Review: Future State: Dark Detective #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colors: Jordie Bellaire,
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Future State: Dark Detective #2 introduces readers to Batman’s current alter ego, his new roommate, and the invisible threat that maybe already knows far too much. In the backup story, readers discover how Red Hood has survived in a world that hunts masks.
The story fills in the details surrounding the supposed death of Bruce Wayne. Peacekeeper 01 had Bruce Wayne in its sights. Until Bruce dove into the water.
Beneath the surface, Bruce discovers he is nearing death. Only to find that staring him in the face is the body of someone who also recently died. The height, weight, and other physical proportions are close enough that Bruce relies on its discovery to cover his tracks. It helps him that an explosion knocks out Peacekeeper 01.
Now a question remains. Do the peacekeepers know they killed someone other than Bruce Wayne? Which begs another question. If they know they killed the wrong person why are they still pretending that they killed the right one?
Batman’s alter-ego has a roommate named Noah. Noah thinks Batman is a boring roommate and graphic designer. Noah is afraid of many things, and now one of them is the tap water.
Batman on a motorcycle is always a cool visual. Even cooler is Batman on a motorcycle pursued by swarming insect-sized drones.
The discovery of drones introduces a powerful new threat. The Drone is the size of an insect, invisible, and unless they are malfunctioning they are silent. Batman’s discovery of one reveals an entire armada.
Positives Red Hood
The Red Hood backup story introduces a grittier version of the character than previously portrayed in comics. The Red Hood in Future State Gotham has discovered how to make his living hunting masks. These were people he might have stood by once before but who he now captures for money.
His partner and begrudging romantic interest is none other than Rose Wilson AKA Ravager. Like Jason Todd, Rose gets paid to hunt masks. Unlike Jason, she prefers to kill them rather than deal with the fuss of bringing them in alive.
The salt in the wound in the story comes from a young gang that operates while wearing the same Red Hood costume that created The Joker and led to the first iteration of Red Hood. Now, this fact is being used by Ravager to mock him.
A bonus positive is the appearance of 80s favorite Vigilante. The scene is short. Aside from the nostalgia of seeing an old character is hearing Vigilante scream, “Batman Lives”. It’s a phrase that others yell in derision and fling at hunters like Red Hood and those who work beside him.
When the tables turn. Red Hood must reevaluate his position. It will be fun to see how Ravager and others react.
There is a conceit within storytelling it allows for the unexpected. It makes exceptions for coincidence. It is the implausible possibility that keeps a story from ending. Each reader must decide if this is an authentic part of the story or a solution forced on the reader.
Future State Dark Detective #2 clarified that Batman faces many threats. He is being hunted but the citizens of Gotham are being stalked in the name of security. Their private lives are being violated, possibly recorded, and maybe documented and used against them in the future.
People deserve freedom and security. When the choice means sacrificing one for the other the loss is powerful. Batman must find a way to reveal the truth to Gotham’s citizens, stop the secret surveillance, and do it all while he is in the crosshairs of an enemy that holds the advantage at every turn. Readers would do well to hang on. It’s a wild ride.
Meanwhile, Red Hood is about to learn a powerful lesson about being on the wrong side. He may soon have to choose between what he has, what he wants, and what he believes. It’s only going to get more interesting.