Review- Batman: Curse of the White Knight #7

Previously- Curse of the White Knight #6|Coming soon- Curse of the White Knight #8

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 have read?
Please read Batman: White Knight, because it is super. It’s only nine issues, and it’s published in trade paperback so you can get it all right now.

What do you need to know?
In the previous issue a terrible secret was revealed, one that with shake the very foundations that Gotham was built on all those years ago.

Cover for issue #7 shows Edumnd Wayne with a whip, and Bakkar with a cutlass.

Let’s begin by talking a little bit about this cover. I don’t have a tone to say about it but I do just want to draw your attention to it quickly. It shouldn’t look that different from the rest of the series, and yet because of the amount of white which surrounds the image it really stands out. The gorgeous burnt oranges and browns colour scheme is really appealing, and I like that it acknowledges the big secret at the heart of this series.

Panel showing Alfred holding up 10-year old Bruce, who is holding a sword.

The book begins with a flashback scene of Alfred and Bruce, not long after the death of his parents. With Alfred dead (see Batman: White Knight) this may seem a little out of place. However, it is important to remember that Alfred was all Bruce had during his teenage years, while he was burning with all the anger and guilt that eventually turns him into Batman. This scene is so touching that it reminds you of the loss of Alfred, all the pain that came with it all over again. It acts as a reminder of the loss, and the potential loss, that really kicked off the series with Batman: White Knight, as this was the reason for Bruce’s extra-reckless attitude. Simultaneously by using the duelling swords, we are also reminded of the swordfight which kicks off Curse of the White Knight. This flashback really is brilliant because it draws both of these series’ together in such a smart way.

One of the big themes that are clearly coming to the forefront upon the revelation of the past is that of fate and destiny. In his life, Bruce has had these set of certainties which have all, one by one been quashed. For instance, the presence of Alfred in his life, the fact that the Joker is a bad guy, and his family legacy. Bruce admits, in the issue, that he was prepared to believe that his family weren’t perfect but that this revelation, that he’s not even technically a Wayne is just on another level. Part of his need to protect the city was borne of his status as a Wayne, now that Murphy has taken that status away where does it leave him? I actually really like the potential that this gives us in terms of story. It gives Bruce choices that he never realised he had, and it emphasises the fact that being a Wayne and being Batman are not mutually exclusive. One of the reasons that I love Batman is because we could all be Batman, you don’t need to be bitten by a radioactive spider, or experimented on in WWII, all you need is a bit of money and a drive to do good. That’s the heart of Batman, not whether he’s a Wayne or not.

Shows Batman in the centre, surrounded by the GTO as he says that no one, even him, is above the law.

Last issue I mentioned how many storylines stands we had going on simultaneously, and while this issue still has that do a degree, we also have a bit more unity. Why do I care about unity? Because as much as Batman resists it, he needs people around him, he needs the help of others to truly be effective. Not only do we have unity within the GTO but Murphy is also setting up (hopefully) unity between Batman and the citizens of Gotham City, which we should see in the next issue. Essentially, this shows us that Batman is a part of the fabric of Gotham, rather than one lone man in a bat costume. I love that Murphy has managed to show us that in this series, especially when in White Knight Batman was much more isolated.

Although this issue is not unenjoyable it is also pretty obvious that it is a set-up issue for the finale. There’s nothing wrong with that because we clearly need this setup, but when it comes to talking about plot there’s not a lot that physically happens. If you need a plot-driven story then this issue is not going to be your favourite, but I am confident that there will be a huge payoff in the next issue.

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #7 is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic book store.

Coming Soon… Curse of the White Knight #8

In the meantime, why not check out… issue #4, issue #5, issue #6, and Batman: White Knight

Please note: All forbidden Planet links are affiliate links.

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