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Batman Just Met the DC Animated Universe’s Answer to His Future State Foes

The DCAU’s newest Gotham mayoral candidate introduced a group to the city that has eerie similarities to the dangerous and malicious Magistrate.

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman: The Adventures Continue: Season 2 #5, on sale now from DC Comics.

If the DCAU could get in on the Court of Owls fun, then it can also have its own version of the Magistrate. A trip down memory for Batman revealed that at one point in his early career, Gotham City had its own “elite” task force designed to root out crime and change the city for the better with legal authority. It was even authorized by the mayor’s office. And much like the Magistrate, corruption was at the root of this group, leading to their eventual dismantling.

But with their founder now returned to Gotham City, chances are strong that Batman will have to contend with this sinister group known as M-Force.

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M-Force was founded by then-Mayor Mayfield as a response to Batman. Mayfield had ridden the election wave by using Batman as a scapegoat for his campaign and now endeavored to make good on his promise, creating an elite group of soldiers only answerable to the mayor’s office. But Batman’s investigations into the group revealed that many of these “elite soldiers” were either rejected from the military, had criminal records or even spent stints in Arkham. All of them were loyal to Mayfield however and this led to Batman discovering the disconcerting truth behind them.

M-Force was created to end crime, but they went about this not through military precision strikes, but violent raids that ended in massacres for whatever gang they had chosen to prey upon that night. But the increasing body count hid their true goals: to steal half of what their victims had and then give the lion’s share to Mayfield, making them all rich because they were legally authorized to murder people. Batman shut them down by forcing Mayfield to resign, but the similarities to the Magistrate are uncanny.

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Unlike the Magistrate, M-Force only had the financial backing of a corrupt city mayor. That may have bought them legal authority to murder with impunity, but in comparison to the tech mogul providing the Magistrate with weapons, the M-Force looks like a glorified SWAT team, which actually was the basic idea behind them. Likewise, the Magistrate employed people with actual training to perform missions. Mayfield didn’t find qualified individuals so much as he did loyal ones. Batman repeatedly mentioned how incompetent M-Force was in comparison to real soldiers. But then, why would Mayfield hire people who actually had skill, it would have cost more.

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Despite the many failings of M-Force though, they were a thorn Batman could not remove without physically threatening Mayfield. And now the man has returned to Gotham without that fear of Batman in the back of his mind. Perhaps Mayfield has reestablished M-Force, this time with actual soldiers to do his bidding. Whatever the cause behind his sudden confidence, the recollection of M-Force is almost guaranteed to be more than just an example of Mayfield’s corruption.

The former mayor is making a second bid for office and this he’ll probably want even more than he had when last in office. A private military force at his command is a tough thing to let go of and if he manages to secure another term then M-Force will probably be reformed, this time prepared to hassle the entire Bat-Family.

KEEP READING: Batman Teases the Cosmic Origin of a Major Gotham Villain

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