Born in Brazil, raised in Boise, Yara Flow is taking her first trip to the land of her birth since she was brought the the US as a tot. On the plane, she’s dreaming.
In Rio de Janeiro, Yara’s bus tour is interrupted by a road accident, prompting her to leap into action.
The pleasant holiday she hoped for isn’t going as planned. And things look set to get a lot worse, as she’s gained the attention of three very powerful groups.
So far as debut issues go, this is more about flavour than detail. Writer Joelle Jones doesn’t spell out Yara’s background, or show her powers. She does, though, provide plenty of intrigue, via scenes in Themyscira, Olympus and Bana-Mighdall. That’s the original Amazons, their heavenly patrons and their bad girl offshoot, all panicked, apparently, by Yara making contact with her home soil. Whatever could it all mean? I’m certainly intrigued by Eros being told to prepare the Olympian equivalent of the Death Star – with the former cherub in charge, it’s most likely a love bomb.
It’s a safe bet Yara’s dream is a memory; it seems that, as with Donna Troy, being rescued by Diana put her on the path to Wonder Girl-dom. With that ponytail and cute face, Yara even looks like the original Donna Troy as drawn by the great Nick Cardy.
Usually, evoking an artistic titan would be unfair to a younger artist, but Jones is drawing as well as writing and, as she’s proved time and again, she is a superb illustrator. Page after page of sumptuous scenes catch the eye, full of great-looking people, brilliant backgrounds and the odd magical creature. Yara is gorgeous, but not over-sexualised – she’s in charge and take-charge. She seems flighty, with her constant chatting, but the second things get serious, she’s there, diving in to save the day. And something about the way Jones draws her tells us Yara has a rich inner life.
We saw Nubia, Diana’s sister, named Amazon queen in the Infinite Frontier special, and she looks to be settling into the role well; often played as a hothead, here Nubia shows regal assurance. And she look blooming brilliant, with her breastplate over her gown and fabulously rendered braids.
Laying down the colours that give extra life to the illustrations is the great Jordie Bellaire; she helps make the characters distinctive and evokes the heat of Brazil. I’d love her to have another pass at the official costume, which doesn’t appear inside this issue – the red of the outfit is too similar to Yara’s skin, more contrast would be great.
Ace letterer Clayton Cowles lets loose with marvellously ornate classical fonts to set the scene for the Meanwhile moments, as well as having fun with the dialogue and captions. His thoughtful work suits the tone of the book.
The cover by Jones and Bellaire is (big surprise) gorgeous, Yara looks fierce. The logo is a tad underwhelming, mind, too blobby by half.
This comic opens with a scene of chaos, and ends on a quiet cliffhanger. In between it’s pure fun. Give it a go.