Future State continues to go on with one of the bigger comic books in the line now here in the form of Immortal Wonder Woman. What makes Immortal Wonder Woman a key title in Future State is that it takes place at the very end of the DC Universe timeline for this continuity. Adding further interest in what Immortal Wonder Woman could be is the ending of Dark Nights: Death Metal. Towards the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 we saw Wonder Woman stepping into the light with the God-like beings known as “The Hand” for an unknown adventure. Could Immortal Wonder Woman possibly tie into that journey? Or is this something totally different? Let’s find out with Future State: Wonder Woman #1.
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad (Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman); L.L. McKinney (Future State: Nubia)
Artists: Jen Bartel (Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman); Alitha Martinez (Future State: Nubia)
Inker: Mark Morales (Future State: Nubia)
Colorist: Emilio Lopez (Future State: Nubia)
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Long into the future Wonder Woman enters the abandoned remains of the Batcave. Wonder Woman decides that with things coming to an end it was time to finally visit her friends place.
As Wonder Woman finds the display cases holding the Batman Family costumes the spirit of Batman (Bruce Wayne) appears. Batman tells her how he understood that he was nothing more than a player in whatever game was being played but was left wondering what role he played in how the world ended up. Wonder Woman admits that she is now struggling to even imagine a future.
Batman reminds Wonder Woman that if there is goodness in the world that there is still things to fight for. He goes on to say that Diana was always the heart of what they were doing.
After Batman spirit disappears Wonder Woman takes the utility belt she finds in the cave and takes off.
Outside Wonder Woman puts on Batman’s utility belt as she reflects on how the golden days have faded and her sisters have not recognized that. Wonder Woman decides that she must warn the others of what is coming.
Over on Apokolips, Big Barda tries to get Darkseid to act after New Genesis disappearance as they need to prepare for what she is calling “The Undoing.” Darkseid is not concerned even with what happened to New Genesis. Orion suddenly rushes in to inform Darkseid and Big Barda that The Undoing is here.
Big Barda immediately charges at The Undoing. The Undoing immediately captures Big Barda and Orion. Rather than helping them Darkseid decides to leave Apokolips alone to be destroyed by The Undoing.
Over on Themyscira, Wonder Woman visits what is left of Swamp Thing (which is a tree-like form). Wonder Woman promises that after she convinces the others of what they must do she will help find a new home where Swamp Thing can thrive once again.
Somewhere space Darkseid decides to go to Earth and rule the people that are still surviving on that planet.
Back on Themyscira, Wonder Woman tries to convince her Amazon sisters in the Council of War to go with their exodus plan to find a new world to live on. The Amazons reveal to Wonder Woman that they plan on staying on Earth and fighting whatever is coming. Wonder Woman does her best to convince them otherwise but the remaining Amazons have already decided that if they are to die they will go down fighting.
Across space The Undoing is shown making their way to Earth.
Elsewhere Darkseid is also shown heading to Earth. But before he makes it to Earth, Darkseid spots Superman coming right at him.
Back on Themyscira, Wonder Woman and the Amazons spot something crashing hard on the ground nearby. Seeing this, Wonder Woman stands with her sisters and makes a rallying speech that they will defend Earth and fight against whatever fate has for them.
Nearby, Darkseid has Superman knocked out on the ground. As he is about to land the killing blow on Superman, Wonder Woman shows up to stop Darkseid with her Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman and Darkseid fight for a while until the latter gains the advantage. Darkseid punches Wonder Woman across the field and into Swamp Thing’s tree form.
The rest of the Amazons join in on the fight but are quickly killed when Darkseid hits them all with an Omega Beam attack.
As Darkseid gets ready to kill Superman, Swamp Thing wakes Wonder Woman up and tells her to keep going by using his final gift. Wonder Woman apologizes to Swamp Thing for failing him and promises that he won’t die in vain. End of main story.
The Good: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 follows a similar formula to what we are seeing in a lot of Future State comic books. We are put into a random time period in the Future State timeline that comes across as a new starting point for our lead character. And like most first issues of the Future State comic books this comes with its good and bad qualities.
Immediately what Future State: Wonder Woman #1 does a particularly good job doing is getting us into what frame of mind Diana Prince is starting this series with. We are given all the context we need to understand why Diana near the end of the existence of the DC Universe would have a more solemn tone when we first find her. Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad capture the right tone in Wonder Woman’s dialogue to get over how she has been through countless events and crisis in her life. After all she has seen and done she wants to find a place where she can maintain the bright hope that at this moment feels distant.
This is where bringing in the spirit of Batman during the opening in the Batcave works well to provide the spark to grow the hopeful flame in Wonder Woman. She was clearly at a low point in her life and the decision to visit the Batcave was not to just remember her old friend but as part of a goodbye tour before whatever the end brings. That’s where Batman’s spirit appearing meant so much more. Batman was there to remind Wonder Woman what made her one of the best was because she was the heart for everything they did together. Wonder Woman thanking Batman for his motivational words showed how deep their bond was even though this was the first time they’ve interacted in several millennia’s.
