Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Batman: White Knight, A review

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As a sucker for a creative comic/graphic novel, I seized on the opportunity to read Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight. Written on DC comics black label, the collection of eight issues (the hyperlink above takes you to the collection) explores an alternate universe in which Batman has official run amuck with the law to the point in which he is placed in prison. These facts are established early on, as the opening pages shed light on a Batman in chains and a Joker free from the scrutiny of the law. This fact is not a typo or misprint, and in this universe Joker has successfully become a public hero and Batman, the ying to his yang, has become the enemy of the public.

While the validity argument of Batman as a hero is old hat, this limited series digs far deeper than the classic good versus evil battle. Batman’s crew, ranging from the current version of Robin, to ex-partners gone AWOL, to Batgirl, all question the worth of the man. Is he good for the city, is his quest to take down Joker and his band of villains worth it? Can they, his current and once trusted hands, deal with not only Batman, but the mystique of former sidekicks no longer living in their world? Further, the pages explore the financial cost of flying state of the art military technology through a city, actions that basically destroy the metropolis on a nearly nightly basis and the truth at the heart of Mr. Freeze and Gotham City itself. Packaged neatly and acutely self-aware, Murpy authors a quick, mature journey through the heart of Batman lore.

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