Emo-teen Bruce Wayne is back and narrating this story again, showing how poorly Mariko Tamaki seems to understand the world around here. The internal dialog of Bruce is much worse in this issue than it was last time while also providing one of the biggest plot holes outside of a Looney Tunes train tunnel painted on a mountainside. Why Tamaki thinks that police detectives will mistake an old rotting corpse floating in Gotham Harbor for the supposedly freshly killed body of Bruce Wayne is beyond me, and it’s also beyond reason. This is the writer who will be taking over Detective Comics after Future State and it’s a pretty safe bet that I won’t be paying money for those issues. It’s a shame because the story makes some interesting steps forward with links back to Waynetech and the old Gotham City, but these could be more skeletons set in place by editorial which could explain why they seem satisfying while the rest of the writing is terrible. Dan Mora and Jordie Bellaire provide some more great artwork, it’s just a shame it’s attached to this book.
The follow-up this issue is a Red Hood and Ravager story about former heroes who now work for The Magistrate to bring in the masked vigilantes around Gotham City. Apparently Red Hood brings them in alive while Ravager brings them in body bags, and the two have some sort of a relationship outside of the workplace. While Ravager seems to enjoy taking them down, Red Hood is apparently not 100% on the side of The Magistrate and his attempt to figure out what’s really going on with some old villain tech being used to possibly control the minds of these masked vigilantes appears to put him on The Magistrate’s hit list.
This follow-up story is from Joshua Williamson who is a tried-and-true comics writer and it shows in how this story is laid out, layered, and revealed. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Red Hood, you’ll probably enjoy this story simply because it’s good. Giannis Milonogiannis provides the artwork and his unique style adds a manga-flair, though it’s kinetic feel does look a little sketchy and rough in a few spots. I like it overall, but I can see how not everyone would.
Once again, the back-up story that DC added to increase the page count and raise the cover price was better and more rewarding than the feature. This seems to be the theme with their marquee titles in Future State. I don’t know if this is a bad sign for the future of DC Comics publishing in general, but the days of the 400,000 copy print runs are long dead, and no one seems to be working for their return.