Double Review: Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 And Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1


This week, as part of DC Comic’s September “Futures End” event, we got a two-part story from writer Charles Soule that spanned Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 and Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1. It involved a lengthy dream and a time travelling Superman, and was set in a hypothetical future that exists only to give DC another weekly series that won’t at all matter or probably ever come up again once it’s done. In short, these two issues were a colossal waste of time. I’ll explain why momentarily, but first:


I am going to discuss significant plot details from these two issues!

Don’t read any further unless you’ve read the issues!

Unless you’re skipping the issues but are curious about what happened. I can understand that.

Let’s begin with Wonder Woman, where Wonder Woman was engaged in a war in some sort of mystical realm with an entity called Nemesis. Wonder Woman commanded legions of dead soldiers via her god of war powers, and had a council of generals that included Alexander the Great and Napoleon, the latter of which was traitor who was summarily dispatched. She rescued a trapped platoon, met with her council and killed the fake Napoleon, and then decided to go full berserker god of war and take the fight straight to Nemesis, at which point Superman showed up. That was the end of the issue.

So I opened Superman/Wonder Woman, and guess what? That whole adventure was just a dream. Nemesis had trapped Wonder Woman in Tartarus, where she was fighting demons as an apocalyptic battle played in her head. Superman, time-travelling for some reason, snapped her out of her fog and the two escaped Tartarus and returned to Paradise Island. Wonder Woman then defeated Nemesis by transforming into a white-clad god of peace. The end.

Both issues were aggressively bad. The Wonder Woman issue not only made very little sense, it was rendered immediately pointless by Superman/Wonder Woman. Nothing that happened in Wonder Woman mattered, at all. Not one bit. Which is sort of the theme of all of “Futures End”, I suppose, but still. It was a completely pointless issue to set up a similarly pointless issue of Superman/Wonder Woman that accomplished pretty much nothing but a costume change. Nemesis was defeated, sure, but Nemesis was only a threat so that this two-part story could exist. I have no idea if this time travelling Superman plays a role in the wider “Futures End” event or if god of peace Wonder Woman will have a significant role now, but as a two issue storyline this was just a mess.

The writing wasn’t good, as evidenced by the bizarre structure and poor storytelling, and the art didn’t help things either. The art in Wonder Woman was serviceable at times but generally dull, lifeless, and oddly coloured. The art in Superman/Wonder Woman was slapdash and unappealing. There was just nothing enjoyable going on in either book, from the covers through to the end.

And here’s the thing: I am absolutely fine with stories that are completely pointless and will never come up again, so long as they are good. On a whim, I picked up Batgirl: Futures End #1, Gail Simone’s final issue writing the character. It was set in this “Futures End” world that, again, will no longer matter at all once this storyline is over, and had a story that really had no bearing on anything outside of the book itself. And it was WEIRD. A Bane-inspired Barbara Gordon managed a troupe of Batgirls after her brother killing her husband sent her on a quest to infiltrate and learn from some of the world’s top criminals. But guess what? It was really, really good. Simone’s writing was sharp, hitting the emotions of the dark moments while bringing in humour and making all of the crazy goings on work somehow. And the art was fantastic; the book looked great, from the cover through the entire story. And while it’s as pointless and ephemeral as these Wonder Woman stories, it offered something fun for fans, namely Stephanie Brown in a Batgirl suit again and the long awaited return, however fleeting, of Cassandra Cain. It took what should be a throwaway issue and made it mean something, plus it was just a really good, enjoyable read.

Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman combined didn’t have a fraction of the heart, fun, or style that Batgirl had. In terms of craft, they were poor. In terms of entertainment, they barely registered. In terms of giving the fans some small thing to be excited about, they had nothing. They just felt like really bad filler.

Let’s end this review on a positive note, because I’ve been trashing these books pretty hard. I do like the god of peace outfit. The white with the gold accents looks sharp, I dig the tall boots, and it’s a look I’d be interested in seeing more of in some capacity elsewhere. I don’t know where or how, I just know that I like the costume. And if you’re going to have only one interesting page over the course of two issues, I suppose you may as well make it the last one so you can go out on a high note.

