By Will Barber Taylor
There are some ideas, some stories which are so bizarre, so strange that they deserve a special in the consciousness of humanity. Examples such as The Room, Marville, Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign are well known and loathed in equal measure. Yet there are other creations that are less well known but are still beyond weird. Superman/ Wonder Woman Whom Gods Destroy is one of them. Frank Miller, in the height of his madness could have created such a work – in fact I’d not be surprised if Miller was somehow involved in this book. However, instead of dodging the issue let’s just go straight into explaining why it is such a drug induced creation.
The story begins with Lana Lang and Lois Lane, now played by Bea Arthur and Betty White of the Golden Girls, having a chat about Lois’ up and coming third Pulitzer Prize awards ceremony. Just as the golden oldies are about the leave the café they are held up by a melted wax model of Chris Christie and his gang. Luckily, Lois saves the day by punching one of the goons (who looks eerily like a young, hippy version of Captain Stottlemeyer from Monk) and then gets help. Does this serve the plot at all? Of course not!
We next cut to the doddering duo discussing Superman, who it is revealed is now living on the Moon because… reasons? (To the comic’s credit there is a reason, revealed later but it is so stupid “reasons” is infinitely better). Our first shot of the Man of Steel? Him sunbathing on the Moon. In his trunks. Aside from a weird introduction to one of our titular characters, the weird artwork makes Superman look like a white version of The Mask. Once he’s debuted his new Superman underwear collection, he decides to leave his exile to attend Lois’ little shindig. The problem with this it that the book later makes a big deal out of Superman being in “exile” but his return to Earth is so played down and subdued it makes the later “controversy” seem laughably misplaced.
Once Lois and Superman have had some time to talk about how she distrusts him and hates him for not saving Metropolis, they are attacked by a satanic figure. A satanic figure whose lower body is that of a woman in a bikini. Aside from the surrealism of Satan in a bikini, why is this needed? Did writer Chris Claremont feel they needed to “sex up” the monster who does battle with Superman?
After this Lois and Superman discover that Lana has been taken to Germany – which is still ruled by Nazis! The incidental mentioning of the fact that the Nazis still exist and dominate Europe is almost as laughable as the surprise of Superman’s return.
Superman and Lois travel to Germany with Superman still under his Clark Kent alter ego (which, seeing as Superman hasn’t aged must be either well out of date or obvious that he’s Superman) but are attacked on route by satanic monsters. Superman battles them off while Lois flies a plane – which she can do now? The artwork throughout this sequence is some of the worst in the whole book with Superman’s limbs and muscles contorting in unnatural ways.
Arriving in Germany, the dynamic duo set out to find Lana but are waylaid by some of the Nazis. And it turns out that the Greek Gods are working with the Nazis. Why exactly this is happening is never fully explained other than a vague “game of the Gods” at the end. The worst part of this moronic pact between the Nazis (who are meant to be Christians but hey, comic books!) and the Greek Gods is that Wonder Woman is a Nazi. A Nazi. Aside from how insulting this is to a beloved comic book character, the reveal and her appearance don’t come until near the end of the third part of the four-part book, meaning if anything the title of this mess should be Superman / Lois Lane Whom Gods Dismay.
Superman, for evil Reich reasons becomes a centaur. But not just any centaur, an evil centaur working for the Nazis. Why they don’t just turn him evil and let him go and conquer America is unknown; maybe they just wanted him to be a centaur? The artwork for the transformation and his period as a centaur is, of course, awful and characterises the overall stinking artwork this book in infested with.
While Superman frolics about a bit, Lois becomes Wonder Woman (again, the reasoning behind this is beyond me and possibly beyond Chris Claremont when he was writing it) and fights Nazi Wonder Woman to the death. There is some more pointless fighting, Superman has his “I Want To Break Free Moment” (sans mini skirt) and the book ends with Lois and Lana both now young and sexy (because, why would we want to have older, interesting female characters when we can just have atrocious fan service in tight clothes?!) and that’s it.
If anything at all was achieved in this book, then it is beyond me. It starts weirdly, becomes insane and ends have ruined the mental state of whoever has had the misfortune to read it. The irony of all this being that Chris Claremont is one of the most talented comic book writers out there, having helped produce “Days of Future Past” and has created some of the X Men’s most developed female characters such as Emma Frost and Rogue. Maybe he just had an off day?