Chapter 3: Games
In this issue, Bruce Wayne meets the next Batman! As the dark detective makes his move to put an end to the villainous Magistrate once and for all, the man who once wore the cowl encounters the next Batman-and these two have some questions for each other! Fists will fly as this explosive meeting erupts in the skies over Gotham…but with the clock ticking, can Bruce finish what he started and unlock the secrets of the fascist surveillance that plagues his city? And in “Grifters” part two, the lucky streak that Cole Cash and Luke Fox have enjoyed just hit a brick wall in the form of the Huntress! The over-the-top adventure in the gutters of Gotham City concludes in the most bone-crushing fashion possible!DCCOMICS.COM official solicitation
Bruce delves deeper into his into his investigation of what has been happening in Gotham. He has been following the money which leads to another murdered tech billionaire. The pieces of the mystery are starting to fall into place. Bruce wasn’t ‘killed’ because he was Batman but for his company’s tech designs. All the tech being used to spy on Gothamites has been taken from Wayne Tech designs. With Bruce out of the way the Magistrate moved in and took control of everything.
It’s while Bruce is swing between building and taking out Magistrate drones that the story reaches the point that people have been waiting for. Original Batman comes face to face with the new Batman. And, refreshingly, it doesn’t go the way you would think. It’s unclear if the new Batman knows who Bruce is but there is a brief conversation, a warning to stop, and then the pair part ways. For once, the is no need for the good guys to fight to each other before finding out they are on the same side. It’s nice to see superheroes being smart about what they are doing.
Once Bruce hacks into his own tech using the drones that he has captured the story takes an Orwellian turn. The Magistrate has cameras everywhere and is watching everyone. They are completely controlling freedom and privacy. The Magistrate have been following Bruce the whole time and he is putting everyone in danger.
Tamaki keeps the story tight and Mora’s art is excellent all the way through but it is Bellaire’s colours that make this issue pop. This is the brightest Gotham we have seen in a long time. All the buildings have a glow to them and there is shining neon everywhere. It really completes the tech-noir feel to the book.
No Future Past: Part 2
The Grifter continues his quest to smuggle Luke Fox out of Gotham and he has enlist the help of the Huntress. Here, unlike in the Batman story, there is no refreshing take where the heroes don’t fight and the Grifter and the Huntress go at it straight away. It’s not until the Magistrate come hunting that they team up to make there escape.
The main problem with Future State is that too much is unexplained and we will probably never get the answers. For some reason Huntress is the only one who can smuggle people out of Gotham and it turns out the whole thing is a sting by Luke Fox to capture her. Fox, a former costumed hero, is now trying to bring down anyone who wears a mask because of something thatvhas happened to his sister. Grifter ends up sacrificing his freedom to save Huntress. The main peacekeeper get his skin burnt of but is still alive. But we don’t get any meaningful motivation or explanation for anything.
DC keep on trying to make the Grifter happen.