Batman White Knight #1
In a world where Batman has gone too far in his strive for justice things take a twist that will bring Gotham a protector like no other. In Batman White Knight #1 (of 7) we find a Batman behind the bars of Arkham Asylum and the Joker of all people trying to clean up Gotham City. Is Batman really the villain of Gotham City, he does operate “above” the law and has seemingly gone overboard especially recently. When the Joker becomes sane again and brings charges against the Dark Knight, the tide starts to turn and the Joker takes it upon himself to save the city that Batman could not.
Sean Murphy (Chrononauts, Tokyo Ghost, The Wake) writes and intriguing “else worlds” story in Batman White Knight #1, it has a really nice setup and it will be very interesting to see how this whole series plays out in the end. As comic fans, we have seen and probably discussed this many times about vigilantism, what goes too far and the whole relationship between Batman and The Joker. These themes have been written and talked about for years so Murphy has a difficult task of making it into something new and relevant and he mostly succeeds in the first issue of this series. While it does touch on the tired trope of Batman makes the Joker and the Joker makes the Batman idea and their symbiotic like relationship, it does not dwell on it too much. I like the focus of the Joker taking legal action on Batman and him becoming the “hero” so far of the story while taking up the mantle of the White Night, that is a very interesting turn for Murphy to take with this story.
I do feel like seven issues might be a little bit much for this series. Batman White Knight #1 felt a little long in the tooth with some of the dialogue, it felt like this issue could have been cut down a little, it just has me worried about the story being stretched too much to hit seven issues.
You cannot go wrong with Sean Murphy drawing the Batmobile you just can’t, throw in Nightwing on a motorcycle for good measure! Sean is delivering pure fan service! The whole issue could have been that and I would have been disappointed, but then not really at the same time. The biggest selling point of this series was having Sean Murphy drawing the characters and various things in the “Batman Universe”. Murphy has a great style that really enhances the darkness of the Dark Knight, his rough lines and more “scratchy” style really adds an edge to the characters in Batman White Knight #1. He gives “texture” to his art, almost like you would be able to run your fingers across the page and be able to feel some abrasive texture against your fingers. I love the way he depicts Batman also he is large and imposing but looks sleek at the same time.
Matt Hollingsworth as always is a perfect fit to compliment Sean Murphy’s pencils and inks. This book is dark and plays a lot with shadows along with darker colors and tones. Hollingsworth does a great job with all this darkness to still have the characters and settings come to life and pop off the page. There is a great opening scene of Batman in Arkham Asylum that is all mainly black and grey coloring scheme and while this could look very mundane or really not play well at all, Hollingsworth makes it a stunning visual.
Batman White Knight #1 is a good start to this seven issue mini-series, while the story does feel a little long in some parts it mostly flows nicely at setting up everything for the rest of the series. The most intriguing part is how this story is going to play out over seven issues, what is really happening with Batman and The Joker. The staying point is having Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth on art they are truly a “dynamic duo” that will have me picking up the series no matter where the story goes!
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