Once upon a time, John Ridley was to be Batman's new ongoing writer as part of DC Comics' 5G plans. Then everything changed. His work was repurposed into the near-future-set Future State: The Next Batman for DC Future State, and he also has a digital-first series, Second Son looking at Jace Fox's rise to taking over Bruce Wayne, set in current DC Comics continuity as laid out by James Tynion IV.
And leaving us to join the dots together. Such as Tamara Fox. In Future State: The Next Batman, it is her coma, blamed on the actions of superheroes in Gotham, that motivates her mother, Tanya, to work with Mayor Nakona, The Magistrate and the Peacekeepers as a fascist police force on the streets of Gotham, who believe they killed Bruce Wayne. Today's The Second Son #4 helps to pull on the shoelaces that have been threaded through a variety of comic book stories.
In Batwing, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Tamara Fox was put into a vegetative state by The Ratcatcher and his minions. With Lucius Fox and Tanya Fox spending their days caring for their daughter.
She got better, mostly. But in Future State, something had gone very wrong.
Hospitalised in a coma, the effects on the Fox family were felt by Gotham far and wide.
And Tanya Fox, unbeknownst to her, going up against both her sons, but especially Jace Fox, the Next Batman.
But what did they do to Tamara? And what does her husband, head of Wayne Enterprises and Wayne Tech, have to say about all this?
After all, it was WayneTech that was behind the Peacekeeper, cyber and drone programme used by the Magistrate to patrol the streets.
And she even gets that direct confrontation with her son as The Next Batman too…
But we now learn what happened with Tamara. In The Next Batman: Second Son #3, we saw something happen with Tamara. As the family fought over their many differences…
Tamara took a fall.
And in this week's Second Son heading straight into Future State territory.
Going back into the vegetative state that was originally caused by Ratcatcher rather than any new mask-related activity.
But, as this comic is set in current DC Comics continuity, reflecting what happened at Arkham Asylum on A-Day, with the Joker leaving toxic bombs to kill most of the inmates, guards and health professionals. And the event that is intended to set off the Magistrate programme in the first place courtesy of Mator Nakano and Simon Saint…
So much blame to go around.
but Tabitha Fox has a plan. And we all see where she ends up in Future State as well…
…after all, she already knows about her brother.
The Next Batman: Second Son #4 is published today on ComiXology.
The family struggles with Tamara's relapsed condition and to complicate things, a connection to Jace's mission against Arkadine surfaces in Gotham (and a frightening new adversary reveals herself). Also, Nakano's mission to crackdown on masks in Gotham takes a further turn as new police commissioner Renee Montoya promotes her two new detectives—Future State's Whittaker and Chubb!
Written by John Ridley, Pencils by Tony Akins, Inks: Travel Foreman Inks by Livesay, Mark Morales. Coloured by Rex Lokus, Cover by Doug Braithwaite.