DC Future State: Dark Detective (2021)
A Bruce Wayne story!
Bruce Wayne broke and on the run. What a great concept! I really like seeing Batman alone and resourceful. His detective skills shine when he’s limited on gadgets and low on cash. Future State: Dark Detective does a great job of raising the stakes for Bruce and keeping readers engaged.
In the comic, the Magistrate is policing Gotham City and hunting masked vigilantes. Bruce Wayne and other wealthy investors have been declared dead by the City. Still alive but on the run, Bruce is determined to uncover the extent of the Magistrate’s control and stop them.
There are two other stories in Dark Detective. Grifter and Red Hood both feature in their own antihero adventures in the Magistrate’s Gotham. The Grifter works with Luke Fox and Huntress, while Red Hood works with Ravager.
I was nervous this was going to be a Tim Fox story. I like his character but I was ready to find out what happens to Bruce’s Batman in Future State. I’m glad to say I’m not disappointed with Dark Detective. This comic almost centers the entire Magistrate plot around Bruce – and that feels right to me.
What I liked
I really like seeing Bruce lose his superpower of being rich. It forces the character to get creative. I enjoyed watching him live in a run-down basement with a conspiracy theorist. It really puts him in a situation I’ve never seen him in before. A situation where his money and connections can’t save him. All he has is himself and his wit.
I was also glad Jason Todd got his own story. He was briefly mentioned in Future State: Robin Eternal. The namedrop was enough to get me looking forward to reading about his antics.
What I didn’t like
Apart from Grifter’s story, the comic doesn’t really provide any satisfying conclusions. It turns out that DC will be releasing an ongoing series Future State: Gotham in May. This is disappointing since I’d hoped that my first comic event would have been a self-contained anthology. Instead, DC might just continue to milk this event well beyond its two-month run. That said, I’m glad Jason is the main focus of the upcoming story. Bruce and Jason had the most compelling Gotham arcs in Future State in my opinion.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Future State: Dark Detective. The comic does a great job of creating tension for its characters. In each of the three stories, the main character finds himself backed into a corner at some point. This form of storytelling especially shines when set in Gotham. The city itself has almost become its own brooding, beloved character for DC Comics. So I’d be totally lying if I said I won’t be checking out Future State: Gotham in May.