BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #1
Beautifully drawn and wildly creative, BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #1 from DC Comics lives in its own world where Batman has gone too far and it is up to Joker to reign him in. Sean Murphy of The Wake and Chrononauts fame takes up writing and art duties on this elseworlds title and has created a unique and wonderfully designed world of his own. Batman is in hot pursuit of The Joker and has become reckless in his obsession. Safety for innocents and any rule or law or due process has been thrown out the window and replaced by madness and vengeance. In a wonderful bit of scripting the entire relationship between Joker and Batman comes into focus. For Joker it is a game, a quest to push Batman to become his best. He allows Batman to be the hero Gotham needs but when even he can see that Batman has gone to far he capitulates and surrenders, only to have brain altering medication shoved down his throat. Cured of mind of body Jack Napier now re-emerges with a new mission, to save Gotham City from the deranged and lawless vigilante it has harbored for too long.
For his first major writing credit I must say that Sean Murphy has absolutely killed it with BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #1. He seems to pull from many different sources including film to bring his new version of Gotham City and Batman to life. Jack Napier is an obvious use of the name established in the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie but the Joker’s motives feel far more reminiscent of Heath Ledgers portrayal of the character. He exists as a mirror for Batman and when Bruce Wayne takes it too far that mirror is broken and the sane man at the center of it all returns. Murphy has completely flipped the world of Batman on its head in one short opening issue and it is just fantastic to read.
Not only is the script amazing but the art design is a feast for the eyes. I have been a fan of Sean Murphy’s work for a few years now but this is the first time I have seen his take on an established world as opposed to one of his own creation. Designs for Batman, Batgirl, Nightwing, and the Batmobile in particular are really well done and show a nice flourish on his typical style. BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT has been hyped up quite a bit in the last few months and it is a pleasure to report that it has been worth it. This is going to be a hit so make sure you pick up issue #1 before we sell out and add it to your pull list for the remained of the 9 issue series.