Note: this collection of the Superman/Wonder Woman series will be available September 17. David has reviewed the original comics.
DC Comics' New 52 brand has emphasized putting NEW in their books. The have recreated and re-launched almost every character, good and bad, including their flagship trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. So it shouldn't seem odd to experiment and pair off their equivalent of the high school quarterback and the school's most popular girl.
The book starts off with the date between our two heroes being interrupted, but unlike us normal people, the interruption is an unusual storm rather than a flat tire. When the two investigate they find the source is Doomsday. Wonder Woman engages him and before it turns very nasty Doomsday vanishes as if teleported away…hmmmm. This plants the seeds of what is to come for our new couple.
Through flashbacks leading to the first date Charles Soule shows us the pair as civilians. Diana speaks to her friends and fellow Amazon about the relationship and about Clark being coy and secretive about his romantic life. When Clark and Diana finally meet, Soule gives us the awkwardness that every first date experiences. It's clear that they are comfortable with themselves as Superman and Wonder Woman but not so much as Clark and Diana. They speak cautiously and test the waters but eventually the conversation comes around to their hero lifestyle.
This is where I find it unfortunate that these moments aren't the meat of the series. When we take out the Super and Wonder and see more Man and Woman the series comes more interesting. The couple is eventually outed by Cat Grant from a mysterious source and it's when Soule examines the couples dynamic that things get interesting, with moments like Clark getting advice from Bruce (not Batman), or Diana's run-in with ex-boyfriend Steve Trevor, or the couples meeting certain members of Diana's family of Gods. But this is a superhero comic and relationship friction isn't enough.
We are given Zod, Kyrptonian escapee from the Phantom zone. With Zod we are exposed to the naïve Superman that exists in the New 52. Zod tricks Superman into opening the Phantom Zone to rescue his love Faora before escaping from the Fortress of Solitude. It would have been an interesting juxtaposition to see the established relationship of couple Zod and Faora against the new pairing of Superman and Wonder Woman. Instead we get a tag-team donnybrook as our couple try to stop the other couple from building a new Phantom Zone portal to bring through an army. Soule does show us that Wonder Woman is Superman's heroic equal and even better combatant, but this fight seemed small and short.
These are four heavyweights but the scale of the match didn't come across even after the heroic sacrifice of setting off a nuclear explosion (of will we see the consequences) that leaves Superman and Wonder Woman badly injured. Its clear Soule is using this incident as a catalyst to strengthen their relationship. As the book ends we see the pair, as Diana and Clark, going to a club while deep in the Marianas Trench, Doomsday surfaces and sets up the next story arc.
Charles Soule tries to juggle a lot with this series and does an admirable job. Tony Daniels and associates do some exceptional work and the consistency through the series is excellent. I do think the book is hurt by not letting them be as epic and energetic with their battles as they are with the soft scenes.
Like any new relationship this collection suffers from its own ups and downs but shows signs of maturing. If you enjoy the New 52 and can accept the pairing of Superman and Wonder Woman, then Power Couple isn't a bad first date. If you are hesitant to accept the couple you might want to wait until the growing pains are over and they are celebrating an anniversary in a few years.