WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1, by Dan Watters, Leila del Duca, Nick Filardi and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
Yara Flor is the new Wonder Woman introduced in DC’s Future State, and this Brazilian Amazon is on a quest to make the world better, a quest far more revolutionary than anything her predecessor undertook.
She has appeared in a number of Future State comics and seems to have a lighthearted almost comical attitude to her heroics, but in the Superman/Wonder Woman title, she shows just how serious her mission really is.
Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1 by Dan Waters, Leila del Duca, and Nick Filardi opens with the new Superman, Jonathan Kent, enjoying his coffee as he sits atop one of the skyscrapers of Metropolis, which has always been DC’s utopian City of Tomorrow. This is immediately contrasted with a scene set in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where helicopters fill the skies for the wealthy to travel with ease even as the streets below are choked with traffic. When one helicopter clips a building and falls out of the sky, Wonder Woman shows up and catches it.
However, this is not about saving the man within the helicopter. As she rips the door off the helicopter’s frame, she hoists out the man within, a politician she addresses as “Sehnor Soasa” who is one of the city’s councilmen. She berates him for his failures to rebuild the city’s roads and infrastructure, as he has prioritized funds for the rich to have access to hundreds of helipads while “traffic jams…trap ordinary people on the highways for hours at a time.”
Those ordinary people would be crushed by his helicopter had she not saved him, but she is not willing to let him just walk away from the crash. She demands to know where the money for infrastructure vanished to and forces Soasa’s head against the bottom of his chair in the destroyed helicopter, suggesting he should try to find the money behind the seat cushion. When the pilot pulls a gun on her, Wonder Woman smiles wickedly and begs him to shoot her. This cuts to a scene of both the councilman and the pilot standing outside the helicopter holding black markers, writing “I will not try to shoot Wonder Woman” again and again on the outside of their demolished vehicle.
Superman and Wonder Woman have two encounters in the issue, both prompted by the appearance of multiple suns in the sky. When the Brazilian sun god Kuat battles Solaris the Tyrant Sun in space, wildfires break out in the rain forests. Once the heroes have quelled the fires, Wonder Woman explains how Kuat’s actions contributed to their outbreak. Superman casually dismisses the possibility that Kuat could be a god, illustrating the difference between his scientific worldview and Wonder Woman’s magical origins, but also demonstrating a colonialist outlook that scoffs at Brazilian religious traditions.
Later, the two meet at a diner in Metropolis. Superman insists that recent changes to global infrastructure have improved the world, but Wonder Woman disagrees. Without having any superhuman senses, she could not hear or smell the wildfires but knew the rain forest would be aflame because of over-farming, which makes forests more combustible. As she puts it, “no matter how many three-day workweeks or rotating syndicalist governments the world puts in place, powerful people game the system.” Wonder Woman is committed to helping people by forcing those in power to enact change, something that she feels she could not do if she joined the Justice League, whose methods have historically maintained the status quo.
This is an interesting examination of both real-world politics and the superhero tradition as a whole. The original Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, has worked peacefully with the US government as an ambassador and has aided the US armed forces. She used force to protect people, but seldom to coerce government officials.
Wonder Woman wants real change through direct action, without which she sees no future for the state. She argues that so long as corruption and class hierarchies exist, syndicalist movements will be undermined and natural disasters will be worsened for the sake of profit. Wonder Woman wants to save the world, not save the powerful people making it worse.