Batman’s Future State Reveals How Joker War Was Gotham’s Turning Point

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Dark Detective #2 by Mariko Tamaki, Dan Mora, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar, on sale now.

DC’s “Future State” event takes place in what appears to be its own alternate reality. The dystopian future chronicled in the company’s line of books is a much darker place where old heroes have undergone a great change, and where new, younger heroes have now replaced their predecessors. Ever since the event’s start, it’s been clear that this is in its very own bubble reality, separate from the DC Universe. There was no apparent connection between one era and the other, nor was there any causality that would trace an evolution between the two.

That is, until now. In Future State: Dark Detective #2, Bruce Wayne embarks on an investigation of the Magistrate, and he reveals that this dark era for Gotham City started after the conclusion of a recent event: 2020’s “Joker War.”

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In Dark Detective, Bruce Wayne has embarked on a mission to take down the Magistrate and free Gotham from the organization’s occupation. In Issue #2, the vigilante dives into the history of the Magistrate, and he reveals that there are three lucrative mega-corporations behind it: the biggest of the three is Plexitech, which manufactures the Magistrate’s ammunition and armor. This company, as well as the two others, are vital to the Magistrate’s hold on Gotham. And what is perhaps most interesting about them is that, as Bruce explains, none of them existed before the events of “Joker War.”

“Joker War” was an event that took over the Batman title this past summer. After the Clown Prince of Crime stole the Wayne family fortune, he took over all of Gotham, allowing his followers to run rampant all over the city, transforming it into a literal warzone. Batman and most of the Bat-Family were out of this fight for an extended period of time, which is why the Joker was so successful in his attack. The event finally ended with Batman defeating Joker. The city was saved, but it was foretold that, as it was being rebuilt once again, it would go through a transformation of sorts.

Now, “Future State” is showcasing a possible avenue for this transformation. In this alternate timeline, three mega-corporations were created following the carnage of the Joker, and they are what allowed the city to become policed by an organization that is hunting down masked vigilantes.

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This isn’t the only reference the issue makes to “Joker War.” Bruce discovers that the Magistrate is using micro-technology designed to spy on everyone in the city. This very technology, as it turns out, was being developed by Wayne Enterprises before the events of “Joker War.” Once the threat of the Joker subsided, not only were three new companies created out of the war’s flames, a crucial piece of technology was also refined to the point that it gave the Magistrate the means to achieve their goals.

Now, there’s a direct connection between recent events of the main DC Universe and “Future State.” Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that this dark future is an inevitable destination — it’s only one of many possible futures. But it does show the catastrophic potential consequences of the “Joker War” — consequences the Joker himself likely never saw coming.

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