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Batman White Knight #1

by Michael D on October 04, 2017

Writer & Artist: Sean Murphy
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: DC

 Ever since his short story in Detective Comics #27, I could not wait for Sean Murphy to tackle a full length Batman tale. His detailed and gritty style lends itself perfectly to a Batman title.  After over 3 years since he ‘Tec #27, my dream finally comes true with Batman White Knight #1 released this week. It’s an Elseworld story, taking an interesting direction with the Joker. The best part is that it is completely written and drawn by Sean Murphy. One issue in and I can tell you that it was worth the wait.

First off, Sean Murphy is one of the best artists working today and the art is fantastic in this issue. His composition is top notch and he does a great job and leading the eye through each panel. Also, there are a number of splash pages sprinkled through out to let you really appreciate his art, I had to pause and absorb each one for a few minutes. One thing worth mentioning is that Murphy draws a great Joker. The crazy and the pain are conveyed really well here in a number of close-up shots. This being an Elseworld story allows Murphy to go crazy with the designs of every character in the bat-family. The Batmobile has never been cooler, Batman with a collar just works, and Batgirl looks great.

While mostly known for his art, Sean Murphy has proven he can write compelling characters with Punk Rock Jesus. Does he pull that off again here? The story is basically, what if Joker was the good guy and batman the bad. This Batman is a lot more brutal and aggressive. He doesn’t have the same care towards civilians that we’re accustomed to seeing. He pushes civilians out of his way and he almost runs them over with his Batmobile. This Batman is particularly brutal to his villains, going someplace very dark. It’s something we’re not used to seeing but that’s part of what makes it so interesting. There is some explanation at the end as well but I hope Murphy continues to balance the superhero/vigilante without going too far.

Joker is handled differently here too. In the beginning, this Joker seems more like the one we’re used to; he’s causing chaos for laughs and is being chased by the Batman. When he’s finally caught, we begin to see how this one is different. He begins to explain how they need each other and how he does what he does for Batman. It’s a relationship that has been explored a lot but it just felt a little too monologue –y and heavy handed here, especially for the Joker. In a particularly powerful scene, that Joker dies and a new one is born. I am much more interested to see who this new Joker is and move away from the one we just met.

Overall, this is a beautiful issue with a ton of potential to reach the heights of other well regarded Elseworlds.

Our Score:


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