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Batman White Knight #2

by Michael D on November 01, 2017

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

This week, we see the release of the second issue of Sean Murphy’s new Elseworld Batman tale. The issue tackles a newly reformed Joker, Jack Napier, trying to readjust to his newfound mental state. The issue might be a little more slow, but it’s just as strong as the depute issue.

If there was any doubt with the first issue as to whether this was a Batman story or a Joker story, this issue should answer that. Joker is the main character here and he gets almost all the page real estate. Batman gets relegated to a few panels but when Murphy makes Mr. Napier so interesting, it’s hard to complain. Napier is trying to make good on the promise he made in the first issue, to prove he can get the Gotham back on track.

The issue starts off with Napier’s testimony sending shock waves throughout Gotham. Murphy brings some interesting ideas to the table but he also tries to tackle too many issues at once. For example, his main points focus on corruption and deceit by public officials but there is also references to the Black Lives Matter movement, the 99%, and social justice warriors. On one hand, it’s nice to see some real world issues tackled in the pages of a Batman comic but on the other hand, it might be a bit too much at once. Luckily, Murphy focuses on the corruption and handles it in a way that I haven’t seen before, primarily revolving around real estate and Batman. It’s something I can’t wait to see where Murphy takes it.

The majority of this issue revolves around Napier’s reunion with Harley Quinn. It was easily the best part and Murphy handles it so well. He manages to weave multiple interpretations of Harley into the story while also carefully walking the line that defines their relationship. The Joker/Harley relationship is nothing that people should admire; it’s both emotionally and physically abusive. Murphy acknowledges this and manages to make it a very tragic relationship but also something that can be fixed.

Harley isn’t the only villain to make an appearance. The issue ends with Napier revealing more of his plan to fix Gotham and it involves Batman’s entire rogue gallery. It’s a nice tease and any chance for Murphy to draw the Bane, Poison Ivy, the Ventriloquist, among others, is more than welcome.

Finally, Murphy’s art is incredible this issue. There might not be as much action or splash pages this issue but I still spent extra time on each page absorbing it. Seeing Murphy tackle all the different characters was a real treat and, wow, does he draw an amazing Harley and Mr. Freeze. The Mr. Freeze splash page alone is worth the price of admission.

Sean Murphy’s Elseworld tale of a Joker turned hero continues to be a book that deserves to be on the top of your pull-list. On top of the amazing art, Murphy manages to write a compelling story with interesting takes on classic heroes and villains.
 

Our Score:

9/10

A Look Inside