Wonder Woman, the God of War, has met her match in the form of Nemesis a goddess in her own right that feeds upon the fear and hatred created by war. In the pages of two DC Comics event books “Wonder Woman: Futures End” #1 and “Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End” #1, their conflict comes to a head as writer Charles Soule with artists Rags Morales and Bart Sears show how Wonder Woman continues to fight a war she has been losing for years.
Through the two part story Soule is able to capture the essence of Wonder Woman’s fight and how being the God of War has changed her. Being a hero she seeks to end the conflict but war is never-ending and a counter balance is hard to find if the fighting never stops. Wonder Woman’s constant feelings of hope shows that it is not the fighting that makes her a champion just as the war does not make her a hero.
Wonder Woman has spent years trying to diminish the effects of war by removing the fear of loss that feeds Nemeis. She has recruited various soldiers of all backgrounds from all times to fight this fight – since they are already dead they have no fear of loss. Even as her soldiers continue to press forward it is a losing campaign as the fighting simply begets more fighting and as Wonder Woman is finally pushed to the edge, embracing her role as the God of War, all hope may be lost.
Attempting to diminish the effects of war only further pushes Nemesis to continue the conflict. It takes the involvement of Superman to help Wonder Woman see the world before her. It is not a conflict Superman is fully aware of but he allows Wonder Woman a brief respite to clear her head and find a new solution.
Throughout the story Soule is able to examine Wonder Woman’s role as the God of War and what it really means. She is the deity of everyone that goes to war and Nemesis should only be a part of that, instead Nemesis is gaining the upper hand over Wonder Woman at an alarming rate. There is a real character awakening as Wonder Woman figures out how Nemesis does continue to gain power.
Nemesis never speaks and never acts. The new villain is always present in the story as a looming threat that is only described through the eyes of Wonder Woman. This allows for the threat to feel more ominous as the danger moves to overwhelm the Earth.
Superman plays a pivotal role in the story for Wonder Woman’s awakening – not to solve her problem but to allow her the chance to come to her own conclusions about the nature of war. It is a nice touch that makes it clear this is Wonder Woman’s story and she is the hero.
Morales draws the first part of the story with Sears handling the second half. Morales creates the feeling of despair showing the forces of Nemesis overwhelming Wonder Woman’s army. He shows the various soldiers ripped through time as they get inspired by Wonder Woman to rally against their foe. It is beautiful draftsmanship that lays out the landscape of the story. When Wonder Woman is pushed to the edge you feel the power and the fury from her actions.
Sears gets to work out the story of both Wonder Woman and Superman showing the iconic heroes as they draw strength from each other. These are the two most powerful heroes on the planet and Sears captures that. As this chapter in the story is Wonder Woman’s awakening Sears is able to illuminate her gaining strength as the issue’s story builds.
“Wonder Woman: Futures End” #1 and “Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End” #1 is a well put together two-part story that is balanced in the way it explores the roles Wonder Woman plays, God of War and superhero. Soule gets to the heart of the character through the struggles with a great view of a champion overcoming the odds. There is plenty of ideas left over to feed the imagination or to fuel future stories for the characters. The artwork is brilliant by two artists with plenty of years drawing comics. Their experience helps build the drama of the story with big payoff reveals to conclude each chapter.