The Gift of the Magic Va-ja-ja

It’s Christmas time and nearly everyone has heard stories about the gift of the Magi.  Whether it be the three kings bringing gifts or the O. Henry story of loving sacrifice.  (No, not Henry Cavill)

Unfortunately, in this story there will be no sacrifice or true love involved.  Nor is it heroic or brave.

SPOILERS!

 Born out of a really bad publicity stunt, what really bothers me about the fauxmance is the way it stunts both of the icons growth and development for over 2 years. If Diana didn’t have Brian Azzarello protecting her from this tripe in her own book, she’d be a very despised character.  Clark is no better.  He’s a mess.  This battling alien routine since the beginning of the new 52 (longer with pre-52) makes him under-developed.  He doesn’t have a dual identity.  Clark, Smallville farm boy, is basically as dead as the Kents and their influence.

Soule surprised me with Cat finding out in the first few panels the envelope that’s been sitting on her desk for two issues.   Also this writer is giving us more character development for Clark than ever before by showing his friendship with Batman.  We’ve only been TOLD they are friends but in this issue we SEE how well they know and trust each other.  Soule gives us echoes of Jeph Loeb’s sentiments about Clark being more human than most humans.  Batman even refers to Clark as a farm boy.  As in Greg Pak’s Action, editorial seems to have allowed the humanity of the character to be developed with the introduction of Lana Lang.  Pak is not allowed to use Lois in Action.

Diana, in this book and also in DCU vs Masters of the Universe, seems to be more invested in this relationship than Clark.  She appears to take first steps and wants to move it to the next level.  From the rooftop scene in Justice League to this issue, Diana as an Amazon princess and demi-goddess raised with gods who ‘marry’ their relatives, has no qualms. 

I do not approve of what DCE is doing to the character.   With Superman’s history with Lois Lane always present, Diana is perceived as an interloper rather than a woman who truly has affection for Superman.

As Diana shops at Harrod’s for the farm boy alien, we see their cultural as well as religious differences.  These are things that have to be worked out in a relationship with communication and introspection.  But Diana doesn’t ask the important questions.  Perhaps out of fear of the answers.  Getting together out of loneliness and fear because no one is like them only seems to make the characters look pathetic and desperate.  Do they really believe that if they weren’t with one another, then they would have absolutely no one?  We all know they could have someone.  Their soulmates.  But no, these two are forcing this relationship out of fear.  Not very heroic. 

Hessia, a character created to discuss the fauxmance with Diana apparently, tells the Amazon that it’s the thought that counts and as long as she knows him, it’ll be alright.  Do you know who he is?

That’s the big question, isn’t it?  And the answer is no.

Clark has another problem which he discusses with Batman.  He doesn’t want Diana to know that when Apollo blasted him into the sun, he became overpowered and he can’t control it.  He’s tried flying around the Earth 300 times and can’t dispense with the energy.   He’s gonna need that for when he fights Zod and Faora in #5 and #6.  Also if Superman can’t control it, could he mispunch and hit Diana?  She is down for the count on the cover of #5.  So not only does Clark have guilt about Diana getting hurt by Doomsday.  But he could hurt Diana.  This predicament places him back to square one.  Couldn’t be with Lois, a human, because she could get hurt.  And now Diana could be a means to get to him too since she is physically vulnerable to something.  Batman points this out to him.

Superman takes off to take care of a disturbance in the force.  Batman advises him to take Diana with him.  That bothered me even though Bats said if they were together, they were together and would have to share their problems.  But Clark was being set up. 

For six pages, we see Zod’s arrival.  He murders a man who is begging for his life and then the JLA shows up.  6 pages!!!  The story is called Zod Returns but Clark doesn’t seem to recognize him, but he does remember being tortured in Action #2.  Selective Memory Clark again.  *sigh*  This story, according to editorial notes, takes place pre-Trinity War when the JL wasn’t aware of the JLA.  Steve Trevor has Martian Manhunter take on Zod first and reports he is quite fierce and formidable.  J’onn is dismissed because there might be a fire.  (Didn’t see one)  Vibe takes on Zod then Hawkman.  Diana shows up and lassos the evil Kryptonian.   First words out of her mouth, “Hello Steve.”  He acknowledges her presence.  Superman questions Trevor about the attack.  Zod acts the confused victim and ingratiates himself with seeing Superman’s resemblance to Jor-El.  Steve is concerned about all these Kryptonians showing up thinking how will the world protect itself from peeps like H’El.  Zod inquires if Faora has shown up.  (even more Kryptonians!)

