I've been reading a lot of griping about Wonder Woman #18, so I thoguht I'd chime in with my opinion: I liked it.
Not only that, I like Tom Tresser. Sure, he's no Steve, but he's cute. And he can be awesome when used properly. He's clever, funny, and skilled. I liked him under Heinebrg, I like him under Simone. I don't like him when he's written by Piccoult, but I don't like anyone as written by Piccoult. Fortunately, Piccoult's not writing him anymore. Simone is. I'm going to pretend Piccoult's run didn't happen, just like I do for Diana.
Also, does nobody realize what Simone just did? Amazon customs. She is fleshing out Amazon society in a way that's not just rehashed Athens customs. The Amazons had their own city-state in Ancient Greece, which means they had their own festivals and traditions and stories. Simone may be the first writer since Perez to start tossing this in there.
Plus, Wonder Woman has decided to court him. That's cool as shit, and pro-active. Just like Diana should be in a romantic situation. It's not like where she had a little-girl crush on Superman, or was the unwitting object of Ed, Micah or Mike's affections. She's an active participant. She's not dainty flower waiting to be picked. She's pursuing a relationship with a guy she thinks is hot.
It's okay that she made a joke about bowling. I drag my dates to the comic book store, but we also do stuff they like. That's part of dating. You try different things together, see if you can deal with the other person's world.
I like the joke about American courtship rituals, because that proves this is not the lifeless, humorless Diana entering a stiff, awkward romance like in Eric Luke or Phil Jiminez's runs. She's relaxed and playful and comfortable. The piece of personality that Perez took away when he removed Steve Trevor is coming back. The maturity and sensuality of the Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman, modernized to shed the "hard to get" social norms of those bygone decades whil still keeping her playful charm, is slowly returning. The icy distance between Wonder Woman and mortals is disappearing. We're getting Diana back.
Now, I love Steve. I still think we need a way to bring him back as her love interest. But announcing that she's courting Tom doesn't mean she's going to marry this character. Means she's exploring a little. Means she's opening as a person. Sure, not all female characters need romantic interests. But celibacy would make no sense for a follower of Aphrodite, after all. Remember, the warmth and caring in her heart? Not a gift from Demeter or Hestia. That's from Aphrodite, a sex goddess. Diana's connecting with a piece of herself here, and if things work out she'll get to connect with a piece of Tom.
And of course Tom's not good enough for her. She's friggin' Wonder Woman. No man in comics is good enough for her (which is probably why they got rid of Steve to begin with). That's no reason she shouldn't shop around. That's no reason a natural part of her life should be closed off except for a once-every-two-or-three-years short story about sexual tension with Superman, Batman or Aquaman.
Even if the objection is that he's not good enough for her because he's not an A-lister, that's silly. It's good that the most powerful woman in comics isn't spending all her time trying to find a match in status and power. Superman is married to a mortal woman. Diana's being like her male counterparts, and going for a guy she enjoys being around.
I'm sure we'll still have lots of action in the series. Gail Simone is writing her. A little romance does not a sappy love story make. Diana flirting with a guy does not mean she's not a kickass warrior.
And again, I like Nemesis. I enjoyed Wonder Woman #18. I think Gail Simone did a good job. I look forward to the rest of this story. And I am not ashamed!
And I'm sure I'm not alone in this.