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Batman: White Knight #3

by Michael D on December 06, 2017

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

Sean Murphy’s Elseworld Batman tale shows no signs of slowing down. This issue is a bit less focused than the previous ones but it still manages to deliver plenty of surprises. Quite a few characters are explored but the dichotomy between this Joker and this Batman was highlighted very well this issue. It’s a big risk that pays off.

The issue starts with a cold open on the “new” Harley we were introduced to last issue. The two Harley idea to the Bat mythos is an incredible interesting idea and one that the community has seemed to latch onto very readily. I’m glad to see that the character isn’t going anywhere but instead being thrown to the forefront of the story and donning the title of The Joker. I think it’s a smart move for Murphy to keep the Harley drama as part of the story. I have a feeling that this aspect of his story has the most potential to be picked up by other creators and DC in general.

The bulk of this issue revolves around the villains rampaging through Gotham. As we saw at the end of the last issue, it’s a plan orchestrated by Napier to take down Batman. Here we see that Napier is very clever and in complete control of his emotions and mind. He uses this attack to not only show the faults in Batman but also in the system. The way the wealthy profit off Batman is finally made public. The people eat it up and Napier gets more and more popular. The funny thing is that Napier seems to genuinely care for the city. Despite mind controlling the villains to orchestrate the rampage he seems to definitely be the good guy in this book. You’ll find yourself rooting for him and when we see the state that Batman is in, it’s hard not to.

While Napier is clever, charming, and in control of the situation we see that Batman is in a much different place. He is reckless, almost getting himself killed. He pushes Batgirl and Nightwing away. We see that they kind of hate him and for good reason. Finally, in a heartbreaking scene, we find that Alfred has died. Batman is completely broken. It’s going to be a wild ride to see how low Batman can go.

Murphy delivers another fantastic issue in this Elseworld tale. We get a better sense of the world that he has created. The dichotomy between the Joker and Batman was explored to great effect. Some might be put off by this Batman. He’s damaged and hotheaded and the story might seem a bit too cynical. It’s handled well and I believe that Murphy has plenty more surprises up his sleeve. Also, I almost forgot, the art is fantastic this issue. Murphy has set the bar very high these past issues and he continues to meet and even surpass them. There’s no reason to be skipping this book.
 

Our Score:

9/10

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