Review – Future State: Gotham #1 – Crime in Black and White

Comic Books DC This Week
Future State: Gotham #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Future State: Gotham #1 – Joshua Williamson, Dennis Culver, Writers; Giannis Milonogiannis, Colorist; Katsuhiro Otomo, Backup Writer/Artist; Jo Duffy, Translator

Ray – 8/10

Ray: Future State was only a two month event, but it’s getting a revival for its biggest story—the saga of Gotham under the reign of the Magistrate. This will be a black-and-white series, with each arc having a different writer—and first up is Josh Williamson and Dennis Culver continuing Williamson’s Red Hood story. Jason has sacrificed everything to convince the Magistrate that he’s one of them—including losing his family and his partner in crime/girlfriend Ravager. But now he’s on the verge of getting what he wants—entering the Peacekeeper program and getting access to the inner circle. He proves himself early in this story by taking on a new, upgraded version of the Ventriloquist in an amusing segment.

Riding hard. Via DC Comics.

From there, things get increasingly chaotic with a massive disaster hitting Gotham and causing mass casualties. Naturally, the city blames the new Batman, and the manhunt kicks up another notch. Jason spends most of the story trying to play both sides, but the cliffhanger makes it pretty clear that not everyone is in on the game—or if they are, they don’t believe it. The art by Milonogiannis may actually look better in black and white, taking on a classic manga style that is unlike anything else in comics right now. The story is relatively straightforward for most of it, and Jason is a little too much of a generic action hero, but it’s a pretty solid sequel to the Future State status quo—even if it’s barely scratching the surface.

The backup took me by surprise. It’s an original manga storyline from Katsuhiro Otomo, translated by Jo Duffy, and it takes Batman and his legend into a completely different world. Pitting Batman against a new villain named the split personality killer, it gives him a much stiffer physical challenge than he usually faces—someone almost Hulk-like. This fight is brutal, and it ends surprisingly abruptly, but the battle is tense and the detail is spectacular. I’m wondering if every issue will have one of these backups, and if they’ll all be by the same creative team. Either way, a very interesting way to bring these unique takes on the character to a wider audience through this series.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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