The second installment of Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight continues to delve into a different Gotham City where things are grittier than usual. The Elseworlds-type story is brilliantly exploring the fundamental relationship between Batman and Joker. After a brutal confrontation between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime, which ended with Joker’s forced ingestion of an experimental drug, Joker ended up on the road to recovery.
Batman: White Knight is turning the tables on the dynamic between the hero and villain. This is a fantastic change of pace over the typical Batman story readers have grown accustomed to.
Beginning with Napier pleading his case and explaining the cause of his criminal persona, there’s an intriguing look at what’s really at the core of his essence. While he doesn’t claim to have been a saint, he reveals the true cause of his evolution in becoming a “supercriminal.” The finger-pointing is an interesting twist and sheds new light on the way Batman and the GCPD have been doing things. Murphy takes full advantage of being able to paint a darker picture in the already bleak Gotham City. Watching this unfold will be riveting.
The other engrossing aspect of this issue is Harley Quinn. She and Joker have often been depicted in the midst of a tumultuous relationship. When the two are reunited here, it’s Napier that meets with Quinn. It’s safe to say, he does the unthinkable. Murphy also adds a little twist to Harley which makes the story even more compelling.
Of course, there is Murphy’s amazing art and Matt Hollingsworth’s moody colors. You can’t help but be mesmerized and blown away by the visuals, at the same time. Murphy is fleshing out Gotham in a different way, and each depiction of the different characters leaves you wanting more. This is only the second issue, and I’m already dreading the fact the eighth and final issue will eventually be upon us.
Batman: White Knight is not your typical or traditional Batman book. It’s also not trying to be. Batman fans are currently being treated to incredible stories in the main books by Scott Snyder, Tom King, and James Tynion IV along with cool appearances in various other titles. Sean Murphy is crafting a story that is venturing into a different corner of the Batman mythos. He’s exploring a different aspect of what makes Batman and the Joker the characters we all know. Murphy is clearly writing the story he wants to tell and has been given the freedom to do so on his own terms. Along with his art and Hollingsworth’s colors, this is a book you should not miss.