Fugure State: Robin Eternal #1
Lazarus Resin is on its way to Gotham City, and the Magistrate intends to use this regenerative super drug to make its forces immortal! That is, unless Tim Drake has anything to say about it! Join the ultimate heist at 20,000 feet as Robin and Spoiler hijack the sky convoy that could mean the end of freedom in Gotham forever-if the emotional baggage between Tim and Stephanie doesn’t do them in first!
Far from the high fantasy trappings of Wonder Woman, writer Meghan Fitzmartin’s Robin Eternal throws readers into the high-stakes world of Future State’s Gotham, presenting a futuristic techno-thriller with light supernatural elements, which is the sort of magical combination that Batman stories have always thrived in. Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira provide the art, well-suited to the moody, slightly spooky, and action-packed vibe the issue requires, and the always-amazing Adriano Lucas casts things in a moody, glowing cyberpunk palette.
The story, picking up and running with various threads running through last week’s Next Batman, involves the Magistrate continuing to tighten its grip on Gotham in the wake of Bruce Wayne’s death. Tim Drake stands as the only one of Bruce’s Robins still able to wear the costume, and he’s doing his best to keep things safe in the city. Gotham has been turned into an isolated state many times, left to fester or fight its way back to the world, and Future State is no different in this regard. What is different, though, is how freely creators have picked plot and design elements from other works, most notably the Arkham series of video games. That series gives FS:RE #1, and the FS Batman stories more broadly, a sleek, clean, somewhat inhuman sheen clashing against the art deco goth aesthetic that has been Batman’s bread and butter for so long. There is a sense of real menace lurking in the pages here, an overbearing security state willing and able to bring the hammer down at a moment’s notice. Stories that put the Bat-family on the defensive are usually compelling, and this story is no exception: seeing how each member reacts when they don’t have the support infrastructure of Bruce Wayne gives writers the chance to have a little fun.
Once Tim is saved by Spoiler, he sets off on trying to figure out what’s different about this automaton, which didn’t drop until she took its head off. She gets a good line in when she declines to help—“I’m not interested in watching the people I love die”—another illustration of how dangerous this world can be.
From beginning to end, this issue is a fast-paced thriller, moving from one plot point to the next with only the minimum amount of necessary information to keep the story going. Not knowing everything about this Gotham is part of its charm, such as the looming question of Damian Wayne, who is mentioned several times, but never expanded upon. This issue is airtight, and knows exactly what it needs to do, and concerns itself with precisely that.
By the time we get to the end, things are at a fever pitch, and one final twist is thrown at readers on the final page, setting up another wrinkle in an already interesting, twisty story. Future State: Robin Eternal isn’t doing anything fancy, but it’s a propulsive, compelling, and fun read.
Future State: Robin Eternal #1 takes us back to Gotham to begin a satisfying, high-stakes action thriller.
Future State: Robin Eternal #1: The Future Is Bleak, But Boy Is It Fun
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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