Review: Batman: Curse of the White Knight #4

Previously- Curse of the White Knight #3| Coming soon- Curse of the White Knight #5

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?

In the previous issue a lot went down. Obviously big spoilers ahead. Batman’s identity was revealed to the GTO. He got closer to Harley as they visited the Joker in an attempt to get some answers. While looking for clues in the bowls of Arkahm she went into labour. Meanwhile Gordon was left for dead by Azrael.

What do you need to have read?

This is not a dip in and out sort of story. Go away. Read Batman: White Knight. (affiliate link) Catch up with Curse and then come back. 

Cover #4 shows Barbara Godon dressed in tactical gear. Around her waist Batman drives off the rood of a building in some sort of vehicle.

The first couple of pages worth of panels show us two timelines. This story is of course very concerned with the past, but this is a different sort of past. Instead of the past on a grand scale we see a flashback of Gordon taking Barbara to school. The flashback images are interspersed with present day images of Gordon in the hospital. This really emphasises the father-daughter relationship between the two, something that had been under some strain with Gordon’s discovery that Barbara was Batgirl. It also suggests that she is very much her father’s daughter, something which I think is going to come into play later on in the narrative. Perhaps we will see Barbara pick up where her father left off, either building his legacy or crafting her own with their shared ideals. 

Now that the strength of their relationship has been established Murphy is able to let Barbara’s grief come to the forefront of the narrative. While the variant cover shows Alfred (side note: I don’t own the variant editions, but I do love them) I tend to think of this as Barbara’s book as it’s her grief that really drives the plot forward. We can also draw parallels between her grief now and Bruce’s grief on Alfred’s illness, and death in White Knight. Both are left with this furious anger that leads them into altercations that they probably should have stayed out of. This leads to a gorgeously drawn fight sequence towards the end of the book where Barbara is injured at the hands of Azrael. What is most interesting about this is the similarities the injury has to The Killing Joke, and whether she will suffer the same repercussions.

In the previous issue, where the Manor was destroyed, the GTO suggest that Batman should take some time to deal with the grief of losing his home. This issue really shows us that Wayne Manor is not important, but the characters of Gotham. Bruce doesn’t feel as affected by that because he’s already lost his home when he lost Alfred. Now, faced with another death you can see Bruce becoming undone by all this loss as he seems solace from Leslie Thompkins. I love seeing glimpses of vulnerability in Bruce as it really emphasises his humanity, particularly in contrast to character like Azrael or the Joker who lack that empathy.

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet (affiliate link), or your local comic book store. 

Coming Soon… Curse of the White Knight #5

In the meantime, why not check out… issue #1, issue #2, issue #3, and Batman: White Knight

3 thoughts on “Review: Batman: Curse of the White Knight #4”

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