This week from DC comics we get the first post Future State Batman with Batman 106. This comic does a wonderful job of reminding us where the Batman title left off two months ago and where it will be heading in the future. It’s surprising how well the two work together. This may only be a 30 page issue, but it covers almost every aspect of the Gotham heroes from present to future.

Present and Future – Cover2Cover

The cover to this issue stays simple and yet perfect. A simple silhouette of Batman holding his bat-rope, but inside is the new versions of Scarecrow. It’s simple enough, but it stresses the importance Crane will serve in the coming story. It appears Scarecrow may be at the very heart of the Magistrate problem, but the cover is the least of this issues design stand outs.

From cover to cover, this title’s new design looks amazing! First off is Scarecrow’s new look. It seems chaotic from the straw hat, primitive gas mask, needled fingers, and poncho, but in so many ways it adds a sinister quality the character that has been missing for awhile. It really adds to the new Scarecrow’s fear potency.

I do not remember if this Batmobile showed up in previous issues, but this one looks badass! It looks more like an actual car than any other design in awhile, and yet it has all the accents and trimmings that still make it the Batmobile.

Then we have Barbara and Harley. Barbara resumed her duties as Oracle, but she swears the cowl will come out again when needed. Her design is simple and civilian enough, but it gives her a fierce intelligence that makes you not want to cross her…or question her. Harley on the other hand is a bit more mixed. Her new hairstyle holds the trademark colored ends, but it looks more professionally done and she now has puffier ribbons for the ponytails. I like the new clothes. It gives her a more professional look, yet holds her traditional look as well. I am just not sure it works as a whole. We shall see.

Finally, we have Damian. He still uses some of the Robin trademarks, but overall the look seems closer to the Phantasm with red gloves. Her could really use a better suit.

Present and Future – The Man in the Mask

It took me a few reads, but this opening appears to be a present scene followed by a flashback leading into the present. Somehow Scarecrow captured Batman, removed his mask and is now attempting to fry his brain with his fear toxin. I couldn’t tell who the prisoner was until I read the line “my city”. That’s Bruce speak.

I really like when this issue jumps back in time. We see Oracle back in full form and behind the mic as Oracle once more. She guides the ‘now-on-budget’ Batman. I love the back and forth between the two because it now feels like the two are equals now more than ever.

We get a quick fight and in comes the back up – Ghostmaker! We knew he and Bruce teamed up to a degree in Batman 105. Now we see them in action together and oh the team they make! You essentially have Batman 1a and Batman 1b because their skill sets are so similar. We even see this when Bruce and Ghost spar back at the new ‘metro-Batcave’.

One thing of note is the new crime boss that goes by the name M.M.. This is Miracle Molly, one of the new villains in Gotham. We see little and know less, but she comes across cool and collected. Look for Miss Molly to make some waves in the Gotham Crime scene.

Present and Future – The Supporting Cast

Harley continues to show in the Batman title. Her scene here may only last a page, but it shows she’s still present and I’ll bet it shows the events that will trigger her striking out on her own in her new, rebooted title.

Again the scene may be brief, but we get a VERY important scene with a man named Mr. Saint. The owner and creator of Saint Industries, Mr Saint has a nice little sit down with Mayor Nakano about a plan to free Gotham from its reliance on masks. The name of the proposal? Project Magistrate. This should be ringing the Future State alarm right about now. We are finally seeing the beginning of the end for Gotham and the masks that protect her. The mayor may not be keen on Project Magistrate, but this is where Scarecrow comes in – literally.

Then we end the issue with the Prodigal Son, Damian Wayne. It appears the rogue Robin is now returning to mommy. Talia seems less then impressed since Damian has almost nothing to show for his time away. The League of Assassins also notices and sends a ‘test’ for Damian and Talia. It ends when Talia is captured by an assassin. Damian finds he is trapped between his Al Ghul blood and his Batman principles. Talia orders Damian to kill the thug, but Damian finds Batman’s no kill policy ingrained into his psyche.

A throat gets cut, but who’s? Did Talia kill the assassin herself, or does Damian do it? Or is Talia now a body on the floor? To find out we will need to read Detective Comics 1034. Check out my article DC Comics – Where Do We Go From Here for the full layout of the Infinite Frontier story line.

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