REVIEW: Batman White Knight #1

Have you ever wondered what the Dark Knight feared? What a man who claimed to personify vengeance could possibly be afraid of? Have you found yourself wishing that once, just once, Bats vigilante justice would find a worthy adversary? Curious what life would be like if the Joker found a competent therapist?

In WHITE KNIGHT #1, Sean Gordon Murphy answers your every desire. A dark, gritty tale of fallen heroes, redeemed villains and a stunning change of pace will leave you reeling like you’d been hit with the Joker’s laughing gas. Starring a worried Batgirl, an exasperated Nightwing  (sans buttshot!) and an ailing friend, this story is going to captivate you from the first panel.

Because when the Dark Knight loses control, a white knight must ride in to save Gotham and give the city the hero it so desperately needs. It’s time for the fallen hero to stay down, and a savior to rise from Hell.

Murphy pens a gripping story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. There’s so much raw emotion between his words and illustrations that I swear, my heart must be bleeding. I was very impressed with the obsessive, homoerotic feel of the Joker’s relationship claim with Batman. It speaks volumes about the unhealthy fixation they have on each other, and romanticizes it. Unpopular opinion it may be, but I think it works best that way. The tone of abusive, merry-go-round esque, lunatic love? It perfectly depicts their interactions, and sets the tone for the major changes to come in this issue. As he states, Joker is Batman’s biggest fan, obviously he hasn’t met me, but Jack Napier?

Not so much.

Murphy injects the feel of urgency into his dialogue that will steal your breath and leave you anxious, putting you on the line with GCPD and the Bat Family as the newest developments in Gotham threaten the very brand of justice we normally root for.

The art further illustrates the darkness surrounding our vigilante. It speaks to his state of mind, screams desolation EXACTLY what I need my Batman to look like. Batman himself, in the present day part of the book, appears to be a grizzly drunk who needs a shave. I can dig it. Hell bent on vengeance, plus a twist in his personal life, and an unhealthy lifestyle? Yeah, Bruce should probably knock ’em back on occasion.

Of course, a dark and creepy comic is only as dark and creepy as the colors. And Matt Hollingsworth?

Nailed. It.

There’s so much black, red and white that it seems that the color scheme would get repetitive. Instead, it beautifully inserts you into the mood of a living nightmare. Hollingsworth manipulates the reader’s emotions with his work, ensuring that we feel the panels exactly as Murphy intended them to be felt. The two make quite a team, and I’m excited to follow this run until it’s death. Hopefully that’ll be a very long time, if the first issue is anything to judge by.

Writing and Art by; Sean Murphy
Colors by; Matt Hollinsworth
Published by; DC Comics

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