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Future State Dark Detective 4

This last week of Future State gives us Dark Detective 4. Bruce continues to attempt to unravel who the Magistrate is and how they came to power, but the Peacekeepers and their drones are hot on his tail. The race is on, but is it worth it?

I am going to be honest. This issue frustrates me more than any other issue in the entirety of the Future State run. Dark Detective 4 stands out as the exclusive issue that brings every single Gotham based title to an end. Peacekeeper-01, the Magistrate, everything comes to an end here…except it doesn’t. This issue doesn’t really close out anything, so its like reading a book 3/4 of the way through only to find out the last 25% of the pages are blank!

Future State was billed as a two month, STAND ALONE, project where we would jump into the future and see where our favorite heroes (or their mantles) ended up, post Dark Knight: Death Metal. I think the creators meant for these half-endings to make it feel like the worlds would continue. I know some of these characters will, in fact, be picked up, but why tell only part of a story? As a reader it’s terribly frustrating because next week we go back to our regular titles and timelines.

Dark Detective 4 – The Half Story

The stories told in the Dark Detective series are quite good and improve with each issue. I especially love how it brings Bruce back to his roots as a detective and focuses more on his crime solving. Hannah and Noah made for great side characters and Hannah seems to be in a place where, going forward, she may turn into an Oracle-type persona for Bruce. She’s gutsy. She knows computers and is not afraid to take risks.

Bruce keeps Noah and Hannah safe and manages to blow up the Magistrate building after he gets Hannah out with classified information on the Magistrate, but that’s it. He rematches with Peacekeeper-01, the one who ‘killed him’ early on, but the explosion ends the fight, so there is no resolution there. We still know nothing about the Magistrate or who it is.

This issue points directly to Detective Comics 1034 as “Bruce Wayne’s adventures continue anew next month…”, but that can’t be related to this story. Perhaps the Gotham titles will start heading in this direction, but with the time jump it would still be difficult to connect current and future.

Dark Detective 4 – Don’t Forget Jason…or Do.

I wasn’t too thrilled with the Jason Todd/Red Hood ending either. He and girlfriend, partner/not-girlfriend, partner, Ravager work for the Magistrate hunting masks and stumble across Mad Hatter tech. All of a sudden Red Hood has a bounty taken out on him by the Magistrate. Ravager tricks the drones by saying she is arresting him, and that’s it. The action is okay, but for a short little story, it never gets the legs to mean much on its own…until the end.

The last pages get real interesting, except of course, the story’s over. He gives an update to a presence in an alley. His covert partner gets him a new bike and orders Jason not to leave town until this is all over. The entire conversation wreaks of Batman, but which one? Jace Fox has the money and resources, but he’s not the detective or planner. The ending scene can only mean Jason Todd is infiltrating the Magistrate for Bruce Wayne! This would be a great ‘end of chapter’ point, but as I’ve said this is ‘end of story’.

What did you think of Dark Detective and the end to the Gotham arc? Head on over to DC Fanatics and let us know how you thought it played out.

By Ben Wolf

Long time fantasy/sci-fi lover who loves to write in his spare time. Avid movie lover and game player.

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