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’.