So…some spoilers for a story that should have been told a long time ago!
Batman: White Knight tells the story of the Joker, a villain who needs no introduction, gets completely cured and accuses Batman of being the villain that is responsible for Gotham’s destruction. That’s right folks the roles are switched as it is Jokers turn to play the hero and clean up Gotham while Gotham’s number one villain is behind bars: Batman! Finally, that pesky bat is now right where he belongs!
Batman: White Knight, as I said is a story that should have been told a long time ago! Joker now goes by Jack Napier (a throwback to Tim Burtons 1989 Batman Film, played by Jack Nicholson.) This Joker is intelligent, collected and thinks of the people of Gotham and honestly, it’s a nice breathe of fresh air to see the Joker as non-destructive villain..hero?
Sean Murphy does wonderfully with his version of Batman, he’s aggressive with pursuing the Joker, he’s destructive, he is so focused on catching the Joker that he doesn’t care who or what gets in the way. Batman was on his last legs with the whole cat and mouse game with Joker, which is a great set up, but the Joker getting cured and the dialogue just felt rushed and overly explained, in the beginning of the comic, seeing Batman chained up and Napier (The Joker) standing before him on the opposite end is terrifying and awesome, but when you flash back to One Year Before, and it’s a wall of text and explanation, it just feels rushed.
Sean Murphy as the artist does a brilliant rendition of Batman, you can feel he is no longer Bruce Wayne and Batman has possibly taken completley over and Joker is written…to..be..likable and the way he is portrayed and developed, he does make you wonder if Batman is the true villain of Gotham all along, since techincally he is the creator of all of his foes. Sean Murphy’s art is dark, chilling and beautifully set up with the tones and craftsmanship of Gotham City and the designs of everyone who appears.
With that being said, I have to say, Batman: White Knight, is a wonderful story that is beautiful as it is charming, but as I said it can come off as rushed, yes the concept of Joker becoming the Hero and Batman the villain is great, but the explanation and the reasoning just didn’t feel complete, we should have gotten a little bit more build up on this issue.
Batman: White Knight I’d recommend if you want a twisted Batman story and not your regular Batman Rebirth or Detective Comics Batman, there are a lot of great weird and darker stories out there about Batman and we should be happy that this will be added to the list. As for issue one…it made me want so much more, this doesn’t mean it is not a good issue, as I said the concept alone is enough to keep Batman fans around and it is enough to keep me around as well!