"['Future State'] is a combination of two things. It's an opportunity to tell some really exciting stories in the imminent future of Gotham City, and it's an opportunity to work with a lot of really great, diverse creators. It's a future look at things to come," Batman group editor Ben Abernathy.
For the months of January and February of 2021, DC's Batman line will be comprised of two oversized, twice-monthly anthologies and five monthly limited series.
The first anthology is Future State: The Next Batman, with a lead story of the same name by John Ridley, Nick Derington, and Laura Braga. Supplementing that story will be four serials: Outsiders (Brandon Thomas and Sumit Kumar), Arkham Knights (Paul Jenkins and Jack Herbert), Batgirls (Vita Ayala and Aneke), and Gotham City Sirens (Paula Sevenbergen and Emanuela Lupacchino).
Here are the five standalone two-issue limited series, along with a brief rundown by Abernathy:
Future State: Batman/Superman, by Gene Luen Yang and Ben Oliver ("The world’s finest do battle in the Magistrate’s Kryptonite Caverns!")
Future State: Catwoman, by Ram V and Otto Schmidt ("Catwoman is going to save a train full of prisoners from the Magistrate the only way she knows how…by stealing it!")
Future State: Harley Quinn, by Stephanie Phillips and Simone Di Meo ("The Magistrate things Harley Quinn is their ultimate weapon…but she’s about to backfire on them!")
Future State: Nightwing, by Andrew Constant and Nicola Scott ("Poster boy of the resistance against the Magistrate is bringing sexy back!")
Future State: Robin Eternal, by Meghan Fitzmartin and Eddy Barrows ("A new substance called the Lazarus Resin will make the Magistrate immortal. Tim Drake is here to stop it…whatever it takes!")
While these will work as standalone stories you can begin in January and finish in February, Abernathy tells some of these characters and storyline threads will continue when the modern-day Bat-books resume in March.
"With the Bat group title, it's definitely a look towards the future," Abernathy says. "How much of that future is true is uncertain, because decisions in the present can always change the future. On one hand, yes they're great standalone stories but the seeds... wait, 'Future State' doesn't plant seeds; it's already crop-grown. The seeds are already planted; these stories will come to fruition in the main line."