[Extreme spoiler warnings for not only Justice League #12, but another high-profile DC title coming out this week. Proceed at your own risk].In what seems like a very purposeful and coordinated blitz of teasers, hints, and clues for 2013 in this week’s DC titles (we’ll get to that this afternoon) on this the first publishing anniversary of the New 52, the lion’s share of attention is falling on the burgeoning romantic relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman, as begun in earnest in the tail end of this week’s now well-publicized (and apparently sold out) Justice League #12.
According to the advanced press the publisher has garnered for the event, the relationship will not just be a fleeting subplot, and DC is trying to sell both an air of permanence and consequence to the development. No one can yet predict or speak to the former, but the latter is actually foreshadowed very interestingly in another title coming out this week, and we’ll talk more about that in a moment).
But before the issue even hit the stands, some comic book readers already started to debate and even dismiss the relationship, with many arguing a romance between the two makes little sense, as the characters really had little in common aside being superheroes, teammates and very, very ... very powerful.Now my personal reaction to this line of reasoning before reading Justice League #12 was along the lines of “Well, ummm, when did that ever stop people from becoming romantically – and particularly physically – involved before?” If true compatibility were a requirement for ‘romance’ in the real world, how many relationships would pass that litmus test?
Whether or nor Kal-El/Clark and Diana are soul mates, or even a good match is really irrelevant to whether or not it makes narrative sense for the characters to pursue a relationship at this time. And in just a 4-page sequence writer Geoff Johns simply and deftly justifies it perfectly.
In short they’re two wholly different, and thereby lonely people (perfectly consistent with their portrayals by Grant Morrison, Brian Azzarello and other writers) who have enough in common, and interact often enough, to make looking for companionship and relief from the loneliness with one another perfectly logical.
“We’re not like anyone,” Superman tells Wonder Woman. “People like us are really alone, aren’t we?” she replies.
Geoff, you had me at “alone”.Wonder Woman and Superman may well be heading for failure. Fans could be right – they may be totally wrong for one another. Two lonely people fulfilling emotional and physical needs through each other may well be recipe for disaster… and if that’s the case, Johns may be setting up one of the more real, if less inspiring, romances the comic book world has ever seen. And for no other reason than that, I’m on board. I want to see where this goes, particularly if where this goes is where I think it could potentially be going, based on a few pages from Justice League International Annual #1, also out this week and also co-written by Johns.
Yes, the beginning of the Superman-Wonder Woman relationship isn’t just limited to Justice League #12 this week.
In a sequence towards the end of that issue, its strongly implied that their relationship will lead to dire consequences in the future – consequences that will lead to Booster Gold (or no less than Booster) ceasing to exist.Now it could be a red-ish herring. Superman and Wonder Woman seen kissing on computer monitors during the JLI sequence could be purposeful misdirection and unrelated to whatever it is a future version of Booster warns the pair have to be stopped from doing together. But the possible implications are fascinating nonetheless.
If you ponder for a second to where romance and sex can lead – what consequence could potentially ‘offspring’ from such a pairing, and how that consequence could affect the future of the New 52 – August 29, 2012 was the date the DC Universe may have just become a much more interesting place…
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