Publishing Company: DC Comics
Written By: Sean Murphy
Art By: Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth
Batman the White Knight is a noble tragedy; a sacred drama. The more the Joker (now cured as ordinary citizen Jack Napier) opens his mouth gushing forth virtuous rhetoric, the more our unease grows. In this latest issue, with just a single poignant speech to the jury, Jack casts himself on the side of the abused and disenfranchised. He plays upon the concerns of internet justice crusaders, drags the flaws of the already barely trusted GCPD under a microscope, and cites his own doctor-pronounced healthy state as proof of his integrity. Jack’s every conversation is an oratory masterclass, which only serves to heighten the feeling of dread dripping like beads of cobra venom in our bones that something is just not right. It can’t be right.
Joker is no hero.
And Batman is absolutely not a villain.
The writing boldly tugs on heartstrings as Jack searches out his true love, to finally be true to her in his newly healed and restored form. Harley’s response is what it always has been, the only thing it could ever be. Because now he’s finally in a space to give her the one thing she’s always wanted from him. To pay her in abundance with the one currency he only ever freely dolled out on Batman.
Meanwhile Bruce learns from his circle of wealthy associates that Batman’s war on crime hasn’t had quite the effect that he’d imagined it having. Preventing crime among the lower caste neighborhoods and the poor has opened up an entirely new lane of crime among the upper class and elite. The art does brilliant work here, showcasing Bruce’s eternal war waged within his very members. He knows that Batman exists to fight crime, but he wrestles with whether or not the presence of Batman causes more than it prevents. But at the same time, those fateful gunshots from almost a life time ago are forever ringing in his ears, preventing him from doing anything else.
He must fight.
And he must win.
It has been said that the brightest light casts the darkest shadow. If that is accurate, then the opposite must also be true. The darkest shadow generates the brightest light. With terrifying skillful writing and cleverly executed imagery, we are forced to truly consider the question of who is generating whom. Does the Joker exist because of Batman? Is Jack the result of the Joker? Does Bruce require Batman in order to survive?
This epic, elseworld miniseries set in Gotham’s dark nights exposes us to the critical question of identity.
Which causes which?
Another standout issue in this amazing series.
5 Puddins Out of 5