Future State: Gotham #4
Written by Dennis Culver and Michael Golden
Art by Nikola Cizmesija and Jason Pearson
Letters by ALW’s Troy Peteri and Jack Morelli
The Rundown: Harley Quinn and Punchline do battle while being chased by a Hunter. Batman confronts a group of Clowns.
Jodi Edwards takes on a job to capture Punchline under the codename Hunter Panic. Elsewhere, Harley seeks out information on her former rival. Meanwhile, Punchline and her henchman head to the Ha-Hacienda to retrieve a sentimental object. Once there, she runs into Harley, and the two face off. Soon, Hunter Panic arrives on the scene, and chaos ensues. Then, Harley and the bounty hunter chase Punchline through Gotham. Finally, the pair catch up to Punchline, and a brief conversation leads to shocking news.
A group of Clowns guard a mysterious case belonging to the Joker. When Batman shows up, a massive confrontation occurs. Then, the Clowns learn the disturbing details surrounding the object in their care.
The Story: This high octane adventure is filled with action and drama. It was a treat to see Harley and Punchline spar. The addition of Hunter Panic did a nice of job of raising the stakes for both characters. While this chapter breaks away from the main plot, it adds in a new twist to the overall story. And I can’t help but wonder what Harley will do with her new found information. I’m interested in seeing how this series will progress going forward.
The Bottom Line
This is a cute and fun short tale. I appreciate how the action is at the forefront. It reminds me of vintage newsprint comics. And I found the harsh lesson at the end to be poignant, though relatively predictable.
The Art: The black and white motif is continuous throughout both tales. The A story has a modern feel. Cizmesija uses clean lines and a heavily manga influenced styling to create the world of Punchline. The action in this episode is thrilling and transportive. Pearson, on the other hand, uses youthful, detailed drawings to both convey the story and elicit an emotional response. Both methods do a fine job of effectively communicating the respective tones.