Now we finally see the love triangle designed for Superman in that editorial retreat back in October, 2010.  (3 years later!!!)  Steve asks Diana to accompany them (since Zod is still held by the lasso) to ARGUS to keep him under wraps.   She gets a burr up her ass as if he’s conniving a way for her to stay with him indefinitely.   He says that neither of them wants that.  Then Clark pipes in stating no, you don’t.   Then the alpha males take their dicks out and start pissing.  Clark doesn’t want another Kryptonian tortured like he was so he will take Zod.  Steve tries to get Diana to see reason with a rather pathetically stated “For old times sake.”  See what this crap does to these heroes!!!  (Sterling Gates is doing amazing things with Steve and Diana in Forever Evil: ARGUS.)

Diana says she’s sorry but she agrees with Superman.   It’s not personal.  Ah but it is because . . . she’s got plans for ole Clarkie, don’t ya know. Superman has Zod in comfortable but secure quarters in the Fortress.  (see his monster in Action 26)  Getting crowded in there.  Zod will tell him of his father.  (which he’s already met with the H’El arc)  Anyway . . .

Diana wants to give Superman his Christmas present early.  Clark wonders why she doesn’t want to wait.  They go outside the Fortress so they can fly.  Yea, yea, whatever.  She’s arranged time for him.  He doesn’t understand.  She explains she’s told the whole Justice League that she wants time to spend with him.   Last we knew only Bats and Cyborg (and maybe Flash) knew about the fauxmance, but now all of them know thanks to Diana.  Several times in the last two issues, Clark has been nigh on paranoid about anyone knowing about their relationship.  But in order to take their relationship to the next level, Diana just tells their team mates the score.    Does new 52 Superman have trust issues when it comes to secrets?  Or is it okey dokey because it’s Wonder Woman?

So they kiss in the air.  If they’re in the air does that make her not the most amazing woman on the planet?  I mean, her feet aren’t on the ground in more ways than one.  Apparently Clark isn’t into it since he’s listening to what the world has to say.  And he pulls back, she asks him what’s wrong – and he tells her . . . They know!   He can hear the fear, the panic, the insipid celebrity worship, and that the President had no comment about them being a couple.

Blurb for next issue states “An Unhappy New Year for our super-couple.”  They might be YOUR super-couple but they certainly aren’t mine! 

2 days after the release of #3, we get a preview panel of #4.  Bob Harras, Editor-in-Chief, made sure we did.  Wondy & Supes are kissing in front of the Metatron at the Fortress with all the news about their ‘romance’ is going on.    Did they get a chill?  Do they enjoy the sounds of fear as background music to their snogging? 

Apparently there will be mixed reactions to the news.  Flash and Green Lantern (Hal, when did he get back?) discuss.  Amanda Waller checks on Steve Trevor.   But no word of Lois.   Tony Daniel didn’t draw this issue apparently.   So that panel of Diana putting on or taking off her boots on a bed might not be in this issue.   Really?  Clark is going to fuck Diana after she told the JL about them and now the whole world knows?  Is that like a last ditch effort to make something happen?  Love can’t be forced.  Love isn’t up for a vote (that one’s for you, Bob Harras – if it was, this fauxmance would never have happened.  It’s been a pain in everyone’s ass.)

So if they don’t do the deed in #4 and Zoddie is in the Fortress trying to get Faora out of the Phantom Zone, then does the world and Faora interrupt them?  Could Lois be in 4 and Clark check up on her?  Too much to ask for?  Would DC throw Lois under the bus?  Would she become a Stepford character and say, “Why yes, Superman, I’m all peachy keen about you dating Wonder Woman?”  Or does he give Lois an early Christmas present – oops it’ll be Jan by that time so that won’t happen.  Or does Clark pay Cat a visit and finally leave the blog that he’s not writing for?

