Future State: Dark Detective #2
The lead story in this split feature issue follows Bruce Wayne recapping the events of his "death" while bringing the reader up to speed on his current situation in this new Gotham City. The follow-up story features the current fate of Jason Tood, Red Hood, a vigilante hunter working with The Magistrate and Ravager. But is there more than meets the eye to Jason's apparent betrayal?
Tamaki and Mora pick up where they left off with #1 in this compelling neo-noir narrative that plays heavily with light and color to set it off. The structure of this issue places the mystery of who is behind The Magistrate and who Peacekeeper 01 is at the forefront unlike the previous issue and the focus on place setting. We know from the previous issue that Bruce is essentially broke but here we are introduced to his new roommate, an intense conspiracy theorist who may be slightly less paranoid than one would initially think. There are consistent hints throughout this story that lead the reader to wonder if the face behind Peacekeeper 01 will be a familiar one but that, of course, could very well be a red herring as Tamaki and Mora weave a far more complex tale than I expected out of a 4-issue mini-series. The added bonus of pointing towards Tynion IV’s recently wrapped “The Joker War” helps to show the ways in which this story could spring from current continuity although the express purpose of Future State is to say “maybe but not definitely”, laying seeds for potential future stories.
The back-up story featuring Red Hood is delivered by Williamson and Milonogiannis. This story was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The question hanging in the air of whether or not Jason has some underlying scheme (the noticeable fact that he doesn’t kill the masks he brings in where Rose does seems to suggest it is possible) is good for a hook and plays nicely into the thematics of the lead story. There did seem to be some disconnect between the art style and the writing at points, however, such as when it is suggested that Jason is ugly (disfigured?) under the mask but is still drawn with the square-chin handsomeness one would expect out of a comics superhero. The suggestions could be that it was sarcasm but the clarity in that moment (and a few others) seemed just slightly out-of-synch. Not a fatal flaw by any means because despite that minor gripe, I do find myself interested in where the story goes. It does feel like, in terms of the spirit of Future State, though, this story may be the least imaginative in terms of “what the future could hold” as it seems like an extremely natural progression for the character given what we’ve seen over the past decade or so but I’m open to having my mind changed.
Future State: Dark Detective #2 continues to delve deeper into Gotham City under The Magistrate as we see Bruce and Jason cope with the new world order.
Future State: Dark Detective #2: If You Think Everyone’s Out to Get You…
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10