Apart from that one page, basically what I’m saying here is skip those two issue. And go do yourself a personal favour and pick up Batgirl: Futures End #1 because it is a delight. It’s a big, complete story in 20 pages with lots of fan favourite characters and great moments, and it’s a wonderful cap to Simone’s run on the book. It will bring you joy.

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13 Responses to “Double Review: Wonder Woman: Futures End #1 And Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End #1”

  1. Popper Most Says:

    yeah Simone can pat herself on the back because Batgirl FE was amazing. That’s how I like my heroes, strong and buff and second to none.

  2. Rocky Says:

    My comments about the SM/WW Futures End:

    1. If Nemesis killed Eirene, the Goddess of Peace, then she MUST, according to the rules of Olympus, become the Goddess of Peace. Which prompts the question: How can WW become the Goddess of Peace at the end of the issue? It is not possible for WW to assume the mantle of Peace. She is the Goddess of War and Nemesis is the Goddess of Peace.

    2. All of which leads to the paradoxical scenario in Futures End; namely that:

    a. WW as the Goddess of War takes 5 years to figure out that she need not choose ‘War’ just because she possesses its mantle; and

    b. Nemesis as the Goddess of Peace (after killing Eirene) is much more intelligent than WW because she has no problem figuring out that just because she inherited the ‘peace’ mantle, she need not pursue it. Nemesis ignores the rules of Olympus and ignores the responsibilities of a god of peace and pursues war. Unfortunately for the world, Diana is so stupid that she assumes she must pursue war because she is a god of war.

    (I am trying to remember a WW story where Diana was portrayed as stupid as she is in this ‘possible’ future. Can’t think of one).

    The writer (Charles Soule) tries to make Diana come across as noble, insightful and profound but accomplishes the exact opposite. Take, for example, this quote from Diana….

    “I thought I could change war, from within. I’ve always known there’s a time to fight.”

    How stupid does Diana become in 5 years??? Does she not realize that she is talking about herself? She IS war. Thus, IPSO FACTO she can “change war from within”! Since she IS the very embodiment of War she need merely change her thoughts and the nature of war can change to peace.

    Sadly, we readers must rest in the depressing knowledge that it will take our beloved heroine 5 years to figure this out.

    Nemesis figured it out in 5 minutes. Which is why her first act was to kill the goddess of peace, inherit the god-mantle of peace, and then change the nature of peace to war with but a thought….. coupled with aggression.

    Which leads to a final question I have; namely, how can WW magically transform herself into a Goddess of Peace at the end when she clearly did NOT kill Nemesis. Unless I am wrong, Nemesis possesses the mantle of PEACE, not Diana.
    So how did Diana become empowered with white light (in apparent contradiction to her god-mantle of War and lack of god-mantle of peace)?

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      I think you’re right on with all of your points here. The way I read it was that Wonder Woman convinced the spirit of the dead goddess of peace to grant her that mantle, but yeah, that flies in the face of everything we know about how transferring a godhead works in this universe. Maybe it’s different for each god? Or maybe this is just a terrible story. At least it’s a hypothetical future that we’ll all have forgotten about when it actually is five years from now.

    • Popper Most Says:

      You’re wrong reason being that Charles Soule concocted this. He can break the rules and get away with it because he’s got goldenboy immunity. He’s very “creative” since he doesn’t worry about his ideas having to be coherent. Charles Soule is a lawyer, a father, a musician and still finds enough time to write 15 comic books, he’s obviously an infallible genius so if you happen to find an inconsistency in one of his book, it’s your fault, you misunderstood and (you’re also probably a dumb feminist bitch)

      Nemesis didn’t inherit the mantle of peace because the new rules say she doesn’t have to now. She killed Eirene to create a world of war in order to make the God of War weak (?) when that should’ve only made her stronger. Then she trapped Wonder Woman in Tartarus, where the Gods jailed their parents but the new rules say if you have divine blood you can just leave now. Of course Hades couldn’t just go there himself so they went through all the trouble of bringing Superman from the past. Superman then traveled to hell to save his loved one, he briefed Wonder Woman, she told the Amazons to sacrifice themselves to buy precious time while she pointlessly talked, by the scrying pool, about a War that Superman won against the Gods. By this point she wasted so much time blathering away that she now needs Superman to hold the demons off while she gets the Mantle of Peace. And voila, that is how he wrote another critically acclaimed story.

