Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Review: BATMAN: White Knight #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY/ART: Sean Murphy
COLORS: Matt Hollingsworth
LETTERS: Todd Klein
COVER: Sean Murphy with Matt Hollingsworth
VARIANT COVER: Sean Murphy with Matt Hollingsworth
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2017)

Rated “T+” for “Teen Plus”

Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

Sean Gordon Murphy is a respected comic book creator, writer-artist, and artist, thanks to projects like Punk Rock Jesus, The Wake (with writer Scott Snyder), and Joe the Barbarian (with writer Grant Morrison).  I like Murphy's stylish art, striking graphics, and dramatic graphical storytelling.

Late last year, DC Comics launched an eight-issue event miniseries, Batman: White Knight, written and drawn by Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, and lettered by the amazing Todd KleinWhite Knight finds The Joker determined to save Gotham City from Batman, whom he believes has gone too far in his fight against crime and has become dangerous.

Batman: White Knight #1 opens with Batman imprisoned and in chains.  Flash back to a year earlier, The Dark Knight is engaged in another hot pursuit of The Joker.  Things get out of hand.  Batman brutally assaults The Joker while Commissioner Jim Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department stand by and watch.  Then, The Joker is seemingly cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies.  Enter Jack Napier, Gotham's “white knight” who will save Gotham from its “dark knight.”

I'm intrigued.  Batman: White Knight #1 is all over the place as a first issue.  I think that there is a lot to take in because Sean Murphy decides to put the entire premise and central plot right out there to the reader without being coy and dividing the introductions and inciting events over the first two issues.  I think Murphy can show how truly innovative or inventive he is as a comic book creator in what he presents and by how he executes it.  I guess I mean by how much of the narrative over these eight issues is or is not story padding.

I usually like Matt Hollingsworth's work as a colorist, but I find his work in Batman: White Knight#1 to be garish and also counterproductive to the story.  Todd Klein's lettering is good... as it always is... because he is amazing.

I have issues #2 through 7, and I am thinking about reading the rest of this series in one sitting.  But it may be too tempting to wait for the final issue.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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