Future State: Dark Detective #3 just saw Bruce Wayne uncovering the dark truth behind Gotham City’s new Brother Eye and the prison it’s creating.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Dark Detective #3 by Mariko Tamaki, Dan Mora, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar, on sale now.

Future State: Dark Detective is giving fans deeper insight into how much of a ascist state Gotham really has become under the rule of the vicious Magistrate. In the Future State era, the Magistrate has been using Cybers and nano-drones to make it a military zone where curfews are violently (and lethally) enforced, infringing on people’s rights, all in the name of justice.

It’s part of the Peacekeepers’ mission to curb crime by rooting out vigilantes, or masks, but there’s an ulterior motive that’s been hinted at. And in Future State: Dark Detective #3, Bruce Wayne realizes it’s worse than he imagined as he uncovers the truth behind Gotham’s new Brother Eye.

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Brother Eye was a surveillance system Bruce set up in 2005’s Countdown to Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Judd Winnick, Ed Benes, Phil Jimenez, and more, to spy on the world. Among other things, it allowed him to monitor superhumans, which pissed off the Justice League. Unfortunately,  his secretive plans backfired when Max Lord hacked in and wreaked havoc, unleashing his army of OMACs which culminated in Max controlling Superman with his mind-control powers and Wonder Woman snapping his neck.

It’s something Bruce has found hard to live down ever since, and he comes off a bit hypocritical when he gives his damning assessment of the Magistrate’s system. The Dark Knight‘s been rounding up drones to investigate more of their cloaking tech, but soon discovers a scandal tied to the CEO of Plexitech, Carl Bennington. Carl was found murdered but Bruce believes it’s linked to a shell company, CB Enterprises, which focused on cutting-edge tech and advancements in surveillance. It seems someone didn’t like Carl moving from armor to security, and as Bruce hacks the drones, he realizes it’s the Magistrate. All the drones connect to a single server and Bruce pulls up footage showing Peacekeepers killing Carl, framing vigilantes for the death, and reporting it 26 minutes later. It’s a sadistic conspiracy but Bruce knows the Magistrate is protecting their own interests as they don’t want Carl selling the tech to anyone else. After trying to kill Bruce, they can repeat what they did with Wayne Enterprises, by either partnering with the company or buying them out and keeping appropriate the tech for themselves.

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It’s what happened to Bruce’s drones, which leaves him even more pissed at the Fox family for selling out. And to make it worse, it’s gone from an invasion of privacy into a panopticon, because these drones are hidden in plain sight all over the city, showing the Magistrate everything.

They can peer inside companies, people’s homes, and even their bedrooms, which freaks Bruce out. It’s Brother Eye all over again but this time, it’s not about protection, it’s about murder and power, all so the Magistrate could weaponize his system and turn the broken city into a playpen. To make it worse, Bruce doesn’t know what other new tech’s going to be rolled out soon, and with eyes everywhere, he’s as paranoid as ever as not even a grounded Batman can stay in the shadows forever.

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