      Personally i don’t see war as death, I see it as inevitable. When Wonder Woman became God of War I thought hmm what an clever idea, Wonder Woman now was the living impersonation of Superheroism, the endless war against the evils of this world. War is not evil when you do it to defend yourself from evil.

      If you haven’t been following SM/WW I shall inform that Soule’s always portrayed Wonder Woman as a bloody idiot. This was actually the smartest she’s ever been under Soule’s pen.

      • Rocky Says:

        Popper, it is clear how you feel about Soule. Lol. I actually enjoy Soule’s writing of Swamp Thing and Death of Wolverine. “Goldenboy” or not, Soule can only be ascribed some of the responsibility for WW’s inconsistent portrayals in the new 52. Alas, the problem has always been with DC editorial. DC can hire the best in the business but it means nothing if you have morons in the editorial department. It has never been a secret that Dan Didio hated having to respect pre-new 52 continuity, but the adjunct failure of the new 52 stories to stay inherently coherent within even a limited 3 year run is testament to DC editorials ongoing failure to maintain the discipline of simply reading comic book stories and REMEMBERING WHAT THE F#*K HAPPENED TO THE CHARACTER IN A MERE 3 YEAR TIME SPAN!!! I mean come on! Brian Azarello has yet to complete ONE full WW story. It is anticipated he will actually accomplish this by issue 35 but I’ll believe it when I read it.


        …in regard to SM/WW Futures End #1…..

        How hard would it have been for Eddie Berganza (Group Editor) or Anthony Marques (Assistance Editor) to have mentioned the obvious plot hole that Diana could not become a goddess of peace given the established new 52 continuity? Unless of course, Eddie and Anthony never actually kept up to date on Azarello’s run.

        What is so disappointing from my perspective is how avoidable the obvious continuity errors were. A simple well-placed comment uttered by Diana about how the rules of god-hood had changed in the previous 5 years is all that it would have taken to correct the plot hole.

        I KNOW that this is just a “possible” future but if the “futures end” scenario is not incorporated by logical and consistent reference to what has been established IN THE PRESENT, the the entire point of the Future End Event is lost. As it stands, I can only conclude that this scenario will never happen because it very clearly can NOT result from the existing continuity precisely because it is premised on a very different set of rules.

        Which leads to the obvious criticism (and the harshest criticism that can ever be levied against a comic book story); namely: WHAT’S THE POINT?

      • Popper Most Says:

        Yeah, you’re blame shifting because you like his work, that’s what I mean by goldenboy immunity. I enjoy Swamp Thing, it’s enjoyable, not tedious but here again his ideas are very incoherent and inherently wrong. He doesn’t care, he goes through with them then employs shenanigans to trick people into accepting them. Personally Swamp Thing is not a character that I care immensely about so I can live with the fact he killed the parliament of trees or that he took the rice paddies away from the poor and left them to die. Suddenly there was a “balance” in the green that made no sense and flies in the face of what he stood for as a human in the previous run when he developed the biorestorative formula and frankly made Holland look like a incompassionate douche. Had Wonder Woman done this stuff I would’ve freaked the fuck out.

        She didn’t kill anyone but she begged his best friend that she committed suicide – “Please Hessia I beg you, go heal that monster that will surely kill you” and it didn’t occur to her that the the lasso would be useful to subdue the creature. Hestia told her to stay behind and she did. She’s stupid, Tony does her face to look stupid and she talks funny so reading sm/ww has just been an excruciating experience for me. Soule also took special care to list every one of Wonder Woman’s weaknesses and then added some. She’s conceited, not as humane as her boyfriend, not as resolute and nowhere near as powerful. She’s just Superman’s “woman” that he must protect.

        Sure none of this this should’ve passed through the editorial sieve so I blame the editors and I’m sure Soule found many restrictions but they didn’t put these ideas in his head. He must take ownership for them. Maybe Tony Daniel’s been ghostwriting smww, I don’t know but I’m looking forward to seeing what Tomasi will do under the same editorial team.

        For me Azz and Chiang are Wonder Woman’s saving grace actually because everyone else is producing shit at the moment and I predict Meredith will too. Of course choosing her husband to succeed Chiang is a decision that still gives me pause.

