white people! I would rather own a dog! I would rather have a baby! I would rather work a normal forty hour work week than my current ten hour work week! If you've forgotten what I'm trying to avoid doing by doing these other things I really don't want to do, let me remind you: it's reading Superman Loves Wonder Woman! I'm actually really concerned for your mental well-being. Have you had an MRI lately because there might be something seriously wrong with your brain? This comic book is so bad, I would never guess it was by the person who wrote three years of Batman and Robin. That series made me cry real tears at least four different times! This series makes me cry blood! And I don't think the human body is supposed to be doing that! Please, for the sake of my eyeballs and white shirts, start writing better! Thank you for hearing me out, Pete. We know you can fix this!

Your Friend (although don't hold me to that if we ever meet in public because I don't really like other people much),
Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea!

This issue begins in a promising way that probably won't go in the direction that I want it to go!

Come on, Trevor! Say it! Strap on those testicles and say it! "You're fucking the woman I love!"

Right off the bat, I have problems. I like the idea of Clark and Steve having a conversation made awkward by Superman's current relationship. But I don't like the idea of Superman entering the Oval Office with two unconscious secret service men. Why would Superman ever physically harm anybody for just doing their job? Unless their job was robbing banks or making puppies fight. Maybe Superman realizes it's less embarrassing failing to protect the president if you've been punched out by Superman as opposed to Superman carrying you into the Oval Office by the scruff of your neck as you impotently struggle to get free. That would be pretty humiliating, right?

Meanwhile at the aptly named Salvation Technology Emergency Evaluation Laboratory so that it can be acronymed into STEEL, the mysterious people behind the raid on the Kent Family Farm plot and machinate and plot. Why would Steel's company steal all of Superman's family's things for STEEL?! Isn't he supposed to be a good guy? It's possible that Lana Lang mentioned how she once lent Clark Kent her copy of Catcher in the Rye which she really wanted back because she had marked up a whole bunch of important passages that totally helped her become a strong individual and to totally organize that walk out at Smallville Junior High when they wouldn't let any of the students wear sunglasses.

I don't understand how it was a bombshell. Do people in the DC Youniverse not understand what a secret identity is? What's the big deal? So Superman was a reporter! Now everybody hates and mistrusts him? Jared Fogle was revealed to be a pedophile and people are still eating Subway sandwiches!

I suppose ARGUS exhumed Clark Kent's relatives to see if they're a bunch of aliens too. That totally makes sense! I suppose Lois could have sat Clark Kent down for an interview about the matter before she just published an article exposing his secret. With her relationship with him, isn't it her journalistic responsibility to get his side of the story? Couldn't she have asked him if his parents were human? Why did she have to botch this article so badly when every other thing she writes wins a Pulitzer?!

It seems a bunch of Clark's associates have also been taken by STEEL. Remember how Lana and Steel were missing?! I guess Steel stole himself! Unless STEEL isn't Steel's corporation. That would be weird, right?

Wow. I'd say you fooled yourself on that one, Steve.

Trevor goes on to theorize that heroes who wear masks are more honest because they're open about hiding their identity. I think he's finally getting around to venting about Wonder Woman! I think he just called her a lying, manipulative ex-girlfriend!

Meanwhile, his lying, manipulative ex-girlfriend is marching straight through STEEL to get her boyfriend's things back. She also has no problem knocking out innocent people just doing their jobs.

Let's see. Why wouldn't Diana, Arthur, or Victor need secret identities? Wonder Woman doesn't need to protect the Amazons or her teammates. Arthur doesn't need to protect Mera or Aquadog. And Victor isn't dating Sarah and doesn't give a shit if anybody kills his dad Silas. Also, I mean, what is Vic going to do? Where a trench coat and a fedora everywhere he goes? That would be worse than people knowing his identity.

Superman opens up about why he kept a secret identity and what he's saying to Steve is the fucking interview that Lois Lane should have gotten! She would have won the Mega-Pulitzer with this stuff! But Lois is currently being rescued from STEEL by Wonder Woman.

President Barack Obama interrupts Trevor and Kent after Clark's moving speech about why he kept a secret identity. I guess it's time for President Obama to tell Americans that it's okay to love him again! Then everybody will say, "Oh! If the president thinks it then it must be okay! We love Superman again!" Except of course Fox News and its viewership who will despise Superman even more now.

He's right! If there were a real life superhero and I found out he was moonlighting as a mild-mannered reporter, I'd be fucking terrified!

Barack Obama assures Superman that his friends will be released as soon as the government is done with them. Whoops! That means Wonder Woman just fucked it all up and everybody is going to super distrust Superman now! And probably Wonder Woman too! I bet Superman yells at her later!

While Clark and Barack head back inside, Parasite attacks! Why Parasite?! He's gotten way too much on-panel time since The New 52 began. Superman has other enemies! Like Titano! Or Starro! Or any of a number of jerks whose name sounds like a breakfast cereal.

Back at STEEL, Wonder Woman has Lois Lane interview everybody about Superman. They don't show it but she's probably having them all tell their stories with her lasso tied around them. Oh! How about letting Lois interview Clark like that too?! Jesus Christ did Lois fuck this story up. If only she'd gone straight to the source, I bet this entire mess could have been avoided. But instead, she had to print a story that caused fear because fear makes the media money! Bastards.

And this is why I still love Peter J. Tomasi! He's taking a crappy Superman story arc and he's writing the fucking hell out of it. Finally! I knew you could do it, Peter! I never lost faith! Except for a few months of darkness there but that was because I was weak from Convergence! I'm much better now!

During the interviews, Lois asks Clark's friends if he's ever let them down. You can tell they're under the influence of the lasso because when Lana is asked, she hesitates and says, "He should...he should have saved my parents." Ack. Ugh. I think the blood is coming from my eyes again! No, wait,'s not blood! We're good here.

Boom! 'nuff said! Err, wrong company. Sorry!

I want to scan in each of the responses from the people who knew Clark. They're all so fucking good! But I must withhold something for people who actually want to enjoy this book when it comes out in trade because why buy it now when the previous issues have been so crappy, right?

Superman doesn't quite defeat Parasite but Parasite doesn't beat Superman either since Superman has so little power to absorb now. Instead, Obama's Chief of Staff snaps his fingers and Parasite collapses. He was brought in from Task Force X as a precaution in case Superman went rogue. But as it stands, Superman seems to be trusted again, at least by the president and, I guess, Steve Trevor. Clark is given the location of his friends which means he'll arrive just in time to hear Lois Lane declare her love for Clark Kent! Probably!

This is going to get awkward!

Superman Loves Wonder Woman #20 Rating: +6 Ranking. This is the issue that made this entire Superman loses his power and becomes mistrusted by everybody worth it. Well, maybe not exactly worth it but it definitely redeemed it to a large extent. I feel bad about calling out Tomasi before reading this issue because this issue is exactly the kind of thing I expect from Tomasi. It's touching and funny and spectacularly well executed. I no longer have to worry that Tomasi has brain cancer although now I have to worry about Tomasi getting brain cancer because I'll feel bad for even suggesting it. But my belief in Tomasi is reforged even stronger! There's probably an analogy here somewhere about making steel harder or something, so go with that analogy when you come up with it. The only issue I had with the book is that it kind of gives Obama the credit for being the rational guy who decided to keep things civil and talk out the problem. That's who Superman should be in every single issue he appears in! Perhaps he just needs to encounter more people willing to engage in frank conversation. And better writers too!

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