"The Next Batman": Gotham City
Synopsis for "The Next Batman"
A serial rapist is trying to escape from the police, when Batman stops him in his tracks, removing his mask. This will mean he saved his life, even if it's not really worth it. As two agents of the GCPD spot them, they capture the rapist and leave Batman be, even if they shouldn't. This Batman, he's not Bruce Wayne, but a different man: since Bruce disappeared, Gotham stopped being safe for whoever had a mask on: the Magistrate, led by the Peacekeepers, is in town, with a precise order, to shoot on sight to anyone spotted with a mask on. Including the Dark Knight: he's number one in the Magistrate's list.
The Fox Residence
Luke is getting ready to leave, when his mom warns him he should stop staying up at night: he needs to work, and to represent. He must not turn into a new version of Bruce Wayne. Changing the subject, Luke and his mom talk about the new challenge made from the ACLU against the Peace-Keepers and the contract the city has with them, as Tanya is working on the case. Luke sustains that if they cannot stay up to the challenge, maybe the anti-mask law is wrong, but Tanya disagrees, especially for what happened to Tamara. This shakes up Luke a little bit, and to drop the discussion, he tells Tanya he's going to visit his sister, in the hospital.
Reaching Tam's room in the hospital, Luke finds out Timothy is there. He wants to be called Jace now, but Luke does not care: he wasn't there when Tam got hurt, and he should not stay around. He's unwanted, and should leave. Tim tries to defend himself, but there's no reasoning with his brother, and so he goes away. Luke, sitting on a chair, holds Tam's hand, telling her he's sorry for how her brothers behave.
Meanwhile, in the Neighborhood of Little Santa Prisca
A new gang, the Bane-Litos, is recruiting new members: two kids from the neighborhood are searching some protection, and want in. But they must face a trial: killing a gang rival on the street. At the same time, GCPD's agent Chubb is talking with her former partner, Whitaker. Chubb remembers that Whitaker was one of the cops sustaining the masked vigilantes, like Batman, and wanted his opinion on the anti-mask law, but Whitaker does not want to talk, after all, he retired from the police. Then, Chubb asks him the real question she wanted to ask: there is a former cop helping criminals prepare jobs, with the only condition that they leave as soon as they finished. Is he involved in this? But Whitaker answers with a veiled suggestion, making Chubb understand she should not look into the case.
On the street, the new recruits of the Bane-Litos, together with two older members, are trying to find a rival to kill, when Batman steps in, saving their target. He knows there are two young recruits there, and due to the fact they have masks on, they are in danger: if the Peacekeepers find them, they are dead. Batman then moves and finds the two kids, just when the Keepers were ready to shoot. He manages to escape with both, and the Keepers leave them be, afraid that reporting to the boss, Peacekeeper-01, might make them more than sorry.
Batman is happy, because this day was a good day in Gotham: two young lives were saved, with a chance at turning their lives into something better. But in the end, Gotham is always Gotham, some things never change. But while he says this, two masked people attack a man in an alley.
Appearing in "The Next Batman"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Adriana Chubb (First appearance)
- Luke Fox (First appearance)
- Whitaker (Single appearance)
- Bane-Litos (Single appearance)
- Eddie (Single appearance)
- Nestor (Single appearance)
- Rico (Single appearance)
- The Eastside Rapist (Single appearance)
- Eric (First appearance; unnamed)
- Lou Jershefsky (First appearance; unnamed)
- Sara (First appearance; unnamed)
- Tam Fox (Single appearance)
- Tanya Fox (First appearance)
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) (Mentioned only)
- Peacekeeper-01 (Mentioned only)
- Tanaka (Mentioned only)
- United States Army (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Outsiders"
Near the borders of Gotham City
Tatsu rescues Duke Thomas, one of the Magistrate's most wanted masks. They took refuge on the outside, given that Gotham City is the only place, right now, where the Magistrate has jurisdiction, but one day they will return to their city...at least that's what Duke wants. Katana is not of the same opinion: she tells Duke he must choose, either he stays in Gotham or operates outside of it. Then she leaves, as Duke distracted her from a previous job.
