DC's Future State event is well underway and while there are still new stories and titles being introduced -- Future State: Catwoman and Future State: Nightwing being examples of that this week -- others are getting deeper into this potential future for the DC Universe. That includes Future State: The Next Batman. With the second issue out now, we're finding out even more about Tim "Jace" Fox's turn as Batman in a city held in the grips of the Magistrate and while it's more clear than ever that this new Batman has a complicated connection to the dubious power structure that has its boot firmly on the neck of Gotham it's also clear that Batman isn't alone. Future State: The Next Batman #2 reveals that Tim has a sidekick of sorts helping him.
Warning: spoilers for Future State: The Next Batman #2.
The issue opens with Batman coming across the scene of a murder and it's an extremely recent murder at that. He notes that the victim's blood is still pooling, but the killers didn't take anything from the victim except their life. With very limited time before the Magistrate shows up, Batman breaks into a nearby store whose security camera caught the murder on video so that he can get the images to someone named Vol to aid in tracking them down.
Of course, the Magistrate shows up sooner than Batman expects and he has to fight his way out, making a quick call to Vol as he speeds away, sharing the video as well as information about the victim to Vol before burning his phone to keep from being tracked. Later, hiding out in a shipping container, Batman reaches out to Vol again on a different phone to find out what Vol has discovered about the perps, getting a location before burning that phone as well since the Magistrate will be able to trace it.
At this point, it's not clear who Vol is, though it seems that whoever they are, they have access to systems that allow them to aid Batman in a manner that flies below the Magistrate's radar. It is also implied that Vol may be Russian or at least Russian-speaking. Vol says both "da" and "udachi" -- the latter means "good luck" in Russian -- during a conversation with Batman. Whoever Vol ends up being, they appear to be one of the few people on the vigilante's side. Future State: The Next Batman #2 also reveals the very complicated state of Tim Fox's family. While we already knew that his father, Lucius, designed the technology behind the Magistrate, the Peacekeepers, and more and that his sister, Tamara, is in a coma as a result of something related to vigilantes while Luke is keeping his Batwing role a secret, we find out just how fractured everything really is with his mother, Tanya Fox, working with the mayor of Gotham to firm up the shoot on sight law that unbeknownst to her puts her son right in the crosshairs.
Future State: The Next Batman #2 is on sale now.