The first issue of Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman provides insight into the relationship between two iconic heroes in a dark future.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1 by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jen Bartel and Pat Brosseau on sale now.
Batman and Wonder Woman have always had a unique relationship, to say the least. Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman gives a glimpse into a world where Bruce is gone, and simultaneously reveals how much the Caped Crusader really meant to the Amazonian princess.
In this issue, the world has become a barren wasteland, with the only known survivors of Earth being Wonder Woman, a handful of Themysciran soldiers and a dying Swamp Thing. Feeling that her time on this planet is drawing to an end, Diana travels to the Batcave, where she interacts with the ghost of Batman. He tells her he has no regrets, and knew that this was his ultimate fate. He then attempts to inspire Diana, saying that he always saw the good in Gotham, that he doesn’t believe in lost causes, and if there was even the smallest chance Diana could save the future, she had to try. He concludes by telling her that she was always the heart of the Justice League before giving a rare smile and fading away.
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Teary eyed, she leaves the Batcave, but not without taking away a reminder of her old friend and teammate, his iconic utility belt. She later tells Swamp Thing that she took the belt because she needed to keep him with her, and couldn’t leave him behind.
Wonder Woman is a goddess who fights as a guardian of humanity; as such, it would be easy for anyone to admire her. But for a mortal man to leave such an impact on someone who has proven powerful enough to best Superman in combat and has journeyed from the top of Mount Olympus to the depths of Hades is an incredible accomplishment. Even in death, Bruce insists he was just a cog in the crime fighting machine, but Diana still sees both sides of him: the scared boy who managed to turn his fear into a means for good, and the hero who has stood shoulder to shoulder with gods. The fact that the last place she wanted to go before leaving the planet forever was Bruce’s home speaks volumes to how much he meant to her.
Of course, their relationship has been explored many times in the past, although anything that leads to more than just respect for each other is usually avoided or written out of continuity. Many times they have considered taking things to a more romantic place, but both usually understand that in their line of work, it would be nearly impossible. Recently, the two heroes were stuck fighting an unending hoard of monsters with nothing but each other, and were close to kissing, but refrained due to their respective partners. During Blackest Night, when Diana was under the control of a Black Ring, she was rescued when a Violet Ring showed her a vision of Batman and the two kissed, breaking its hold on her. The two of them were even married in the world of Injustice, although that turned out to be in a dream being had by a comatose Superman.
In a world without Batman, Wonder Woman’s unique relationship with him is highlighted and makes his loss even greater. While some may have crumbled under the pressure of being the last true hero left on Earth, hopefully with both Bruce’s belief and his belt, Diana will continue being what he always believed her to be: a hero.
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