"The Next Batman, Chapter 2": A dark alley, in Gotham City

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Quote1.png I walked away from justice once. Never again. Quote2.png
Batman (Jace Fox)

Future State: The Next Batman #2 is an issue of the series Future State: The Next Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 2021. It was published on January 19, 2021.

Synopsis for "The Next Batman, Chapter 2"

A dark alley, in Gotham City

Batman approaches a fresh body: he needs to discover what happened, but he needs to do it fast. There is a surveillance camera of a shop which might have images of the killer, but it also means the Magistrate's forces will be there in two minutes, and he's the number one target in their hit list. Batman finds the images he wanted: two thugs, they do not seem professional hitmen, but they were incredibly brutal with the victim, hitting and kicking him far after he was dead. They also wore polygonal masks, to trick the face-recog software the Magistrate uses in the whole city. Not professional killers, but for sure professional criminals.

In that moment, several of the Magistrate's soldier get to the place: they are quicker than before. Batman must run, so he sends the images to Vol, someone who is assisting him from a remote place. Then, Batman goes dark: the Magistrate is using the phone to track him down, and sent drones against him. He will wait for Vol to analyze the images and find out what he can, while he escapes from the grasp of the enemy. Meanwhile, Tanya Fox is in the office of the mayor of Gotham City, Christopher Nakano: she is there to battle against the "shoot on sight" order the Magistrate is following against masked people.

Tanya is completely on the Magistrate and Mayor Nakano's side, regarding the battle against both masked criminals and vigilantes. After all, how couldn't she? They ruined the life of her husband Lucius, and especially ruined the life of her poor daughter Tamara, still hospitalized right now. But using brutal, unnecessary force is not something that sits well with american law. Nakano tells her that if it is the firepower she is concerned with, she should speak with Lucius: it is Foxtech, after all, that supplies ammo and weapons to the Magistrate. Also, would she like to try stopping this new Batman with just a normal gun? Tanya, in that moment, becomes furious: she would enjoy taking a shot at this new Dark Knight herself, after all.

Back to Batman, he was able to escape the Magistrate's foot soldiers, but not without a gash in his side. He asks himself how much can he do against the Peacekeepers, if he struggles to keep the simple soldiers at bay, but he must go on and ignore the pain. He contacts Vol, to know if there are any updates on the images he sent him: Vol found nothing on the victim, and the criminals were not associated with any known criminal activity. But he was able to run a body-tracing algorithm, and thanks to it he has, maybe, spotted the assailants. Bats tells him he will check the position, but Vol warns him: he's injured, shouldn't he stop and recover?

Jace tells him he walked away from justice once, and he will never do it again. That man, the victim, had been not only killed, but viciously abused after death: he has to go on. At the same time, on the crime scene, the police and the Magistrate are trying to understand Batman's actions there, and his current position: after telling the soldiers they will be subject to far worse pain when Peacekeeper-01 finds out that Batman tore through them, a Magistrate's officer answers to Detective Chubb that he couldn't care less about the corpse in the alley. He's payed to take out masks, and the new Batman is the biggest mask of all. As he leaves, Chubb's new partner, Tellez, asks her how the Peacekeeper can be so much stronger than the masks, but she answers that some question are not made to be asked.

Thanks to Vol's algorithm, Batman was able to track down the killers: he easily defeated both, and they really fought like it was the first time in their life. Soon, Batman discovered it was: they were two young parents, who killed that man because he was a pedophile. He found their daughter in the net, lured her into a trap, and after he took her, they never saw her again. They wanted justice, but the police ignored them, so they acted in another way: they turned to the dark web themselves, and found a man who will help you plan one crime, just one, whatever it might be, and then will ask you to stop. They accepted his conditions, and decided to punish the killer of their daughter by their own hand.

Batman thinks that the criminal got what he deserved, but still, he cannot let two murderers unpunished. Also, the body was never found and their accusations never proved: how can they be so sure that the man they killed was truly responsible for what happened to their daughter? But while he tries to decide what to do, the Magistrate forces reach the place, with both Batman and the killers in their sight...

