Future State: The Next Batman #4 sees a bevy of creators doing some really fun things with the new status quos set up in 'Future State.'
Written by John Ridley, Vita Ayala, and Paula Sevenbergen
Art by Nick Derington, Laura Braga, Aneke, and Emmanuela Lupacchino
Published by DC
'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
By far the most exciting entry is Vita Ayala and Aneke's 'Batgirls' story that sees Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Barbara Gordon teaming up with a cadre of Batman rogues against the Magistrate that's imprisoned them. Ayala does a great job reminding us why Batman doesn't only have one of the best rogues galleries but also one of the best-supporting casts in all of comics. Aneke's art has a Mike Allred quality to it featuring extremely strong character work and solid action choreography that is a huge boon to an issue that could have otherwise get a little confusing.
The other two stories are a Batman story by John Ridley with art from Laura Braga and Nick Derington and a 'Gotham City Sirens' story by Paula Sevenbergen and Emanuela Lupacchino. Neither entry is particularly bad but Ridley makes his big action scene a car chase that is rendered fairly stagnant by Braga and Derington. We know Derington can deliver great Batman work but Braga's finishes on his breakdowns are too busy and it loses the qualities that made his work on Batman Universe seem so effortless.
Meanwhile, Sevenbergen and Lupacchino do a good job maintaining the Gotham City Sirens tone that fans have always found so endearing but the plotting feels a little pedestrian overall.
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