Tatsu was keeping an eye on a place outside the city, where she thought that the Magistrate was doing something, illegally of course as they cannot operate outside Gotham. She was right: as her jetpack finishes the fuel, she can say goodbye to a stealth approach, finishing right into the Magistrate's base and, after putting down some agents, also discovering Kaliber betrayed them. The cybernetic soldier tells Tatsu the Magistrate is really interested in cybernetic implants to make his forces more powerful: sooner than later, all the agents of the Magistrate will be enhanced cybernetically just like him.
Then, Tatsu and Kaliber start fighting: Kaliber gets the upper-hand, ready to deliver the final blow. In that moment, Black Lighting comes in help of Katana, and Kaliber, together with his colleagues, escapes. As Tatsu tries to thank him, she acknowledges the fact Jefferson is transformed, living in thunder form. What kind of dark magic could turn him into that? But Jefferson tells her she must care about another thing, much more important: the Magistrate planted a mole to spy on Duke...
Appearing in "Outsiders"
- Katana (First appearance)
- Agent Cullen (First appearance; unnamed)
- Kaliber (First appearance)
- Nick (Voice)
Synopsis for "Arkham Knights, Chapter One: Rise"
Gotham City. The Wasteland
The Arkham Knight, Astrid Arkham, is the leader of a group of deranged masked Gothamites ready to fight against an imposed tyranny, the one of the Magistrate. Using lethal force against masked men, treating the citizens like problems and Gotham like no man's land, Astrid, alongside her Knights, wants to bring the things back under the Sun, with Gotham free of this fascist regime. The first step in the revolution is to recruit Killer Croc, while resisting the Magistrate, a thing they are able to do.
Formerly known as the house of billionaire Bruce Wayne, now the Wayne Manor functions as the headquarters of the Knights of Arkham: Astrid is trying to work not only towards Gotham's redemption, but also to integrate back into society several criminals now part of her Knights. Harvey Dent is assisting her as her right-hand man. Killer Croc is currently on a self-induced coma, to heal: the Magistrate was on his tracks, and he was heavily damaged. Also, there is another big problem: the condition of Doctor Phosphorus is worsening, as he's becoming more and more unstable.
The thing is, Alex fears the pain and the desire to burn will bring him back to his old habits, making him go crazy. He does not want this, but he's not sure that Astrid's medical team will ever find a functioning cure to his condition. Astrid tells him to have faith, and that her and Harvey finally found out where that man is now: held prisoner by the Magistrate, in the fifth precinct.
But now they have to act on the bait they placed: the recruitment of Killer Croc came at the expense of a lot of resources belonging to the Magistrate, so it's normal the regional Peacekeepers himself, Peacekeeper-12, will come to investigate. And that's when they strike, killing him and taking the Wastelands back from the enemy...
Appearing in "Arkham Knights, Chapter One: Rise"
- Arkham Knight (First appearance)
- Arkham Knights (First appearance)
- Anarky (First appearance)
- Clayface (First appearance)
- Copperhead (First appearance)
- Doctor Phosphorous (First appearance)
- Humpty Dumpty (First appearance)
- Killer Croc (First appearance) (Joins team)
- Mr. Zsasz (First appearance)
- Two-Face (First appearance)
- Peacekeeper-01 (Hologram) (First appearance)
- Peacekeeper-12 (Only appearance; dies)
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) (Mentioned only)
- Batman Family (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City Police Department (Mentioned only)
- Jeremiah Arkham (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City
- "The Next Batman" is reprinted in Batman by John Ridley: The Deluxe Edition
- Cover gallery for the Future State: The Next Batman series
- Images from Future State: The Next Batman Vol 1 1