Sean Murphy's Elseworld tale keeps exploring how Gotham City would be like if the Joker became sane and decided to act for a good cause. Jack Napier continues his effort of exposing GCPD's corruption and taking Batman down in this third issue of Batman: White Knight.
As we saw in the previous issue, Jack is orchestrating the perfect plan to earn the people of Gotham’s trust and to get his hands on some of the GCPD’s files that prove their corruption. The plan, as we expected, is successful, and even though Jack had to mind control the criminals, he definitely seems to be the good guy in this comic.
For Jack, everything’s going as planned and he is in control of the situation, for Batman, nothing is going as it should. He almost gets himself killed, and pushes Nightwing and Batgirl away for no reason, apparently. But as we flip through the pages of the comic, with a panel that is brilliantly drawn at the same time, heartbreaking, we find out that Alfred has died, explaining Bruce’s extreme behavior.
As the plot progresses, we notice how the slow pace of the previous issue is completely gone, leaving us with a very interesting issue full of twists and turns. It sure will be interesting to see how Bruce will cope with the loss of his moral compass in the next issues, and so we’ll be exploring more of Batman and Nightwing’s dynamic, but also the “new” Harley’s intentions as she goes after the Mad Hatter.
One thing that I really love about this issue, besides the art that is spectacular as always, is the fact that the dialogue feels natural, rather than the forced dialogue in the first issue, hinting that the writing is getting better and better, but also the Mad Hatter’s characterization. There’s nothing better than seeing Jervis Tetch randomly quoting Lewis Carroll. I think that Murphy really got Jervis’ character right, and is doing his best to portray him.
However, the way Batman is being written is very hard to track, which makes you want to know what he is thinking all the time, which I personally find slightly annoying, especially since there’s not a lot of introspection for the character. The final pages of the comic, however, are disturbing but yet exciting at the same time, and definitely makes you crave for more, as we discover what lies beneath Clayface and we discover what happened to Batman’s rogues in a chilling, last panel.
Overall, Batman: White Knight is an intriguing series so far, the characterizations and dialogues are on and off, so it isn’t exactly consistent. The art is breathtakingly beautiful, and the premise, of course, is amazing. I have high hopes for the series.
If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, you can pick up a digital copy of the comic here.
Alessia's review of Batman: White Knight #2