Appearing in "The Next Batman, Chapter 2"

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Synopsis for "Batgirls"

The Magistrate's Detection Facility. Gotham City. Several Years from now. Day One

The Magistrate got one of the most important members of the Resistance: Cassandra Cain, also known as Orphan. Many inmates are surprised by the fact that Cassandra was captured, but the Magistrate was able to do it, and now they are trying to get information from her, especially about their leader, Nightwing. The worst thing though is that Cassandra will have to spend her time with a traitor, her jailmate is in fact Stephanie Brown, also known as Spoiler. A woman who betrayed Nightwing, the Bat and the Resistance.

Once Cassandra gets inside the cell, the first thing she does is deliver a big punch to Stephanie's nose. Then she remains silent, while Stephanie tells her she has an offer: she wants to know how they were able to capture Cass, while in exchange of this, she will tell her how to obtain access to one of the Nullifiers hovering over the place, a piece of tech that might give her a chance to escape. But Cass does not want to hear anything from Steph's mouth: out of respect for their common past together, she will leave her alone. If it wasn't for that, she could already have been dead.

The day after, the prisoners have their free hour, when they can meet: it seems Cass, and other members of the resistance like Jimmy Olsen and Jeff Pierce, believe Bruce Wayne is held in this very facility: they talk in code, referencing Homer's Odyssey. The thing is, Cass needs to trigger a diversive, like starting a fight, to explore the chance the Batman is in there, but Spoiler already told everyone to resist from picking a bone with her, and now Cass wants to know what the hell is in Stephanie's mind. So, Cass takes the fight to Stephanie, and they both get to be put in solitary, just what Cass needed to look into the rumor about Bruce.

The thing is, as the lunch is served, Cass finds an earpiece inside it, and it's from Steph: she talks to her with the Odyssey-based code, and so Cass understands the brutal betrayal of Stephanie was all a lie. She had to perform a big heel turn to convince everyone involved of the fact she was out, and against, the Resistance. All to support Cass in this delicate mission. By the way, the Nullifier Steph promised her is in Cassandra's pocket: Stephanie slipped it in during the fight. Cassandra believes her, she has no doubt, but she needs to be told why all this happened, and so Stephanie explains it to her.

Stephanie was depressed after Batman was killed and Oracle disappeared: she asked Nightwing to use his resources to try and track down Barbara, but he told her he couldn't, as it would mean the end for the Resistance, and a lot of problems for everybody involved. He also told her there was another way, but she would do things she never thought she could do to follow that path. Steph accepted, and then all led to the betrayal and her new reputation. All to be here. Cass apologizes to her, suffering for the fact she treated her like garbage all this time, and then reveals that since Batman died, several of the members of the Resistance saw signals, hidden messages, that suggested Bruce Wayne might be alive, and might be here, as the hidden codes pointed to these coordinates. If Oracle or Batman are here, they have to get them out. And without them knowing, Barbara Gordon is in a basement under them, her mind attached to some strange machine...

So, after two days, Stephanie blows her cover and uses all her resources to trigger a revolt inside the prison, all to give Cass the chance to find Batman in the secret basement of the Magistrate, and then get away...

Appearing in "Batgirls"

Featured Characters:

  • Orphan (First appearance)
  • Spoiler (Flashback and main story) (First appearance chronologically)

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Locations:

  • Gotham City
    • Magistrate Detention Facility (First appearance)

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Synopsis for "Gotham City Sirens: Ladies' Night Out, Part One"


Appearing in "Gotham City Sirens: Ladies' Night Out, Part One"

Featured Characters:

  • Gotham City Sirens (Flashback and main story) (First appearance)
    • Catwoman (Flashback and main story) (Apparent Death)
    • Dee-Dee (Flashback and main story) (First appearance) (Joins team)
    • Poison Ivy (Flashback and main story)

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Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Notes

  • The Speekeezee club in the third story features people dressed as various villains and heroes, despite stating its a joint for masked people and superheroes.



See Also


Links and References

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