That set the stage well for how we see Wonder Woman try to convince her remaining Amazon sisters to come with her to find a new home. While Wonder Woman was trying to see a future for them in a new home the Amazons where ready to live in the here and now. That includes going out fighting like they were born and raised to do. That clash in what they should do put Wonder Woman in a challenging corner because we do see that Diana does understand where they are coming from.
That’s why we don’t see Diana argue or fight her sisters over what they’ve decided. Seeing the passion in their decision further lights the warrior flame that when things do start going down with Darkseid’s appearance we do see Wonder Woman shift into full warrior mode. Her motivational speech to her sisters showed that when a crisis is about to begin the fighter that Batman said that Wonder Woman has always been still existed even after all this time.
This made for an interesting contrast to how Darkseid was presented. Unlike Wonder Woman, who was trying her best to help those around her, Darkseid did not care about who is left. All Darkseid cares about is himself and having a planet where he can rule over. That is put over well with how Darkseid puts no effort in helping Big Barda and Orion defend Apokolips. Instead, he just takes off satisfied that he is able to continue living and takes off to a new planet to rule.
Jen Bartel brought a certain sense of majesty to the main story in Future State: Wonder Woman #1. You get the feeling that there is not much left of Earth at this point. At the same time we do get a sense that there is still possibly a future with how bright and colorful things are presented on Themyscira. The lighting for both Wonder Woman and Amazons work well to present them as the last heroes standing. That is in comparison to the darker tone in the artwork whenever Darkseid or The Undoing were on screen.
The Nubia Wonder Woman back-up story was very different from most other Future State back-up stories in that it had the same page length of the main story featuring Diana. This even page count gave L.L. McKinney the opportunity to fully flesh out who Nubia was at this point as Wonder Woman. It something that I’m glad that McKinney was given because Nubia isn’t a major character at DC Comics. With her taking on the Wonder Woman identity we needed to spend time getting to know who Nubia is in and out of being a superhero. That is exactly what McKinney does as the page count is maximized to get over Nubia’s personality, history, and fighting spirit.
Through getting a full exploration of Nubia’s character McKinney is able to further expand on the mythology around the Amazons. This is a good thing as we are seeing how each Wonder Woman is bringing with them the idea that the Amazons are more than just those on Themyscira. With Diana Prince, Yara Flor, and now Nubia we get a better sense of how the Amazons are connected to all the different places on Earth.
Adding in Grail as who we first see Nubia take on as Wonder Woman was a good tone setter. We know that Grail is someone that is right up there with Diana Prince in terms of fighting ability. Seeing Nubia hold her own against Grail immediately got over how strong she is. Which was all brought to life well by Alitha Martinez. There were enough differences to show how Nubia is different as Wonder Woman compared to Diana and Yara.
The Bad: One element that does hurt the reading experience of Immortal Wonder Woman #1 is that it strike the tone of what we are getting in the majority of the Future State titles. We are once again placed at a time where it seems like the DC Universe is at its darkest point. There is very little hope in this time period we find ourselves in Immortal Wonder Woman #1. This causes this comic book to follow familiar story beats to other Future State titles. In turn that does create an exhaustion for just being placed at a time period that is the same as every other point in the Future State timeline we have visited thus far.
And while we do see Wonder Woman, the Amazons, and Superman in this issue we aren’t given a good sense of if this is it in terms of Earth’s population. This causes there to be an emptiness to the presentation since we don’t see much of Earth besides the Batcave and Themyscira. Having a couple panels where Wonder Woman flies across Earth would’ve help provide a visual context for where Earth is at. Without that we can only go off what we are told by Wonder Woman and Swamp Thing.
As a threat The Undoing aren’t presented as anything different from what we have seen before. They hit very much on the same tone as other forgettable one-shot villains. All they are is a visual representation of darkness and that is it. That is not enough to put them over in fans minds as being something that the likes of Wonder Woman, Superman, and Darkseid can’t overcome if they tried.
Speaking of Superman, his appearance in Immortal Wonder Woman #1 feels completely random in this book. He doesn’t really add anything to the story since he is just a punching bag for the brief fight he gets into with Darkseid. The connection with Wonder Woman does not come across as important as how Batman is presented. Which did feel like the main story ran out of page count and something needed to be cut, which in this case was where Superman is at this point in time.
Overall: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 follows a similar format to many other Future State books with how we are dropped in the time period this series is exploring. That does cause some similar problems seen in other Future State comics to appear here. That said, Immortal Wonder Woman #1 shines where it matters most with the presentation of Diana Prince in the main story and Nubia in the back-up story. Add in the wonderful artwork seen throughout this comic book, Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 is well worth the price of admission.
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