Batman: White Knight #1
Script and Art by Sean Murphy
Colors by Matthew Hollingsworth
Letters by Todd Klein
By Matthew Iung
Imagine a world where Batman has become cruel and vindictive, his family is beginning to question his methods and the Joker has decided to take up a political crusade against vigilantism. Batman: White Knight #1 is here to present these very things
This is a world where Batman is a far more brutal and angry man he seems to have a neglect for the innocent lives that are left in the wake of his chaos. Because of this, there is a point in the near future the Joker has gone straight and is now known as Jack Napier and has locked Batman up in Arkham.
If you have read Tokyo Ghost, The Wake or Chrononauts this art team will be a familiar one. With Murphy on pencils and Hollingsworth on colors, this book is an art powerhouse. Hollingsworth infuses a lot of mood into the pages with the colors he uses. While Batman mercilessly beats the Joker Hollingsworth lights the scene with harsh shades of red and orange that bleed across the page with the now brutalized Joker. Hollingsworth also brings lighting effects that cast shadows and in a couple of hospital sequences, he gives us a sense of just how cold and sterile these places can be.
Murphy has a really unique opportunity similar to the one he had on Punk Rock Jesus except in this instance he has to opportunity to redesign well know characters. Giving us his vision of a leather jacket wearing Nightwing, a Batgirl that sports a domino mask and of course Murphy is bringing readers some of the sweetest looking vehicles in comics. With Murphy drawing and writing, he takes full advantage of the creative freedom in storytelling. There are six full-page splashes that are absolutely gorgeous often they are intact and have excruciating detail. The transitions are smooth and the pages flow from panel to panel.
However, the writing gets heavy-handed in places, and the dialogue is a little stiff. This could be attributed to the fact that we have a lot learn about the word in only so many pages so as to get caught up on this words goings-on. It’s not hard to imagine though that as the story progresses into its second and third issues there will be less need to exposit about the word.
White Knight has a solid premise and the book takes news media and viral video into consideration and actually show us their impact. Giving a uniquely new way for villains and citizens to view Batman’s violence. Because of this, the police are divided and the Bat-family is even having its doubts about their longtime mentor.
Verdict: Buy. This is an easy book to recommend, its pages are gorgeous and the premise is fresh. Its an eight-issue mini and there’s no reason not to give it a chance.