In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City.
This is the premise of Sean Murphy's White Knight, a comic that explores what would happen if a now sane Joker started to fight against Batman, who is now a violent maniac in the eyes of the citizens of Gotham City. I will be honest, when I first read the plot of this comic my mind instantly went to one of my favorite arcs ever: Batman: Going Sane. I thought that Murphy's work was going to be similar, and at first I was pretty skeptical about this comic.
However, after reading just a few pages of the comic, I quickly changed my mind and completely fell in love with it, though it is not without its flaws. The art of the comic is superb and I really like it, it's dark and extremely detailed, but some of the panels are almost confusing, since too much seems to be going on. Another thing that I disliked about this comic are some of the dialogues, that felt forced and unnatural, making everything appear "heavy".
What I really liked about this comic in addition to its art is Sean's take on The Joker: Joker is Batman's number one fan, and like in Snyder and Capullo's Death Of The Family, Joker is obsessed with him. He even decorated his cell in Arkham with pictures and gadgets regarding the Dark Knight, and from the first pages of the comic we notice that the Clown Prince of Crime is doing everything in order to get Batman's attention.
Batman, on the other hand, is not necessarily deconstructed by Murphy, but is simply put in an extreme situation that triggered him to snap and act like never before. With Alfred Pennyworth's taking ill, Bruce is forced to seek help from Mr. Freeze, and with The Joker acting crazier than ever in the streets of Gotham, it was only a matter of time before Batman showed his true violent colors, making everyone question whether Batman is actually helping with the criminal life in Gotham, or is just making it worse with his vigilantism and violent ways. It quickly became obvious that this first issue is a sort of subtle criticism to some of Batman's actions and to the GCPD, that lets it happen without batting an eye.
Overall, Batman: White Knight #1 was a satisfying and interesting read, and it has all the characteristics to become a classic Elseworlds story, even though it definitely has some flaws here and there. Also, Murphy definitely handled the switched roles of Joker and Batman extremely well, without making it look like a forced change of heart out of the blue. This first issue leaves you craving for more once you finish reading it, and as new panels from further issues are shared almost every day by Murphy on his Twitter account, the hype continues to grow.
If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, you can pick up a digital copy of the comic here.