Warning: contains spoilers for Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2, Future State: Justice League #2, and Future State: Wonder Woman #2!
Jumping ahead into DC’s possible future, Future State has introduced many new characters, but few more instantly beloved than Yara Flor, the new Wonder Woman. In the handful of stories she’s had so far, Yara has proven herself as a true hero who loves adventure. While she’s prepared to take on her enemies head to head when she needs to, she’s also revealed a preference for an unusual way of avoiding a fight.
Nowhere is this tactic clearer than in Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2, from Dan Watters and Leila del Duca. In order to prevent the sun god Kuat from acting out after he loses his competition with Superman villain Solaris, Yara reveals she challenged the god to a race. She plays on his ego, knowing he can’t resist the chance to, “Best the Wonder Woman herself.” It’s a smart way to resolve the situation without conflict, but it’s also Yara’s go-to move: one she also employed against the underworld’s guard dog and her own teammate the Flash.
The first time Yara is seen using this method is in Future State: Wonder Woman #2. Yara is leading the three-headed dog, Cerberus, on a chase as she tries to reclaim one of her friends from the underworld. She does not need to run, as the previous issue made it clear she’s more than capable of slaying monsters. Her godly ally, Caipora, also tells her to “quit messing around,” revealing that Yara should be out of this chase already and on to the next aspect of her quest. To shake off her pursuer, Yara grabs a bone and throws it for the giant canine to run after. The new Wonder Woman is strong and capable of fighting, but she is also young and seems to enjoy finding fun where she can. Instead of knocking out or even slaying this creature, Yara chooses first to outrun it, then to use a peaceful method to get past it, treating it like a trial or test instead of an enemy.
Later, in Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2, Yara challenges Kuat to a race. A deity – and legitimate sun – having lost to a mechanical sun will definitely hurt some egos, and deity egos tend to be large and cause chaos when wounded. She plans to ride the Headless Mule and achieve victory to pacify Kuat. Ultimately, Superman gets along better with the Headless Mule and thanks to Solaris he is still weakened, so the two heroes swap villains. Superman ultimately runs the race, but Yara made it a non-violent encounter.
This tendency towards non-violent competition may become a running gag, since a reference to this tactic is also mentioned in Future State: Justice League #2. A White Martian imitating Yara appears on a talk show, recalling the Flash challenging her to race. Despite this being an impostor posing as Yara, there is a high chance that this is a legitimate memory due to the telepathy the Martians used to usurp the Justice League’s roles. This last example echoes a recurring competition between Superman and the Flash; one in which Wonder Woman is traditionally overlooked.
So far, Yara has chosen to race an underworld guardian, a sun deity and the most powerful speedster ever. Apart from races clearly being genuine fun for Yara, settling disagreements through relatively friendly competition allows her to avoid conflict with powerful beings, while letting them keep their pride and blow off steam. Future State already underlined how its heroes were becoming more open to non-violent solutions to crime, and Yara is the poster child for this shift; someone able to win most fights that come her way, but who would prefer things not get that far. As the new Wonder Woman continues her legacy, it’s clear she’ll be employing innovative methods to take on certain foes where violence isn’t necessary to reach resolution.