Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Future State: Dark Detective #3 Review

Meh... The Grifter Backup Was Better

Written By: Mariko Tamaki
Art By: Dan Mora
Colors By: Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Aditya Bidikar
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: February 9, 2021

No Future Past - Backup Story

Written By: Matthew Rosenberg
Art By: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors By: Antonio Fabela
Letters By: Andworld Design

Future State: Dark Detective #3 begins an extended episode of drone fishing, complete with nets and all, by Bruce Wayne. A wealthy tech CEO is murdered, and Bruce suspects the Magistrate is behind the deed to corner the market on advanced surveillance tech. Could a piece of non-public WayneTech on the Magistrate shopping list be the reason Bruce was "killed"? Using some super sleuthing, Bruce hacks into the drones neural net to find that Magistrate surveillance is more pervasive than anyone thought.

Meanwhile, Grifter makes good on his deal with Luke Fox to get him out of Gotham, but he needs help from the Huntress. Needless to say, Grifter's history with Huntress is rocky, and a few double-crosses later, Grifter is in much worse shape than he started.

Was It Good?

As the heading states, the Drifter story was much better. It had energy, pace, and more showing than telling. Although the Batman story made some forward progress on the plot, it didn't make much, and Bruce spends way too much talking and talking and talking to himself. The principle of "show don't tell" was sorely needed in this third issue of the Dark Detective.



What's It About?

Tech CEO Carl Bennington is murdered in his apartment.

Meanwhile, Bruce is rooftop hopping with electro-netting to capture Magistrate drones so he can hack into their network and salvage their tech for his own tools. During one of his fishing expeditions, he crosses paths with the current Batman, Tim/Jace/Tim/Jace Fox. They exchange unpleasantries and warn each other to stay out of the other's way.

Back at this apartment, Bruce cracks the drone codes to get into the Magistrate surveillance network. He finds the camera footage near Bennington's apartment the night he was killed. The footage shows the Magistrate is involved.

Later, Hannah stops by to check in on her dad who's been propping up antennas on the apartment building's roof because he swears he hears "aliens." Bruce has been helping him with the antenna because it couldn't do any harm, and Bruce can ensure he stays safe while the old man works. Hannah promptly scolds both men for being foolish, careless, and lazy. Hannah storms off.

Bruce follows up on the hunch that the alien sounds Hannah's dad hears could be something else. Using some drone enhanced googles, Bruce checks on Hannah after she leaves and finds several drones are following her. When he gets back to his apartment building, he sees several more drones outside. In his apartment, a swarm of drones is waiting to attack.

What have we really learned? The Magistrate are the bad guys, and they use a lot of drones. But we knew that already from prior issues, so the real answer is: "we didn't learn much."



No Future Past

Now we're cooking with renewable energy. Grifter is getting kicked around by Huntress after he arrives to seek her help. She's none to happy to see him after past run-ins, but Luke interrupts, credit card in hand, to buy her help to get him out of Gotham. Money is thicker than grudges, so Huntress agrees.

As they leave Huntress' hideout, Magistrate forces spot them, and a motorcycle vs drone shootout rocks the streets as they make their escape. Grifter gets to utilize his gifts with a firearm to shoot explosive targets and make a lot of mess to get them clear.

The trio makes their way to the docks where Grifter is met by a very angry Veil, who promptly tases him. Apparently, Huntress is not the only one he owes money to. Grifter strikes a payoff deal using Luke's credit card, and they all agree to get Luke out. Payment accepted.

The trick to getting Luke out is a sub Huntress "borrowed" from Lucius Fox long ago. Before Luke can get aboard and cruise to freedom, the Magistrate shows up and unleashes mass destruction. 

But here's the double-cross. Luke tipped off the Magistrate. Getting out of Gotham was all a setup to get Grifter to lead the Magistrate to the real target -- Huntress. Luke agreed to get them Huntress in exchange for his own freedom.

A mass shootout commences, Peacemaker gets blown to a crispy mess but still manages to survive, and Grifter dumps an unconscious Huntress into the sub. The sub takes off on auto-pilot so Huntress can escape to live another day.

We end with Grifter in cuffs, on his knees, and smiling all the way.

Bits and Pieces:

Future State: Dark Detective #3 gives us a Bruce Wayne that thinks a lot, does little, and learns almost nothing. On the other hand, Grifter fights, wins, gets double-crossed, and gets captured. And he looks like he's loving every minute of it.

6.8/10

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