Well, that was… nothing. This issue of Dark Detective advertised the meeting of the original Batman and the Next Batman, and their face-to-face meeting turned out to be a whole lot of nothing much at all. In all, they stared at each other, exchanged a few words, then turned away and walked off. That was it. Mariko Tamaki should be ashamed.

The terrible inner monologue Tamaki seems to think Bruce Wayne would be speaking to himself takes on a new voice this time. This issue, Bruce is no longer the moody teenager he was in previous issues, but he has somehow become the voice of the “eat the rich” proletariat who hates the rich because they do whatever they want and play by their own rules and never pay their taxes. What…?! Has Tamaki never read a Batman comic before writing this series? Has she never seen a Batman TV show or movie or cartoon? Why am I paying $5.99 for this?

Assuming you can look past the problems with Tamaki’s inability to understand who Bruce Wayne is and read the story anyway, you still won’t find much here to digest. Three issues in and we still have about 10 pages of real plot surrounded by useless filler and bad dialog. Apparently, The Magistrate has invented invisible micro-drones that record everyone in Gotham City using technology taken from some of the tech companies in the city, and that’s why Bruce Wayne was originally targeted for murder – to cover up the use of WayneTech robotics.

Again, the art from Dan Mora and Jordie Bellaire is a joy. If only DC could find a competent writer to handle the story, this book, wouldn’t be so bad.

The back-up story from Matthew Rosenberg is the real reason to buy this issue. In fact, as much I still don’t care much for Grifter, Rosenberg’s story is so well done that I’d buy a Grifter series if he wrote it. The artwork from Carmine Di Giandomenico and Antonio Fabela is so jaw-droppingly gorgeous that I’m almost willing to pay the $5.99 cover price for just that story and I wish it wasn’t hidden behind this awful Batman story that will keep most people from ever discovering it.

I don’t want to give away any part of the story in the back-up because I truly believe it’s worth reading and experiencing by every comic fan. Even if you must suffer the indignity of buying Future State: Dark Detective #1 and #3 just to get the Matthew Rosenberg back-up story, I suggest you do it. Even nothing else, you can at least in enjoy the artwork in the Batman feature.