REVIEW: ‘Future State: Dark Detective,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Future State Dark Detective #2

Future State: Dark Detective #2 comes from the creative team of writer Mariko Tamaki, artist Dan Mora, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Aditya Bidikar from DC Comics. Following the events of the first issue, Batman has to adjust to a new, high-tech Gotham without Wayne Enterprises.

Tamaki is excellent at world-building in Future State: Dark Detective #2. She weaves in the backstory for Bruce’s death alongside how the Magistrate, the militaristic tech company that runs Gotham, rose to power. There are so many interesting ideas written into her version of Bruce. He is still the same Dark Knight, willingly to die for his city. However, he is low-tech now. He is without riches. This Bruce/Batman has to work in the shadows of a city that always has it’s micro-drones watching you. Tamaki has this version of Bruce get down and dirty and truly face the horrors of a tech-savvy police state and wealth. As the title implies, Future State: Dark Detective #2 has Batman go back to his roots as a detective, making this issue feel like a thriller book.

Beyond this, the entire creative team excels at capturing the grit and grime of this new Gotham City. Bellaire’s colors range everywhere from muddy blues and greys during the night time to lilacs and soft yellows during a fighting scene. Mora’s art continues to shine throughout Future State: Dark Detective #2. There is a page that showcases the marriage of talent amongst this creative team that stands out.

Mora creates such a tense and mysterious scene in four horizontal panels, and Tamaki continues to explain why the Magistrate thinks Bruce Wayne/ Batman is dead. Mora has a deep grasp at landscaping and silhouettes, and we see Bruce lean against a Gotham City that he no longer knows. Bellaire’s color-work ranges from soft neon-pastels for the city skyscrapers with melting purples and oranges as the sky sets behind it. It’s honestly beautiful enough to want an art print of it. Although the coloring does allude to a cyber-punk aesthetic that showcases this beautiful scene, there is also something foreboding and dirty.   Bidikar skillfully places lettering in empty color spaces that do not infringe upon any of the artwork. He creates a natural reading flow where readers are never confused between Bruce’s internal thoughts, other characters’ dialogue, or sound effects.

At the end of this issue, there is another story called The Red Hood written by Joshua Williamson, drawn by Giannis Milonogiannis, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and edited by Ben Abernathy. This story follows Jason Todd as he works as a contract killer for the Magistrate. He finds people embodying the vigilante spirit and donning masks, and he hunts them down. While Jason is no stranger to murder as a character, it feels out of character to have a vigilante kill other vigilantes. Thankfully, Williamson explores Todd’s warmth towards people who are just trying to fight back against the Magistrate. The art style and color are not as detailed, neat, or polished as Future State: Dark Detective #2 main story is. The lettering is at times too big and clustered to accommodate wordy dialogue.

Overall, I am continuing to love the direction of Future State: Dark Detective #2. However, as a reviewer, I still found the second story from Joshua Williamson to not have as much depth or polish as the Dark Detective storyline. For six dollars, I don’t think it is worthwhile to pick it up. It isn’t easy to see such a great comic release hindered by another creative team.

Future State: Dark Detective #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

 

 

Future State: Dark Detective #2
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TL;DR

Overall, I am continuing to love the direction of Future State: Dark Detective #2. However, as a reviewer, I still found the second story from Joshua Williamson to not have as much depth or polish as the Dark Detective storyline. For six dollars, I don’t think it is worthwhile to pick it up. It isn’t easy to see such a great comic release hindered by another creative team.