Monday, February 15, 2021

Review: Future State Superman/Wonder Woman #2

Future State Superman/Wonder Woman #2 came out last week, the last part of a quick 2 part mini-series. I have to admit I enjoyed this quick and silly story. In many ways it felt like an old school The Brave and the Bold or DC Comics Presents 2 parter from the Bronze Age. Our two heroes meet. Our two heroes swap enemies to try and befuddle and win. We get a smidge of characterization about our protagonists. And they end as allies.

In the aftermath of the disappointing Kara Zor-El Superwoman and Superman of Metropolis minis, this simple little adventure tale was charming. 

Writer Dan Watters has a decent character hook baked into the story. Superman doesn't think he can take a second off, let alone a day off. He feels the pressure of protecting the world and so never rests. That contrasts nicely to the 'live for the moment' vibe I get off of the Yara Flor Wonder Woman. Thankfully, her over the top anger and haughtiness is tamped down a bit in this issue. Add in the scientific Solaris and the 'dude bro' Sun God Kuat and you have a nice cauldron of players. The result is a story which nicely meshes humor and pathos.

Leila Del Luca's art is wild and vibrant, giving us some nice oomph to the story telling. In particular, Del Luca's Wonder Woman is stunning and powerful, a bit different from the somewhat gaunt Superman.

In short, this was a fun story. And goodness knows I need some fun in my life these days.

On to the book.

Last issue, Solaris burned red weakening Jon and forcing him to plummet from the sky.

Waking in the Fortress, he is told how he formed a Bugs Bunny style int the street. Funny.

Remember that Kuat and Solaris have been causing solar hijinx in the sky. Kuat is angry that Solaris beat him in a race.

In an effort to pump up the Sun God's pride, Yara challenges him to a race. She figures if she loses that all will be well.

But she can't saddle a space steed in Superman's Fortress to challenge Kuat. As a result, the Fortress is a mess.

I do like how Yara knows that playing on Kuat's pride is the way to get him back in line. Nice. 

And Del Luca does a good job here of showing the disaster of the Fortress.

Suddenly Jon realizes that he is almost too late to do his daily afternoon task. 

Every day .. every day ... he fires an atomic gun into a black hole threatening to swallow an inhabited planet. 

The energy from the rifle seems to sate the black hole, keeping the planet within it's orbit. 

Every day, in mid-morning, Jon has to save a planet.

He never takes a rest. You can really see the fatigue on his face in that last panel. 

Really, he doesn't have time for this nonsense.

You might remember how last issue, Wonder Woman slapped around an elected official for alleged excesses.

Here Jon gives us a different take on life. Sure at one point demagogues and disasters almost ruined the planet but humanity pulled out of the tail spin. 

Metropolis looks like a nice verdant city with plants adorning every skyscraper.

And this is the world he has to protect. 

It is a little odd to compare this to last issue's scene where Yara complains of traffic jams and helipads spoiling the land.

In a nice Bronze Age wrinkle, the heroes swap off their antagonists. 

Superman saddles up an alien horse from his Fortress and challenges Kuat to a race. After all, beating Superman might be even better than beating Wonder Woman.

And Wonder Woman takes on Solaris.

Love that. 

Of course, so much discussion happened around the energy gun in the first scene, you knew, like Chekov's gun, it was going to be discharged in the final act.

Here, Yara keeps blasting Solaris knowing he will lap up the energy. But ultimately, she feeds him so much energy that his red flame turns blue.

Since a red sun is all that was keeping Superman from laying the smack down, Solaris decides to skedattle.

This a clever ruse by our hero making a gun, a destructive weapon, into a benefit for the villain. But you can get too much of a good thing.

And then, without the red sun present, Superman laps Kuat multiple times and then literally punches the sun, stunning Kuat into quiet. The switch of antagonists worked because Superman was the one who could break Kuat but only if the red sun was gone.

I think Kuat is an absolute hoot. Despite being dazed and beaten, he talks about how this proves he could stand alone against Superman and Wonder Woman. Every prideful, even his defeat is a victory.

But the best thing about that is Superman having to hold back Wonder Woman from thrashing Kuat for this lie. Remember, they were ultimately trying to assuage Kuat.So let him have his lie. (Now you might say if that was the goal, why didn't Superman just throw the race?)

Still, seeing Yara lose her cool was great. Sometimes blowhards like Kuat need to learn a lesson.

And so we get peace and tranquility again.

Yara gives Jon a much needed day off. But he shows up to the Fortress anyways albeit this time just to share a coffee with his friend.

Silly little story where our heroes are taught lessons. Jon knows he needs a day off. Yara learns maybe humanity isn't all bad. But even better, they teach the villains a lesson. So much fun. And an improvement from last issue.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

This was a fun book, I liked this more than the other ones I’ve read.

I think Watters confused red dwarf suns with red giant ones there, but that’s just a nitpick.

Anonymous said...

This was one of the Future State stories I will remember fondly. It was funny and light. The first issue felt a little weird, but once I got into the silly spirit of it, it was just fun.

The congested city scene in the first issue was Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Evidently Yara knows where Jon's Fortress is, and can get into it without his help.

It appears there's a Supergirl costume in a case in Jon's trophy room, along with one of Conner Kent's. There's also a Legion ring, and perhaps a busted Kelex?

I was surprised to learn in the May solicit for Wonder Girl #1 that Yara was born in Boise, Idaho. So, I have to adjust how I imagine she sounds in my head.

The TV bio for her says that she's a Latina Dreamer - don't know if that applies to the comic version, but presumably would. The news a few days ago was that they are not moving forward with the Wonder Girl TV show, though.


Martin Gray said...

You convinced me, Anj, I shall give this a go. Top review!

Anonymous said...

I really like Yara as a character. I hope they end up doing a lot with her in current continuity or at least following her in her own continuity. They still can't manage to get Kara right but Yara is pretty much the next best thing right about now.