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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Action Comics #761

Next up for the month is someone who has been a friend, an ally, and even a lover to Superman: Diana Prince, aka “Wonder Woman.” If you don’t know who Wonder Woman is, just Google her. It’s all out there. Diana first appeared in All-Star Comics #8 (1941). She’s from the Amazonian island of Themyiscara (I’m not going to spell that right). Whatever origin you follow (born from clay or Daughter of Zeus), she’s been endowed with godly strength and abilities. Her main mission is to promote peace on Earth. Yeah, she’ll have to bust some heads sometimes, but she is a superhero, after all. She’s had her own book for years and has even been a part of the Justice League and the Justice Society of America. I’m not even going to mention all the different media outlets she’s been in. That is what Wikipedia is for, folks.

Her connections to Superman have been there. They’ve been teammates, they’ve been friends, and they’re part of that whole “DC Trinity” thing. By the way, when did that become a thing? Anyway, they’ve also been lovers in various stories. We’d get stories in the Silver/Bronze age about them possibly hooking up. When the post-Crisis started, they had a mutual crush on one another, but it never amounted to anything (Action Comics #600). There have been non-canon stories like Kingdom Come that have played with them being in a relationship. Then, in 2012, DC played around with the relationship in the New 52. They even had a book with them together. I do wonder why that went the way of the dodo when “Superman Reborn” happened, though.

Today’s issue doesn’t play around with the New 52, though. It’s Action Comics #761 from 2000. I had heard about this issue years ago since it had Superman and Wonder Woman questioning some things. Joe Kelly was the writer. Handling the pencil chores is German Garcia. Joe Rubenstein handles the inks. So, what happens when Superman and Wonder Woman are transported to Valhalla to meet Thor? Monster-slaying as well as the worrying of a wife.

Action Comics #761
Writer: Joe Kelly
Pencils: German Garcia
Inks: Joe Rubinstein
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: John Costanza
Editor: Eddie Berganza and Maureen McTigue

“For a Thousand Years…”
We start out the story with Clark and Lois in bed together. Lois brings up rumors about Superman having a “Mrs.” Clark doesn’t say anything since he already has one, but Lois digs in on him a bit. At that moment, Wonder Woman shows up and Lois gets a little miffed. Clark jumps into costume and heads off with Wonder Woman while Lois feels a little jealous. Folk in Metropolis see them together and wonder if they are an item. We get a small C-plot about some villain named La Enchanadora getting a trinket, but that doesn’t amount to nothing here. 
This was pretty funny. I think every woman would feel like this with Diana around.

Superman and Wonder Woman go to a temple (I think anyway) and talk about some recent going-ons with the son of Mongul. When Diana brings up something that puts Clark off ease (not telling Lois about a mission into space), they’re suddenly transported to Valhalla. There, they meet Thor (not that one) as he and others are fighting a glorious battle. Wonder Woman feels right in her place while Superman is a bit dumb-founded. It turns out that they’re doing battle against the Vrgtsmyth and Thor has summoned them to fight. Wonder Woman’s up for it while Superman will fight but not kill the demons. They’re both shocked to find out that they’ll be stuck here for a long time.

Superman and Wonder Woman fight for 1,000 years without aging. The fight’s hard especially since Clark still longs for Lois. Over the time, they end up getting a little closer. On the eve of their final battle, the two contemplate spending it together, but Clark still feels for Lois. They go into the final battle and win. Thor (who “died” during the 1,000 years) comes back and will grant them their greatest desire. Those two come up with something simple.
Two Things:
Nice hair and beard, Clark! 
It's probably good those two didn't do the deed. I wonder how Clark would explain that to Lois.

While all their stuff in Valhalla was going on, Lois had been stewing for that day. She talks to Perry about her relationship woes. Later, she writes a letter telling how she made a deal with Lex Luthor to save the Daily Planet. Suddenly, Superman (back from Valhalla) whisks her up and passionately kisses her. The issue ends with her dropping the letter and paying it no mind.

………………………………………

I thought that this was a fine issue. It explores Superman’s relationship with Wonder Woman well. We see how different they are in Valhalla with Superman not killing demons and Wonder Woman going all in. While the scene where Clark doesn’t give in to lust with Diana is kind of weird (1,000 years without the hope of escape?), it is a sweet scene especially for Lois shippers. Maybe Clark knew he’d make it back. Kelly even gets into Lois’s head a little bit here. Of course, she feels threatened by Wonder Woman. It’s all in the name, after all.
Thor? You're look less Chris Hemsworth-y today!

The artwork was pretty good here. I haven’t heard of German Garcia though it’s possible he’s done more Superman issues. I haven’t even gotten to 2000 in my readthrough, so I may run into him more. His designs for everyone are good especially war-torn Superman and Wonder Woman. The action scenes were nice, and the emotional scenes carried nice weight. As for the dislikes, the La Enchantadora plot does drag things a little bit. I also wish the Valhalla sequence was a little longer. I mean, it’s Superman teaming up with a Thor! Also, dialogue felt off. Other than those things, this was pretty good.

Well, that sort of does it for the Amazonian Wonder. I’ve developed more of a fondness for Wonder Woman over the years. I wasn’t that exposed to her in my youth. I got more exposure to her through the Justice League cartoons. Calling her “The Female Superman” wouldn’t be right since she fills other roles in the DCU. As for her relationship with Superman, I’m not a big fan of them being together while Lois is still around. Superman just loses something without Lois being some sort of love interest. Kingdom Come was one that handled the relationship well since Lois wasn’t in the picture anymore. Well, it’s time to move on to another group that is more tied to Superman. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and be careful out there.

NEXT TIME: THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES!!

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