DC's Future State officially kicked off this week, bringing a two-month-long reinvigoration of the comic universe's canon. The first wave of titles tied to Future State has set out to showcase some new stories in the DC omniverse, which were shaken into existence by the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal. One of the first titles to be included in the launch was Future State: Harley Quinn, which threw the fan-favorite antihero into a truly unexpected situation. As fans quickly learned, Harley's new status quo in the cyberpunk world of Gotham City was a familiar face. Spoilers for Future State: Harley Quinn #1 from Stephanie Phillips, Simone DiMeo, Tamra Bonvillain, and Troy Peteri below! Only look if you want to know!
After opening with a montage of Harley fighting soldiers of the Magistrate, the shadow organization that has taken over Gotham City, Harley woke up in a bleak prison cell, with her captor monologuing. He quickly introduced himself as Jonathan Crane -- aka Scarecrow. Crane revealed that he's been working with the Magistrate to help capture the wayward criminals of Gotham City -- and that he wants to utilize Harley's own psychology skills to figure out how to do so.
Given Harley's situation in captivity, she reluctantly agrees to help him, suggesting methods to draw out and capture both Professor Pyg and Firefly by utilizing their psychological weaknesses. In exchange, Harley leverages the opportunity to get better circumstances in her prison sentence, either by having her handcuffs removed or by getting her civilian clothes back.
As the issue goes along, it becomes clear that something is off about Crane -- his personal vendetta against Black Mask and his gang, who he has yet to properly capture.
The idea of utilizing Crane in this context in Future State: Harley Quinn is definitely interesting on multiple levels -- for one thing, having a "former" supervillain employed by the Magistrate definitely adds a shadier angle to their hold on Gotham City. And there's also the personal dyad between Harley and Crane, both of whom have backgrounds as psychologists, but wildly different styles and methods when it comes to fighting their adversaries. With a second issue of Future State: Harley Quinn on the way - as well as multiple other Gotham-based titles set for the Future State event - there's definitely a lot of interesting dynamics established in the issue.
Future State: Harley Quinn #2 will be released on February 2nd.