DC Future State: Dark Detective #2 pushes the narrative forward with ease. There is enough intrigue to warrant the dark detective title, and there are a few nice action set-pieces too.
DC Future State: Dark Detective #2 picks up the story of run-down Bruce Wayne in the Cyber-stalked streets of Gotham, fighting for survival in a dark future state.
We open strongly with Bruce being attacked and chased by Peacekeeper 0-1. There’s a tense chase, Bruce is wounded and in trouble, stakes seem high and the whole sequence is well done. The action flits between Then and Now strands, as we are drip-fed the events that have led up to the current Batman situation.
Bruce is living in the only house in Gotham that still has a physical key to open the door with “room-mate” Noah, who is paranoid about all kinds of things. Under the name of Jeff (Bruce Wayne is now declared dead), Batman is returning to his detective roots to try to put together the pieces of a puzzle that has The Magistrate at its center. Batman is slowly uncovering the mystery, but it seems that Wayne Tech may be at the heart of the whole problem.
Written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Dan Mora, DC Future State: Dark Detective #2 pushes the narrative forward with ease. There is enough intrigue to warrant the dark detective title, and there are a few nice action set-pieces too. The only problem I have is with the lettering; I’m not keen on the inner dialogue font that Bruce has, but that may be nitpicking.
The “back up” feature is by Joshua Williamson with Giannis Milonogiannis on art and focuses on Red Hood who is chasing a masked outlawed that has taken the guise of Vigilante. I’m not sure how many of you will be familiar with this character. DC’s answer to The Punisher was a gritty, violent book that spun out of Teen Titans in the ’80s. I’m sure the character had a few reboots along the way, but in the final issue of his first run, the character created even more controversy by committing suicide.
We open with Red Hood in pursuit of the Vigilante tribute act, on a motorbike. With bounties to collect, “mask alerts” sends Red Hood out in hot pursuit, meanwhile, the general public calls him “mask killer” and yells “Batman lives” as he leaves. A meeting with fellow hunter Ravager sends them on a chase, but not everything is as it seems and the pair find themselves in a setup.
This backup has a decent enough premise, but the art veers from Manga to cartoon, with no real style, and the sketchy faces, and lack of any real detail and backgrounds, lets it down badly. This is uninspired comic art, by the numbers.
The trouble with a lot of these Future State books is the price point. This book is $5.99 and though the Batman stuff is great, the backup, which has the same page count as the Batman story, feels cheap. I guess DC has decided that Batman fans will pay for a book that he only features in half of.
I would have much preferred two issues of Dark Detective, with no backup story, and they could have delivered the 4-part story in two issues. It may be telling that many other Future State comics only have 2 issues, and many have no back up for $3.99, but hey, that’s comics.