Of all of the Future State titles I was most excited for Immortal Wonder Woman. The first issue of Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman established Diana Prince as one of the last remaining people on Earth along with several Amazons and Superman. That is looking to change as both Darkseid and a being known as the Undoing has made there way to Earth. What will Wonder Woman do with it looking like the DC Universe has reach the end of its lifespan? Let’s find out Future State: Wonder Woman #2.
Writers: Becky Cloonan & 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: In the distant future Wonder Woman is flying through space. Eventually she runs into what remains of the Daily Planet. When she approaches it The Undoing bursts out of it. Wonder Woman quickly flies away so The Undoing can’t capture her.
As she continues to fly through space Wonder Woman remembers the last moment she had with Superman.
Centuries earlier as Darkseid was about to kill Superman, Wonder Woman jumps in to stop Darkseid. This gives Superman enough time to recover. Seeing no other option Superman apologizes to Wonder Woman and flies Darkseid straight to the Sun. Wonder Woman tries to stop Superman from his suicide attack but Superman goes through with it, leaving only his cape behind as he and Darkseid battle until they are inside the Sun. Once they are both inside the Sun explodes.
In the present, Wonder Woman thinks of how she has learned the difference between hope and dreams. She thinks back to how the Legion of Super-Heroes had hope when they attempted to stop The Undoing from eating the stars but they all ended up falling.
As she continues to wander the universe Wonder Woman comes across what is left of Brainiac. There she finds Spectre sitting as he reveals the Brainiac is long gone. He goes on to reveal that Spectre and Wonder Woman are the only ones left in the entire universe after The Undoing took out everything else. Spectre admits that as he waited for Wonder Woman he came to realize that without being able to seek vengeance or atonement he is already gone.
Wonder Woman hugs Spectre as she understands that there is no vengeance left to serve. Spectre thanks Wonder Woman as he felt good being able to stand in her light before he is gone. Wonder Woman says she won’t be far behind.
Wonder Woman then takes her Lasso of Truth and wraps it around Spectre. As Spectre submits he fades away thinking he could’ve done better. Wonder Woman tells Spectre that he did what he needed to do as he fades away.
Not long after The Undoing begins to approach Wonder Woman’s location. Wonder Woman stands without fear still believing in herself. The Undoing’s overwhelming power becomes to much for Wonder Woman and is taken in by the being.
Inside The Undoing, Wonder Woman thinks to herself how she thought when her time to die came she would accept it as her death would’ve had meaning.
Suddenly Wonder Woman’s gauntlets start to light up. She then feels the power to resist the influence of The Undoing. Wonder Woman channels all this energy to take out The Undoing. In the process while this version of the universe meets its end Wonder Woman is able to create a new big bang that creates new life in the universe. As a new universe is born Wonder Woman is shown to have become a constellation. End of issue.
The Good: When all was said and done Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 is a solid read that gets you in the head space of Diana Prince as she is the last hero standing at the end of time. But while the conflict with The Undoing had a larger than life scope the end result didn’t live up to the potential of this type of story. It does not help that we saw a very similar storyline for Wonder Woman take place in Dark Nights: Death Metal as she was the lead in that event. This once again led to the Nubia back-up outshining Diana Prince’s story.
Where Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad excel with their work in Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 is getting you to understand how Diana Prince is feeling. Using the setting of an empty universe provided the opportunity for the focus to be even more on where Diana is mentally. Being the last thing that exist in the universe would wear on a person. Over the course of her inner monologue you are given a very good sense of how much time Diana has been wandering around the universe alone.
Starting out that way made the flashback to Superman’s sacrifice even more powerful. Superman knew that with how things were going with Darkseid that he nor Wonder Woman would be able to take him down in a normal fight. To properly end things Superman understood that he needed to sacrifice himself to put an end to Darkseid by pushing both himself and the villain into the Sun. That was the only way to end things after all Superman has been through living this long.
Witnessing Superman’s sacrifice complimented the conversation that Wonder Woman had with Batman and Swamp Thing in the first issue and Spectre in this issue. All these interactions fed in well into how Wonder Woman had to find it in herself to believe she can fight The Undoing. Keeping everything to her internal monologue added to how this was her story.
With so much story telling from the writing side being done through internal monologue Jen Bartel does a great job putting over what Diana is feeling throughout this issue. From the emptiness of flying through the universe for centuries alone to the hope when she finds Spectre, Bartel nails what Wonder Woman goes through emotionally. Bartel elevated all of that with how she captured the emptiness of space without feeling like the backdrop was just a black screen. There was enough debris and stars to put over she was flying through the galaxy. And the final splash page worked as a appropriate end to what Wonder Woman’s journey was.
While the main Immortal Wonder Woman story was solid it was the Nubia Future State story that stole the show once again. L.L. McKinney does a very good job presenting Nubia’s journey as a way for the reader to learn about her and why she has stepped up to be the new Wonder Woman. It is a show rather than tell experience as we do get to see that she is the right person to take on the mantle of Wonder Woman after Diana.
Exploring Nubia’s backstory further also helps to strengthen the overall mythology around Wonder Woman. Just like what Joelle Jones did with Yara Flor, McKinney is taking the opportunity to explore other parts of the Amazon culture that is not directly tied to Themyscira. The Amazons being much more part of the world helps to expand on the idea that they are not just tied to Greek mythology. Nubia’s ties to Africa, like Yara Flor’s ties to South America, help build out what we can see all the different characters in Wonder Woman explore through different mythologies.
Having both Grail and Circe as the antagonists for Nubia to combat added to how she is able to power through anything that is thrown her way. Even as these two powerful characters attacked Nubia both mentally and emotionally, we saw Wonder Woman overcome everything. It all works to build a strong foundation for the character. Which is all something that Alitha Martinez as the artist does such a great job in putting over.
The Bad: While Cloonan and Conrad did a good job getting over what Diana mentality was during her final journey as Wonder Woman the threat that was faced just never hit the way it intended. The big bad just being called The Undoing and being a black symbiote like creature did nothing to create fear. It was just a plot device and nothing else. You just never really felt like this is and end all type antagonist.
It does not help that The Undoing had very thin ties to the greater DC Universe. It did not feel like Cloonan and Conrad took the opportunity to use this end of time story to further draw on connections to the greater DCU. Especially with the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal having The Undoing possibly tie into that or one of the other Crisis events would’ve made this story of the final days of the DCU feel more complete. Instead it was just empty as when all was said and done we got a threat like we saw in the Green Lantern and Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer movies.
Because of how The Undoing never connected as an antagonist for this story the way Wonder Woman overcame it felt way to convenient. It was just another instance of our hero punching harder since the power Wonder Woman tapped into just came to her. It wasn’t something she found as she regained her resolve while in the darkness. Instead she only gained the resolve to defeat The Undoing when the power suddenly came to her. It all just felt like a cheap resolution since it did not come across as Diana inner monologue at the end matching with what really ended up happening for with the resolution.
Overall: Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2 was a solid issue. The main story involving Diana Prince’s final story as Wonder Woman was a mixed bag as Cloonan and Conrad did a good job putting over Diana’s mentality at the end of time. But it was The Undoing being such a forgettable antagonist that dragged the main story’s down. Luckily, we got Nubia’s Future State back-up that lifted the quality content we got as her journey was Wonder Woman added further depth to the mythology in the franchise.
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