  3. rollo Says:

    I heard charles soule eats babies and is responsible for every bad thing that happened to everyone today.

  4. IronBerserk Says:

    Huh…I actually enjoyed Superman/Wonder Woman😛 It’s exactly how I thought Diana would end up. She would end up depressed in an endless cycle of being in War’s, whether they be bad or “just” wars. Diana embodies the concept of war but she herself does not like war. Clearly this is a conflict of wills that she couldn’t accept. Being the Goddess of Peace definitely suits her more. Ambassador to peace perhaps? Also, you guys think this is bad writing? I’m not so sure about that:
    “I should never have been war. War is aggression. War is base. War is cruel. War is the worst of humanity. There is a difference between fighting for what you believe, being a warrior, and war. War is death. I love life.”
    Beautifully well written and said. It’s what I’ve been saying ever since this whole Diana being “war” shenanigans started. Wonder Woman is NOT war and she should never have represented it. War is an evil act that involves murder on both sides whether they be good or bad. War is the final terrible solution after all else has failed.

    Point being, I liked it🙂

    • Rocky Says:

      Glad you enjoyed it IronBerserk🙂 (Cool name by the way)

      And you elude to an interesting point that Diana could be focussing on her previous status as an “ambassador of peace” on the final page as opposed to being a goddess of peace. The true mystery that arises then (assuming that Diana is NOT the Goddess of Peace on the final page) is “What exactly is she?” and how did she suddenly attain new super powers akin to a White Lantern? And all in a span of 5 minutes.

      On another note, I have no problem admitting that my review of this one shot is perhaps harsh. But it underscores my observation of how almost every writer who approaches WW writes her.

      1. Cue act of violence…. check
      2. Cue impossible odds…. check
      3. Cue obligatory male character whose presence is necessary to inspire WW to a common sense revelation…… check
      4. Cue eloquent speech that we have heard Diana utter literally hundreds of times over the course of 5 decades (War=bad; peace=love etc etc or some variation thereof)
      5. Cue Diana’s mental revelation to be so incredibly awesome that her mere presence defeats the armies of darkness…… check.

      I am NOT kidding when I say that this formula is derivative and painfully predictable where WW stories are concerned.

      Having said that, I will admit that this Future End One shot would be a very good introduction to WW to anyone as it plays into the WW stereotype perfectly (as per the formula above). And unlike Azarello it contains a story that doesn’t necessitate a three year commitment to enjoy.

      My bias very likely taints my judgment of the story. After reading WW comics since the early 70’s I am in a continuous state of shock that writer after writer gets trapped in a variation of the same formulaic storytelling maze.

      And what makes it all the more disappointing for me is that Futures End stories are by their very concept, SUPPOSED to be wild and crazy ideas about how our beloved characters could end up. Look at what happens to Futures End Batgirl, or Superman, or Batman, or Justice League etc etc. There are some really cool and crazy ideas for wherever DC characters could end up 5 years hence.

      But Wonder Woman?

      Same old same old. (Her formula stays the same)

      And for that reason I can both agree with you that the story is okay, but express disappointment in the same breath.

      It is depressing that WW cannot escape her storytelling cage even in a dystopian future.


      • IronBerserk Says:

        Very good response, and I agree to your assessment of the formula. I enjoyed it, sure. But that’s not to say there weren’t problems😛 This Futures End one shot like story is only a flashforward to what to expect in later upcoming chapters of WW. If some concept like this gets created where in which WW loses her “war” status and becomes something more, but in a way more detailed fashion of course, then I honestly wouldn’t mind.

        As for men “helping” her…well lets be fair here, most heroes in the DC universe are men. There is nothing wrong with getting friends to help you and unfortunately the friend count is restricted to the male dominant DCU. LOL!

        But yes, I definitely see your frustration.

  5. In My Not So Humble Opinion: the Writings and Ramblings of Ben Herman Says:

    I’m relieved I read your review before deciding whether or not to buy Wonder Woman: Futures End. Yep, gonna be skipping that one. But I might follow your advice and ppick up Batgirl: Future’s End because I like Gail Simone’s work, and it sounds so gloriously insane🙂

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