Warning! Spoilers ahead for Batman: Dark Detective #4.
As DC’s Future State event comes to a close, so does the mission of the Dark Detective, the new persona Bruce Wayne assumes in the future after the attempted murder of Batman at the hands of the Magistrate, the oppressive regime that has taken over Gotham City. The Dark Detective had been making big steps to uncover the organization’s illicit activities in Future State: Dark Detective, and the final issue sees the former Batman finally ready to strike. However, there are still some big questions left unanswered by the final page of the miniseries.
In Future State: Dark Detective from writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Dan Mora, Bruce Wayne managed to uncover just how much Gotham has been put under surveillance in secret, with virtually no privacy to be had under the new order of the Magistrate thanks to their legions of cloaked drones constantly hovering above the city. Not only that, but the Magistrate has also been sending its elite peacekeepers in to assassinate any of Gotham’s rich and powerful who could potentially pose a threat to their hold over the city. Furthermore, if any of their hidden operations happen to gain the public’s attention, they place the blame on the vigilantes who’ve all become fugitives of their “justice.”
Now, Future State: Dark Detective #4 sees Bruce Wayne finally ready to take down the Magistrate for good, working with a programmer operating within the Magistrate who wants to stop them just as much as the Dark Detective does. Combined with this information that’s ready to be sent to the media and expose the Magistrate, the Dark Detective infiltrates their headquarters and plants a bomb to blow the entire facility to pieces. However, PK-01 also gets a rematch with Bruce Wayne after having failed to kill him in the past. However, the issue surprisingly ends with the building exploding with the former Batman and PK-01 presumably still inside, leaving quite a few questions unanswered that perhaps should have been addressed before the series’ conclusion.
Some of these questions relate to the details surrounding Batman’s death. While prior issues revealed how Bruce Wayne was able to fake his death, he didn’t know how the Magistrate knew that he was Batman in the first place. While the assumption could be made that it was due to their extensive surveillance capabilities, this hasn’t been confirmed one way or another. Likewise, it’s also unclear if Batman survived this explosion, or if the Magistrate is well and truly defeated in Gotham afterwards. Furthermore, the series also made a point to reveal that Peacekeeper 01’s desire to kill Batman came from deeper place, rather than it being his just following protocol when it came to vigilantes. However, this personal vendetta was never fully explained.
Hopefully, upcoming series from DC such as Future State: Gotham or the return to the present with James Tynion IV’s ongoing Batman series might provide some more clarity. Even so, the lack of answers as Future State comes to a close does also somewhat create a lack of fulfillment, which is some may find disappointing in an otherwise incredibly engaging and dynamic series from DC Comics.