Yara Flor had a strong debut with the first issue of Future State: Wonder Woman #1. Rather than telling an origin story Joelle Jones used the wide timeline for Future State to tell a story where Yara Flor is already established as Wonder Woman. This was an honestly refreshing take with introducing a new character into the DC Universe. Placing the focus on where Yara Flor is now in her career allowed us to get to know her personality at a time when she had her name established as a superhero. Now that we know Yara Flor is going on an adventure in the Underworld it’ s time to find out where this will lead her? Let’s find out with Future State: Wonder Woman #1.
Writer and Artist: Joelle Jones
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the Underworld Caipora tells Wonder Woman (Yara Flor) that the Charon is here with their boat. Wonder Woman uses her boleadoras to steal one of the Charon’s bone arms and tosses it far so that the Cerberus stops chasing her and goes after the arm.
Wonder Woman gets on the Charon’s boat alone. As she leaves Caipora warns Wonder Woman that when she reaches the other side she will have to get past her anger and urge to fight to have a chance to find the soldier she is looking for.
Eventually Charon gets Wonder Woman to where she needs to go. There Wonder Woman meets Thanatos who immediately opens up the ground beneath her.
After recovering from the fall Wonder Woman comes across one of Hades’ demons. Eventually Hades shows up demanding to know why Wonder Woman is there. Wonder Woman says she is there to bring back one of her soldiers, Potira, with her. Hades gets pissed that Wonder Woman used the word “must” in front of him.
Persephone (Hades’ wife) appears and convinces Hades to accept Wonder Woman’s wish. Hades tells Wonder Woman that she has until the last grain falls in his hourglass to locate Potira. Hades goes on to say if Wonder Woman fails her soul will belong to him. Wonder Woman accepts the proposal.
Wonder Woman then enters the Asphodel Meadows. The souls in Asphodel Meadows overwhelm Wonder Woman to the point she remembers the pain she went through when she lost Potira.
We then see some time ago Yara joined the Amazons in a massive battle against an unknown army. During the battle Yara attempted to save Potira from a fatal fall. Potira noticed a soldier going in for a killing blow on Yara. Potira force Yara to loosen her grip and throws her spear through the soldier’s head. This causes Yara to lose her grip and Potira falls to her death.
In the present Yara is able to overcome these painful memories to find Potira. Potira doesn’t want Yara to end up in the Asphodel Meadows for eternity so she lets Yara go. Yara does not let this happen again. She grabs and carries Potira out of the Asphodel Meadows.
Seeing Yara and Potira reunited pisses Hades off because that means he lost. Hades immediately sends his demons after Wonder Woman and Potira. Wonder Woman fights off the demons and causes a cave-in to create an opening for her and Potira to run out of the Underworld.
The demons continue to come after them with the cave continuing to collapse. Potira gets caught in the collapse and is pinned down by massive boulders. Wonder Woman tries to get Potira out.
Potira tells Yara to go because she knows this was always meant to be her fate. Potira thanks Yara for giving noble meaning to her life. She says that Yara’s ending is not written yet as she still has a lot to show the world.
Wonder Woman doesn’t want to give up on letting Potira go. Potira tells Yara to go.
Suddenly several Amazons are able to dig into the Underworld and get Wonder Woman out before she is caught in the collapse.
Outside, Wonder Woman can’t believe how she failed Potira. Jerry suddenly shows up and cheers Wonder Woman up.
Nearby, Caipora reflects on how its humans imperfections that is the reason they continue telling their stories. End of issue.
The Good: After the first issue had more of a broad action-adventure movie tone to the way the story was told it was good to Future State: Wonder Woman #2 dive more into why this story in the Underworld is taking place. The use of Yara Flor’s backstory was used in a way that enhanced the sense of urgency to the adventure in the Underworld. It also gave us some much-needed insight into who Yara is and part of her history as an Amazon. That insight helps build greater interest in seeing more adventures with Yara beyond all the Future State titles moving forward.
