Bruce Wayne drags himself out of the grave as Grifter tries to escape it in Future State: Dark Detective #1, a stylish double-sized issue that takes the concept of Batman without resources to the extreme.
Written by Mariko Tamaki and Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Dan Mora, Jordie Bellaire, Carmine Di Giandomenico, and Antonio Fabela
Lettering by Aditya Bidikar and Andworld Design
Published by DC
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Mariko Tamaki's literary narration adds a real sense of weight to this brooding tale, backed up by Dan Mora and Jordie Bellaire's expressive and neon-drenched artwork. Tamaki nails the oppressive nature of the Magistrate, immediately setting insurmountable stakes against the man who has lost everything. Mora does some stellar design-work on Bruce's new look - stripped-back armor with the Bat-signal haphazardly spray-painted on. Bellaire's wild and layered colors place Dark Detective firmly in the future and help to highlight the intricacies of Mora's architecture.
Backing up the main is Matthew Rosenberg and Carmine Di Giandomenico's 'Grifters.' In sharp contrast to the slick and thoughtful main story, Rosenberg paints a portrait of a man allergic to a plan, stumbling from brawl to brawl in a mad-cap escalation that sees him team up with Batwing to find a safe place in Gotham. The script is wordy, a constant rapid-fire back and forth as Grifter and Luke Fox pinball from location to location. Giandomenico excels at the large-scale stuff, with background characters rendered in equal detail with the panel's focus.
Future State: Dark Detective #1 is a solid first installment that offers two artistically distinct looks at the underbelly of Future State Gotham. A strong recommendation.
Check out Newsarama's list of the best Batman stories of all time.