With DC’s Future State event, it seems like the Batman family of comics is starting to resemble the CW’s version of Gotham more and more.
DC’s upcoming Future State initiative will introduce a whole new Batman – and the new status quo in Gotham sounds remarkably similar to the one seen in The CW’s Batwoman. In January, DC Comics will launch a line-wide event that will transform every corner of its shared universe. The normal books will be replaced by comics that explore strange, disturbing and exciting visions of the future.
The various Batman books are all set in a twisted version of Gotham City that has turned against masks, and is ruled by an organization called the Magistrate. Batman himself is missing, believed dead, but a mysterious new figure steps out of the shadows to take up the mantle of the Dark Knight. Meanwhile, other traditional Gotham figures – including the likes of Nightwing and Harley Quinn – struggle to survive in this brave new world.
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DC has just published a teaser for the Future State line, and it reveals a vision of Gotham City that feels oddly reminiscent of the one seen in The CW’s Batwoman. As John Ridley, writer of Future State: The Next Batman explains in the teaser:
“What happens when Gotham turns into a total battleground? When people start to think, ‘There are no good masks. They’re all a threat.’ Even the police are not equipped to handle them. When you have a city that decides to bring in a private security force, when they decide to turn law and order over to an outside entity, what does that mean? It’s a private army not driven by morality, not driven by law, but really one edict – that all masks are bad.”
This status quo will sound eerily familiar to anyone who’s been watching Batwoman, where Gotham City has brought in a private security force called the Crows. There, the fateful decision was made for a very different reason; because Batman had gone missing, and Gotham fell into chaos. Others attempted to fill Batman’s shoes, but none succeeded, and the corrupt police were unable to handle the pressure of it all. The Joker was gone, but Batman villains like Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, and the Riddler were still active. And so the Crows – whose resources and technology outstripped those of a mere police force – took charge.
The comic book industry is increasingly depending on synergies, with Marvel focusing on synergizing their books with the popular MCU. Similarly, it increasingly feels as though DC Comics is attempting to create a synergy between their comics and the Arrowverse, likely reflecting that this is a more stable shared universe. Ryan Wilder – the original character to be introduced in Batwoman season 2 – has recently made a minor appearance in the comics; The CW’s new Wonder Girl, Yara Flor, will be the Wonder Woman of Future State; and now Gotham City is changing to resemble The CW iteration as well. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out in the future of the Batman comics.
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