Saturday, January 23, 2021

Future State: The Next Batman #2 Review and *SPOILERS*


Written By: John Ridley
Art By: Laura Braga, Arif Prianto
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: January 19, 2021

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The Next Batman book started off with an interesting issue but there are a ton of ways that we can still improve. The biggest hurdle that this book has to overcome is the high price. DC has to deliver in order for their customers to justify buying in on these books, especially if they are considering getting two or more issues. However, there are definitely some interesting ideas that are being expressed in this book and I’m legitimately interested in where the story will take us. So, let’s jump into this new issue and see where they want to take us.

Our issue begins with Batman making his way down an alleyway while giving us an inner monologue. He finds a body there and determines that the man was beaten to death, but none of his belongings were taken, meaning that whomever did the crime did so with the intent of killing this man. Realizing that he only has moments before the cops get here, he uses a bomb to break into a local store with a security camera in the alley. He finds that the crime was committed by two assailants and while he doesn’t believe that they are trained fighters, he does believe that they are professionals as they are wearing masks that nullify any facial recognition. Just as he is finishing up, Batman is interrupted by some Magistrate foot soldiers who are a private police force. Batman is able to handle them very easily but eventually decides to leave as soon as possible. Unfortunately for him, as he escapes the building he runs into another unit of soldiers who open fire upon him. He takes a bullet to the side before dropping some smoke bombs that give him the chance to hop on his Batcycle and escape the area.

We cut to a scene in the Mayor’s office where Tanya Fox is meeting with the Mayor regarding the new law that allows officers to shoot on sight when it comes to masked vigilantes. She tells him that it doesn’t hold any weight when it will be challenged in the courts. The Mayor questions her as he was under the impression that she supported the bill and she reveals that she does support it. However, because she was brought in so late, the bill hasn’t be written in a way that will protect it from scrutiny but she is willing to help. We cut to Batman who gets back in contact with Vol and reveals that he is injured but he needs information. Vol is able to get the information on their whereabouts and Batman rides off. We get a quick scene between the GCPD and the private police force which shows us that they don’t exactly see eye to eye but the members of the GCPD are basically powerless to challenge their authority.

We return to Batman as he encounters the two assailants in the murder case. When he confronts them, they decide to try and fight him off but their inexperience is obvious and Batman is able to make quick work of them. Just as things are getting ugly for them, the smaller assailant surrenders and reveals herself. She admits their crime and the other assailant is also revealed and they tell Batman about how the man killed their daughter. The man would go online and groom young kids he could lure to himself and their daughter was one of those kids and they haven’t seen her since. They tell Batman that they used a service online that would plan the crime for them. While Batman understands their point, he also understands that what they did is still murder. Just as the conversation nears an end though, they are interrupted by the private police force once again who have their full arsenal pointed at Batman. This is where the issue leaves us.

Our latest issue won’t really change anyone’s view of this book, but it still does a serviceable job when it comes to telling the story it wants to tell. The book is setting up relationships between characters, between organizations, between Batman and the city of Gotham itself. The reader is getting glimpses into all these things and that’s a great job by the creative team. In addition, while the cartoony art style is still a little jarring, I felt as though it felt much better during this issue as the brutal scenes are still very brutal and overall the story is developing very nicely. We are still getting to learn about this new Batman and how he operates and I for one am enjoying it so far. As for the addition stories in this book, I think they’re fine. However, I do still struggle to determine whether this book is worth 8 dollars. I like it, but I’m just not sure it’s really needed. With such big books too, I’m surprised that we aren’t getting bigger chunks of story when it comes to the Next Batman.

Bits and Pieces

This new issue in the Future State series picks up where we left off and does a great job of it. I like watching this new Batman tackle new challenges all while holding true to the vision of Batman that we all know. I still question whether a book like this needs to extend the amount of content in the main book to justify an 8 dollar price tag, but for now, I’m still enjoying it.


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