Throughout Future State: Wonder Woman #2 what stood out most is that Joelle Jones never lost sight of who Yara Flor is. Even when put against great adversity and terrifying scenarios we see Yara keep her fun and cool persona throughout the story. It helps to highlight how by this point in her life Yara has become comfortable as Wonder Woman. Having that experience makes being confront by Godly beings such as Thanatos and Hades not something that Yara is taken off her game by. This is another day in the park for her as she has grown up in the Amazons culture.
Keeping that part of Yara’s character at the forefront of this adventure proved to be important in showing how she is able to overcome the trial that Hades puts against her. Yes, we see her break as she goes through the Asphodel Meadows in order to find the soul of her friend. By having her break with the Asphodel Meadows mentally challenging her by reliving the traumatic memory of how Potira died saving her we saw how Yara is able to overcome anything. While it is a painful memory Yara understands that it is a pain that she has accepted living with. This is where we see Joelle Jones artwork shine the most as its in Yara’s facial reaction that we get that story told to us.
The way Yara overcomes Hades trial made for an how Future State: Wonder Woman #2 ended even more intriguing. Because even though she was able to fight through the painful memories the Asphodel Meadows made her relive she didn’t want to leave the Underworld without Potira. Jones does a very good job using this moment to humanize Yara as we do see that Potira was more than an Amazon soldier she lost in battle. Potira was a friend that Yara felt like she failed to save. Which we see with how Yara reacts to her Amazon sisters saving her from getting the same fate Potira unfortunately succumbs to.
This ending highlight how important Potira is to Yara’s history. Jones did a very good job getting over Potira as someone you want to learn more about in the brief time she is on screen. Each panel she is in is maximized so that the reader immediately grows a connection to Potira as a character.
Jones also does a great job putting over Hades as a larger-than-life Godly figure in his appearance. Having him appear in a shadowy black form made him more terrifying than in any of his previous appearances the last decade of Wonder Woman comics. Jones plays with the characters sadistic nature well as he does not taking losing to Wonder Woman well whatsoever. Hades trying to make sure he wins in the end was perfectly in line with the evil God we have always seen him portrayed as.
Adding in Persephone into the mix was a good way to involve more God characters into Future State: Wonder Woman’s story. Adding in more of these classic Greek Gods into the mix shows that they still have a strong presence in the DC Universe. Even with the unknown amount of years between now and when Future State: Wonder Woman takes place the Greek Gods will always be connected to the franchise.
While his appearance was short Jones made strong use of Jerry, Yara Flor’s Pegasus, to help Yara get through how things turned out. In his quick appearance Jerry was shown to understand Yara well. Even though they clearly like getting on each others case, Yara and Jerry have a strong bond that cannot be broken. And it’s the ending of Future State: Wonder Woman #2 that effectively shows that.
As much as I enjoyed Jones writing it was her artwork that really stole the show in Future State: Wonder Woman #2. Jones does a fantastic job presenting the different layers to Yara Flor’s character throughout this issue. I also enjoyed her different designs for the Greek mythological creatures. The choice to have Hades completely in black with red eyes was contrasted well with the bright white and red colors used for Persephone’s design. That along with the terrifying way the Asphodel Meadows was presented all worked well to give this whole adventure a larger-than-life tone.
The Bad: The one part of Future State: Wonder Woman #2 that did not work well was Caipora’s appearance in this issue. Whereas the first issue presented her to have a strong back-and-forth with Yara this time around Caipora came across as an extension of Jones. Anytime we got dialogue from Caipora it felt more like Jones was talking directly to the reader. It was no longer a character that was part of the DC Universe that we were reading. That took away from certain story beats that Jones was looking to hit with Caipora involvement throughout the story.
Overall: Future State: Wonder Woman #2 ended our first adventure with Yara Flor on a strong note. Joelle Jones did a fantastic job bringing Yara Flor and the world around her to life through both her writing and artwork. By the time we got to the final page all you are left with the feeling of wanting to get more adventures involving Yara Flor in the future. Hopefully, we learn that soon as Yara has a lot of potential by being further integrated into the greater Wonder Woman mythos.
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