Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #105 by Drew Barth
Peeking Into the Future
So, the highs of a Senate victory on Tuesday night into the lows of an insurrection on Wednesday afternoon. I’ll rearrange some deckchairs on the Titanic for a bit while I keep talking about comics.
Anyway, DC’s last event, Dark Metal, ended with the multiverse getting a weird upgrade. Instead of the 52 earths we’ve grown accustomed to, we’re back the era of infinite earths and infinite multiverses. What does that mean for the Universe as a whole? More or less, everything is canon again and everything matters. Every episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold? That happened. That time Ted Kord Reagan to drop dead? Canon. John Constantine and Death’s sex-ed PSA comic? The most canon. But with this new well of possibilities, we have the next new event: Future State. For the most part, it’s a look at where the DC Universe is going and what kinds of new stories and characters are emerging from the new multiverse. The first batch of new stories happened last week and the signs are already looking good.
I took a look at two of the new series this past week: Swamp Thing by Ram V, Mike Perkins, and June Chung and Wonder Woman by Jöelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire. Both series give us a glimpse into the worlds of the familiar and the new: Swamp Thing now resides in a world almost devoid of humanity and the new Wonder Woman, Yara Flor, must travel to the Underworld to rescue one of her warrior sisters. While each story does have a sense of the familiar—namely the existential musings of Swamp Thing and Wonder Woman dealing with the Greek pantheon—there still remains something new and interesting at play.
But what makes both series fascinating from just this first issue is how they play with their mythologies. Wonder Woman has always been steeped in myth and this is no different when Yara Flor battles a hydra and takes to the Underworld, but there’s a bit extra here. Mythologies in DC have always all been canon—every pantheon of gods exist next to each other and with this issue, we have the first mention of Tupã, the creator in Guarani mythology. So we’re finally breaking from the Greek and Norse pantheons that many of Wonder Woman’s stories center around into something different.
Likewise with Swamp Thing, we have another side of creation myths. In the past, there have been other characters with similarities to Swamp Thing, the Floronic Man comes to mind, but this is the first time Swamp Thing himself has taken on the role of the creation myth. In his story, every character we see was created by him and his senses border on the omnipotent. He is more than we’ve seen in any other story, which only makes me wonder how long a Swamp God like this can last.
While Future State is only beginning and more stories are coming out every week—the second batch just came out yesterday—these two on their own feel like a solid foundation for even more stories later. They feel like starting points in ways that Rebirth and New52 didn’t years ago, namely since they’re creating these new mythologies with every page. But many of these stories are only going to last for two to four issues, so what happens in our future is still a mystery. I can only hope they can maintain this quality for as long as possible.
Get excited. Get to the Future.
Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.