Future State: Wonder Woman #1 review

In the Amazon jungle, a strange young woman battles a hydra.

She wins, and begins sawing off a horn, annoying a local spirit.

But Yara Flor and Caipora are frenemies, and soon team up on a quest to enter the Underworld.

The headline here is the art. Joelle Jones’ compositions and characterisations are stunning as situations range from savage battles to whimsy on the road to hell. Just look at the cute little guy on passport control. The thrashing hydra. And I’ve not even shown you Yara’s pal Jerry.

The colour art of Jordie Bellaire enhances the already stunning pages, with the natural light of the Amazon jungle as striking as the ever sicklier greens of the afterlife.

And Yara herself is well designed, her outfit very much a spin on Wonder Woman’s uniform, while her gorgeous looks leave us in no doubt this girl comes from the gods.

Letterer Clayton Cowle also gets to show off his talents, with fonts weirder and more colourful than in your average DC comic. Which is fair enough, as this isn’t a regular DC Universe book – it’s part of the Future State project, showing what may happen several years hence. So while this book is called Wonder Woman, there’s no sight, or mention of, Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Yara Flor is the Wonder Woman of the title, and while there’s mention by the unseen narrator – who may well turn out to be Diana – of Zeus, and Hades, Cerberus and that unfortunate Hydra are in Jones’ script, no direct link is made between Yara and Diana.

This new Wonder Woman, whose gods are from Paraguay rather than Olympus, is good company – she’s devil-may-care, gutsy, perhaps too impulsive for her own good. Caipora is fun too, cute but not one to be crossed. And if you like the work of Neil Gaiman, you’ll likely enjoy this book’s vision of Limbo.

But I don’t want to be reading about a Wonder Woman, I want to be reading about the Wonder Woman. And if I can’t, then I really need to know why a newcomer is carrying the title.

The big question is why a creative team this great aren’t given the keys to Diana’s kingdom. Another is why Yara Flor, apparently, isn’t good enough to debut with her own hero name. Rather than a fresh DC Wonder Woman, it feels like I’m reading a new entry in a revived Tangent line. Or some other company’s impressive attempt at ripping off the Amazing Amazon. Tiara, bird breastplate, twirling golden weapon… the visual synonyms are hard to miss.

I’ll likely be back next month to see where this story goes – Jones has to be planning more than yet another variation on ‘living soul dares visit the Land of the Dead’. At the very least I’ll get a great-looking comic with plenty of humour and action. I do, though, hope I see why Yara Flor has the title of ‘Wonder Woman’.

9 thoughts on “Future State: Wonder Woman #1 review

  1. Great review. Given the news that Joelle Jones is going to draw and write a Wonder Girl comic with Yara Flor as the new wonder girl I kind of think of this as the trial run. I liked it. I thought that it was fun and I figure it could be book in the vein of the Metropolis kid Superboy, impulse or Damian as Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes sense – I wonder if Yara Flor came from DC first, or the TV people first.

      I shall likely like the comic Wonder Girl comic, while wondering (NPI) where that leaves Cassie!

      Poor Donna…

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      1. Hopefully it leaves Cassie floundering in limbo for a long, long, long time. #notmywondergirl
        Donna, however, I do worry about. I miss being able to read about her!
        Having said that, I’m kinda looking forward to getting to know this new character.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This Wonder Woman is a nonentity too by the end of this story. No motivation, no personality besides ‘no impulse control, nada. It’s given me no reason to come back and I won’t be. The Wonder Woman name should be attached to more than flip nonsense. This was so much nothing I don’t think I’ll even check out the Wonder Girl series starring this idiot like I had been planning to…

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  3. Murray, I like Cassie depending on what personality she has this week. Generally Young Justice Cassie is best. Donna is my Wonder Girl too.

    Steve, they may add depth to this new Wonder Woman (I’ve forgotten he name already – Scapa Flow?) next issue, but if they’ve not intrigued you enough to come back for it, they’ve failed.

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  4. This is everyone’s favorite from the week of Future State’s, and even I, curmudgeon as I am, enjoyed it. I think it wasn’t until I reached the Underground scene that I finally grasped the comedic tone Jones was going for, and was able to re-read it from the top with that in mind.

    I agree, there seems to be no connection with Diana, except perhaps the word “Amazon.” I don’t know why the word was used for the ones on Paradise Island/Theymisira, but now it’s literally true for Yara Flor.

    Yara is probably someone I would utterly hate if I met her at a party. And this is an OLDER Yara Flor – not the Wonder “Girl” that the ongoing comic and TV show are supposed to be about. Imagine what an impulsive and impatient younger person she’ll be.

    I love Joelle Jones’s work, but – not her fault – I got very tired of the 2 or 3 drawings that appeared in all promotional materials – you’ve reproduced them here, that cover and the next image.

    It also looks to me like Yara Flor’s face was traced from something in far too many panels.

    Finally, no one seems to be mentioning the way this reeks of “global marketing initiative.” The TV show announced alongside the comic? This is design by committee, not an organic development. It’s brand management. Synergy. It’s just a whole new thing, and it bugs me. Yara Flor is not a new “comic book character.” She’s the outcome of boardroom meetings. A corporate creation.

    I’d like to mention the Future State: Harley Quinn book, since you’ve observed elsewhere you’re going to skip it:

    The plot’s ok. It uses HQ the way she’s being used in the Murphyverse, and in Criminal Sanity – as a profiler, though this time from a sort of Silence of the Lambs angle.

    The good and the bad: Simone Di Meo’s art. I was very excited by the promotional pages. His/her (not sure of gender) work reminds me of Toni Infante’s covers (and I see they have worked together), and I finally realized it’s at least partly because neither uses much black “ink” – it’s mostly unlined color, where shades of color are used even for the outlines of things, and everywhere else. Blacks seem mostly used for shadows, The art is different than you’d usually see, and in its way quite beautiful. But Di Meo uses a lot of unusual angles, transparent items, soft focus, “lens flare,” hallucinogenic or dream-like panels, tiny figures (no doubt large enough on the digital tablets used to draw, but too small for the printed page), and extreme closeups of things, sometimes of objects so close to the “camera” that you have no idea what you are looking at.

    Meanwhile, the cool blue-ish palette (even the reds look suffused with bue to me) looks great digitally, but doesn’t translate well into print, which is how I consume these.

    But since I know you read the digital versions, I think you’ll like, or at least admire, the look.

    I think it would be hard to take on a monthly basis… but still probably easier to take than when Riley Rossmo takes over the ongoing book.

    Oh, admit it: by time I’m writing this, you probably broke down and bought it! If not, I think you’d find it a relief after The Flash and Stupidjon of Metropolis.

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  5. Thanks so much for another great comment, full of insight. Your dissection of the art of Harley Quinn is brilliant, even from what little I’ve seen of the book. It’s not one I tried because I find a little Harley goes a long way, and certain art styles just don’t do it for me.

    As for new Wonder Woman/Girl,I just don’t get how the TV people are so into this character with the Wonder name when there’s the big (ideally) screen Diana making waves right now. Why not just give her a brand mew name?

    Like

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