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‘Future State: Wonder Woman #1’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Joelle Jones
Published by DC Comics

 

Getting into the world of Future State Wonder Woman, I’ve got so many questions that I hope are answered.

Who is Yara Flor? What Earth is this story happening on? Is this one where Diana was Wonder Woman? Or was someone else? Are there Amazons? Were there Amazons?

I want all the answers now, but that wouldn’t be good storytelling. So we meet Yara in the middle of her fighting a dragon monster that is later revealed to be a hydra in the most Indiana Jones-y, “aw, nuts” kind of way.

Joelle Jones draws Yara with the dynamic, pop art-meets-fashion sketch style she’s known for. Excitement leaps off the pages with panels switching perspectives and angles frequently.

I will say, keep the internet nearby as you read if you’re unfamiliar with mythology among Brazilian peoples.

This is a Wonder Woman story, so you expect magic and gods to be a part of this. And here, I appreciate the mixing of the Greek myths many of us learned in mainstream Western education, and Brazilian elements or counterparts to them.

After all, the story begins with the unknown narrator describing how the thunder gods Zeus and Tupá sitting on their thrones on opposite sides of the world. I was ready for more – is Yara a demigod daughter of her thunder god in the same way Diana is?

Yara looks and feels recognizably Wonder Woman nonetheless.

She’s forthright and spunky, headstrong and hard driving in the way you see Diana be at times, especially in those Themyscira flashbacks. Her costume has the familiar glamorous, fierce elements – the tiara, the golden armor, the boots and gauntlets.

The golden lasso in this case is a bola, the throwing weapon made of weights attached to interconnected cords, found among the indigenous peoples of South America ages before Europeans ever arrived.

But why was Yara fighting the hydra, which is called a boitatá here? Well, she wants a horn from one of its heads in order to barter passage to the underworld. And she wants to enter the underworld to rescue her sister. (We don’t learn yet who that sister is, so don’t bother speculating.)

Luckily for Yara, she encounters a familiar forest spirit of Brazilian mythology who decides to help her out. And from there the story keeps dancing, mixing mythologies and representations of gods and afterlife – Brazilian, Greek, Hebrew, late 20th-century American television, you name it.

So get ahead and get into this. This issue reads great, looks great, and Yara is a grabby character you’ll be ready to ride along with.

And, besides: any story that opens up with a road trip to hell ain’t a bad place to be.

 

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