Batman: Curse of the White Knights was written and drawn by Sean Murphy. The colours are by Matt Hollingsworth, with letters by AndWorld Design.
What do you need to know?
The Joker has escaped from Arkham (shocking, I know) and we’re not entirely sure what he’s been up to. Alfred, who died in Batman: White Knight has given Bruce an old journal from one of his ancestors.
What do you need to have read?
Please read Batman: White Knight, because it is super. It’s only nine issues, and it’s published in a trade paperback so you can get it all right now.
Similar to the first issue this issue begins with a historical section, though much more prolonged than previously. I really like the way that Hollingsworth is drip feeding us the events of the past while also focusing on the way in which it is affecting the present-day iterations of these characters. The relationship between past and present draws us to consider the role of destiny within the narrative. The ancestry of Laffy and Edmond, in relation to the Joker and Bruce questions the concept of free will, and you can’t help but wonder whether their rivalry was always going to be this way. I hope we get more on this theme as the series progresses.
I did wonder how much White Knight we were going to get in this series and while it hasn’t been a whole lot (yet) the connections are clearly there. Gotham is still dealing with the Napier Initiative, a push toward legalisation of vigilantes within the GCPD, and its aftermath. If you haven’t read Batman: White Knight, which you should, towards the end of the series Batman revealed his identity to Gordon, with the intention of telling the whole of Gotham. While he was convinced not to do this it becomes apparent that this really changes their working relationship, and the dynamic between them. It’s the first time that I’ve seen this confidence between the two and it’s a really interesting angle to approach the characters from. It also begs the question, who does the truth truly benefit? Will revealing his identity benefit Bruce, in the way that he will no longer be living half a life, or will it benefit that which he cares most about, the city of Gotham?
Another theme that is beginning to emerge, and to be fair it was present throughout Batman: White Knight, I was just too oblivious to see it, is that of social class. I asked in my last review who the ‘elites’ were because for some reason I didn’t quite grasp it. Now that we’re a bit more settled into the story, I realise that the ‘elites’ refer to the 1% of Gotham. They’re the rich, the Bruce Wayne’s of society if you will, and the way in which they find a way to benefit while the poor suffer from the destruction wreaked by Batman and the Joker. From the way in which this is going I’d imagine we’ll be taking a trip back to Backport, a low-income neighbourhood that was a focal point in Batman: White Knight, before long.
All in all, I am enjoying the series but I’m missing my main man. Where is the Joker in all of this? I know that once he steps out of the shadows, then I’ll be really invested, particularly given the appearance of Harley towards the conclusion of this issue.
Coming Soon… Curse of the White Knight #3