September 21, 2009


Set in alternative timeline where the Third Reich didn’t lose WWII and Germany and much of Eastern Europe is still under control of the Nazi regime against a backdrop that the gods, goddesses, and monsters of mythology are actually real and have returned to meddle in human affairs, the four-part SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN: WHOM GODS DESTROY is one of the worst Elseworld stories I have ever read. Most Elseworld stories are kind of hooky, but charming with about as much substance as a dime-store novel. There have been a few Elseworld stories that are quite spectacular, e.g. RED SON. However, sometimes there’s an Elseworld story that attempts to be monumental but is in really just trash, such as SUPERMAN: AT EARTH’S END. SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN: WHOM GODS DESTROY is another.

The basic plotline begins with an elderly Lois Lane is having nightmares about Superman going around the world and joyfully killing people. She confides in her BFF, Lana Lang. Meanwhile, Superman is living in semi-exile in his Fortress of Solitude on the moon. Old Supes discovered the hidden remains of the Holocaust a few years ago and went postal. He’s been banned from even the airspace of the Third Reich with a promise that his very appearance will be seen as a declaration of war from the U.S. Anyway, Lana Lang gets kidnapped and starts having some dreams that are even more bizarre than Lois’. Lois and Clark fly to Germany to discover what happened to their mutual friend, but along the way their plane is attacked by harpies. Yes, harpies. Superman rescues the plane, but when it lands Lois and Clark are taken into custody. They meet with one of the leaders of the Reich, Adonis. Readers eventually find out that the Greek gods of mythology have tired of staying out of human affairs and want to be important again and similar to the tragedy that was the Trojan War, they’ve decided to start a conflict. The stakes are high. Superman is bewitched by Circe and turned into a centaur; Lana Lang is given the power of the Oracle of Delphi and turns young; and when one of the Greek goddesses dies after a battle with the German army, she bestows all of her powers to Lois who becomes a new Wonder Woman. The original Wonder Woman has betrayed her brethren of Paradise Island and has joined the Nazis. That’s only the first half of the story.

I read SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN: WHOM GODS DESTROY because the basic premise of Superman and Wonder Woman fighting incarnations of the Greek gods was one I found interesting. However, I was appalled by the storyline in which the premise is delivered. The characterization of Superman is completely off with the Man of Steel behaving more like a troubled teenager than the hero he is. Then there’s the whole concept of the Third Reich still existing. Anytime a comic book has to fall back on a Third Reich that somehow won WWII and wasn’t defeated, you know the story is going to be bad. In fact, the only real reason I can see that this entire plot was brought about was so that Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Superman could end up in a menage a trios.

This series was written by legendary Marvel writer Chris Claremont. Claremont wrote some amazing stories for Marvel and the X-MEN, but he apparently didn’t know much about the DC universe. SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN: WHOM GODS DESTROY is the second worst Superman story I have ever read, beaten out only by SUPERMAN: AT EARTH’S END.

The only reason I can offer for reading this book is for the eerie prediction of Sept. 11th from Superman’s typewriter and Lois Lane’s nightmare in the first book of the series. Other than that curious trivia, there’s no reason to waste your time reading, let alone buying this comic book story.

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