Read or Die

Review of Future State: Batman: Dark Detective

Future State (2021-): Batman: Dark Detective by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so my last glimpse of DC’s Future State didn’t impress. THIS compilation, though, took storylines in a different direction – one worth reading. The creative team ventured down a road that not only made sense; the strands connected together while also standing separate. That’s what a reader expects when they see a collection.

Running with the concept of vigilantes as the enemy? That’s a work of genius. It twists the underlying dissent that runs through the Batman general populace and brings it into the foreground. Sure, the copy reads a “darker Gotham,” but it feels natural as you trim the pages. When has the doomed city not hurled itself toward an undefined dystopia? The creative teams have merely given shape to one possibility. And it’s authentic and reasonable given previous storylines. (Ironically, it plays nicely with having just finished the Joker War)

Okay, I could have done without Superman – I’ll ding them on that one. (Why does he show up in Gotham, anyway?) His arrival was nothing more than an irritation – for everyone from Batman to the reader. But the remainder of the volumes drive you closer and closer to an impending nightmare you watch build on the horizon. Everyone feels it, from the citizens to the heroes – and antiheroes – in hiding. And the emotion transfers through the writing and imagery so seamlessly.

It’s genius.

You want to continue exploring this branch of the MultiVerse. The grit and tension and corruption demand attention. This Future State gets it right. Shame I can’t speak the same for others.

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