By Charles Soule, Tony S. Daniel, Matt Banning, Sandu Florea & Tomeu Morey
Superman/Wonder Woman #9 is the second chapter of Enemy of the State, which itself is the second part of the epic Superman: Doomed event following on from Infected. This issue is best read after Action Comics #32, and once again it shows how after the fairly average opening section, Superman: Doomed is improving with Enemy of the State being consistently strong over the course of these two issues, which is mainly due to the excellent writing talents of both Greg Pak and Charles Soule.
Superman may now look like Doomsday, but inside him, the Superman half of Clark Kent is waging a battle with his human counterpart. Opening the narrative is an exchange between Clark and his foe, before we get the appearance of Diana who has enlisted Hessia, the “Greatest Healer Themyscira has ever produced”, to help Clark. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned, and the intervention of Guy Gardner and Supergirl (because, in case you’ve forgotten or don’t know – the Red Lanterns are currently protecting Earth) is only set to make things worse.
The pencils are handled by Tony S. Daniel, and as always, they continue to look amazing. There are several stellar panels in this book thanks to Daniel, and although the Doomsday-possed Superman doesn’t look quite right, the rest of the book makes up for it. The full-page portrait of Hessia is awesome, and this means that even though there are multiple artistic teams on this book the book looks strong. Banning and Florea’s inks and Morey’s colours give the book a great visual style, which allows for some great fight scenes in the action sections – with Daniel’s diverse panels keeping the book feel fresh and entertaining.
However, Superman/Wonder Woman #9 is not perfect. With the focus on Superman, and the inclusion of the Red Lanterns and Hessia, the supporting cast is too big to keep the focus on both Superman and Wonder Woman, and as a result Soule has ultimately fallen into the trap of having Wonder Woman play a supportive role in a book she should be a major player in. Hopefully #10 will go some way to remedy that.
In conclusion then, Superman/Wonder Woman #9 may not be the best Superman-related title on shelves. However, it’s pretty damn good – and it’s proving that there is life in the Superman: Doomed epic yet, and to see where Soule and Pak take it from here should be very interesting indeed.