The Wonder Women of Future State

Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman
by Becky Cloonan, Jen Bartel, Pat Brosseau, L.L. McKinney, 
Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Emilio Lopez and Becca Carey
published by DC Comics

One of my pandemic projects has been sorting through years of accumulated comics. It showed me how enthusiastically I’ve bought into — with my dollars, if not always my heart — DC’s special events.

Seeing literal boxes upon boxes of event-related comics that I had no emotional attachment to (and honestly, not much mental recollection of either) made me less than enthusiastic about Future State. Nope, I said. No, no, no. Not gonna buy ANY of em’. I’ll wait to read them on DC Universe Infinite. I do NOT need to own them.

And then, two things happened. The first is that I saw the previews, and gosh darn it if some of these books didn’t look good. Really good. And hey, if Yara Flor is the next big thing, her first appearances should be part of my collection.

Future State: Wonder Woman
By Joelle Jones, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles
Published by DC Comics

The second thing? Wonder Woman 1984. After the letdown of this movie, I needed a palate cleanser for the character, something to remind her why Diana was one of my all-time favorite fictional heroes.

So, I committed to a limited Future State budget of the titles featuring everyone’s favorite Amazon: Wonder Woman, Immortal Wonder Woman, Justice League and Superman/Wonder Woman. (Oh, and on impulse Harley Quinn (which was fun, but didn’t really present anything unexpected.)

In Immortal Wonder Woman, writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad nail the portrayal of Diana as a strong warrior at the end of her days who has lost so much but never gives up hope. The art by Jen Bartel is simply stunning — on almost every page there is a panel worthy of framing. The coloring adds an ethereal quality that elevates the already beautiful images.

Nubia co-headlines the book with Diana, in stories written by L.L. McKinney with art by Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales and Emilo Lopez. She is pitted against Grail and Circe in a tale that is action packed but still full of character development, with hints of an intriguing family backstory. Here’s hoping Nubia features prominently in the next phase of the DCU.

Yara Flor is the main Wonder Woman of Future State, and it’s a promising introduction for the character. Rather than wading tentatively through an origin story, we’re immediately dropped into her world as she battles a hydra. It’s no surprise that Joelle Jones can write and draw strong women, and Future State: Wonder Woman has a gleeful sense of energy.

Future State: Justice League
By Joshua Williamson, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, 
Romulo Fajardo Jr, Tom Napolitano, Dan Mora, Ram V, 
Marcio Takara, Marcelo Maiolo and Rob Leigh
published by DC Comics

Yara’s appearances throughout the Future State titles feel cohesive, which is no small feat in a crossover. Her friendship with Jon Kent mirrors Diana and Clark’s bond, and feels authentic. There’s a sense of fun throughout. Before reading these books, I was annoyed that I’d have to buy the main Justice League title to keep reading Ram V.’s wonderful JL Dark. But now, if the new Justice League is anything like this fast-forward, I’ll gladly plunk down my money each month.

Overall, these books make me feel optimistic for the next incarnation of the DC Universe, which isn’t always something I’ve felt able to write in the last few years. And that — pun intended — is a wonder-ful thing.

Superman/Wonder Woman
By Dan Watters, Leila Del Duca, 
Nick Filardi and Tom Napolitano
Published by DC Comics