FUTURE STATE: WONDER WOMAN #1/ Script and Art by JOËLLE JONES/ Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE/ Letters by CLAYTON COWLES/ Cover by JOËLLE JONES & JORDIE BELLAIRE/ Variant Covers by JENNY FRISON & ADAM HUGHES/ Published by DC COMICS
I’ve had the good fortune to read all of the first wave of Future State tie-ins and most of them are fairly dark and dire books. The future state of DC Comics is rather bleak, with fascists taking over the major cities and people losing confidence in the heroes of old, most of whom have seemingly disappeared or died. It is a time of uncertainty, a time of danger and rather depressing to come into after having just finished Dark Nights: Death Metal, which promised a newer, brighter beginning for the DC Universe.
Future State: Wonder Woman #1 is an entirely different sort of animal. This book is hopeful. This book is cheerful. It made me smile. It made me laugh. It made me remember why I love the superhero genre, which has become increasingly difficult given the doom and gloom that seems to be dominating the world of comics of late. I suppose that’s a given when art reflects its times, but I’m not here to wax philosophical about current events. I am here to tell you that this is a damn good comic and well worth reading.
Our point-of-view character is Yara Flor – a young Amazon who has become the new Wonder Woman in the absence of Diana of Themyscira. As the issue opens, she is in the middle of slaying a hydra with the assistance of a winged horse she calls Jerry; not to save anyone, but because she needs its horn as a bargaining chip to free one of her fellow warriors from the Underworld.
Joëlle Jones’ script does a fantastic job of introducing us to Yara by showing us who she is, rather than by letting the unknown narrator of this story tell us all about her. That she is a match for Diana in ferocity in a fight is clear. Yet we also learn that her father is someone of importance, based on her interactions with the nature goddess she pushes into helping her get to Hades.
Jones’ artwork proves equally impressive. Those who are familiar with Joëlle Jones know she’s a wonderful visual storyteller and will not be surprised that the action of this issue is well-paced and well-choreographed. Those who aren’t familiar with her work are in for a surprising treat!
The colors by Jordie Bellaire are perfectly chosen throughout. Clayton Cowles does some impressive things with the sound effects, avoiding traditional balloons in favor of what I can only describe as word-art. There are also a number of impressive variant covers to choose from, including one by Jenny Frison and an Adam Hughes cover inspired by Wonder Woman 1984.
Unlike most of the Future State books so far, Future State: Wonder Woman proves optimistic and easily accessible to new readers, being a fresh start rather than a continuation of another story. Yara Flor is an engaging heroine and it is easy to see why The CW has already expressed an interest in a television series centered around her based on her first appearance here. With fantastic artwork and a solid story, this isn’t just a must-read for Wonder Woman fans; it’s a must read for every comic reader.