Issue 5 has Diana down for the count on the cover and Faora joins Zod.  They have plans for the Phantom Zone.  Can you say prison break?  Good thing Clark has all that extra energy, huh.

Issue 6 has a very interesting development.  Zod breaches the Phantom Zone and “Superman and Wonder Woman are forced to do the unthinkable to stop the tyrant from global destruction. But can they do what must be done – and will the world forgive them?”  Last time we saw something like that was probably Man of Steel movie.  But I don’t think it will be Superman doing the neck snapping, it will probably be Diana.  And not Zod’s neck, but Faora’s.  Not that the death of Zod has stopped DC bringing him back for the ‘first time’ (see issue 3)  over and over.

Diana has snapped someone’s neck before and it was a very dramatic moment.  She is now a demi-goddess and the God of War.  She was willing to kill David Graves in Justice League #10 because he had Steve Trevor captive.  She will kill if necessary.  Clark on the other hand doesn’t kill.  DC may not go the kills Zod route and never kills again.  He could learn from Diana’s mistake – but he’s guilty by association.  The world has just found out they are ‘together.’  And with her killing someone, will that bring out the core difference between the two characters?  Clark is the man of second chances and preservation of life.  His protectiveness of the Kryptonians may play into the rift. 

On a side note:  If Diana kills the pop culture fav character of Faora, will it make new and old readers alike despise her?  Totally unfair for the only female of the Trinity!

Last time Diana killed someone, Clark had Lois to console him.  But in the new 52, what does he do?  Is he still going to be disconnected from his humanity?  And how does Soule turn it from a romance book to strictly a team book if they don’t see eye-to-eye about the important things.  

Something I’m wondering.  Pak is developing Clark’s humanity via Lana in Action.  We’ve seen Soule show Clark’s humanity with his relationship with Batman.  Will it be Soule who begins to develop the Clark and Lois friendship?  Another relationship we’ve been TOLD but not SHOWN.  Soule has said he would have their supporting characters in the book.  Only one of those Clark has had is Cat and in very few panels. 

It would be genius if DC realized the disenfranchised Clark and Lois fans could possibly find a place for the fauxmance book.  Irony!  If Clark and Diana realize they need to salvage a friendship and work relationship rather than a romance, does that mean Clois can have some panel space?  Clark and Lois starting out as best friends is always a good way for forward motion and character development.  Could we see the triangle-for-two finally appear in the new 52?

Diana will be appearing in Steve Trevor’s book in a couple of months and maybe he can make an appearance or two in the fauxmance book. 

April is supposed to bring big changes in the DCU according to Geoff Johns.  They will be doing a futuristic mini-series with multiple creators.  Hope they have some room for developing Clark Kent, journo, and Lois Lane as well as the Steve and Diana relationship.

But I’ve said all this before.  Maybe I shouldn’t have any hope for anything because the new 52 sure has a lack of . . . hope.

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December 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Announcements, Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman.

2 Comments

  1. athenebelle replied:

    One of the things that’s been bugging me of late is the lack of Athene in all the stories associated with Diana. Where is (one of) her patron Goddess(es) in all of this? We’ve met Artemis, we’ve met Hermes (who she has a good rapport with), we’ve met Hera. But we have yet to see Athene (the correct spelling of her name). It was especially glaring when she had to fight Ares so she would become the God of War. Athene is known as a Goddess of War as well but more importantly one of strategy and wisdom. I have to wonder why she’s been left out of the current Pantheon and where she is.

    • baudyhallee replied:

      I’m not up on my Greek mythology as you are. If it wasn’t for Brian Azzarello we’d probably not be getting any of Diana’s background at all. If we look at how she was introduced in Justice League and the continuity new 52, she is a totally different character.

      I don’t know why Brian has left out Athene. Diana certainly could use a wee bit more of wisdom. She’s been trained by Ares and in this version is now no longer shaped from clay but a daughter of Zeus. Which makes her a ‘blood’ relative to the gods.

      There’s quite a few of the Greek gods that are no longer in her story that have been in the past.

      It may have to do with setting up her Pantheon and also utilizing the New Gods mythology.

      Thanks for the comment and question. It is much appreciated.

      Maybe someone else would have an opinion or information regarding Athene.

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