White Knight

Graphic Novel - 2018
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"The impossible has happened: the Joker has become... sane. Now calling himself Gotham's newest protector, the Joker now spearheads a task force to take down the dangerous masked vigilante known as Batman. Visionary creator Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, American Vampire) unveils his radical take on the greatest rivalry in comics in Batman: White Knight! After years of epic battles, the Dark Knight finally finds a way to cure the twisted mind of his archenemy. The Clown Prince of Crime has now changed his ways, fighting for good in Gotham City, and it may just cause Batman to go over the edge of his own sanity. Writer/artist Sean Murphy takes the helm of this Batman/Joker story like no one else could, delivering an alternative examination of the relationship between the greatest rivals in the DC Universe, exploring the darkest corners of justice and madness."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : DC Black Label, [2018]
ISBN: 9781401279592
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Hollingsworth, Matt
Klein, Todd


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Mar 09, 2020

An amazing read for fans. I really really really enjoyed the writing and story; not to mention the artwork was great.
The writing simply made the characters come alive so much, and not just the cliche ones; but the sidekicks, secondary and even static characters. That greatly helped to make this comic enthralling.

The story is so compelling and its theme is so intriguing that I would have read it in one sitting if I wasn't burdened with other priorities. It's all told so well. A great read.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TO ALL FANS OF BATMAN. Being a lover of the Batman/Joker dynamic, this story was so incredibly refreshing that I just had to read it all as soon as possible.

Jan 20, 2020

Great first half, but veered off towards the end. The comic has very strong political themes, which is not a bad thing, but it really did not serve an overall purpose after the story ended. Batman was associated with typical right-wing ideology, while the Joker was likened to a leftist. In the classic comic, "The Killing Joke" the writers used the duality of Batman and Joker to raise philosophical questions about what is right and wrong, and cleverly left the ending open to interpretation to let the reader decide and ponder upon the story. The "White Knight" continues that style of storytelling but ultimately falls flat with a cheesy ending. There are many easter eggs that callback to moments in iconic Batman movies and comics, which is nice, but I didn't like that the author basically slut-shamed the "Suicide Squad" version of Harley Quinn when his own depictions of her were often sexualized as well. Long story short, this comic starts off strong but turns sour when you figure out that underneath the mask it's basically just reactionary right-wing propaganda.

Jan 01, 2020

It felt like the story grabbed me and refused to let go until the end, and what I wild ride that was.

Truly unlike anything I've ever read. Usually I find Batman/Joker are two sides of the same coin/they need each other to survive stories a tired take, but here it was well thought through and engaging. It really was a character study into Bruce, the Joker and Harley Quinn and their relationships and how their actions affect Gotham. All of them shined and were given the necessary time for them to be fully explored. In general I found the different takes of the characters fascinating and fit right in the world that Murphy had created. Then diving into to the politics felt right at home with the rest of the story, and the themes of socioeconomic divide in Gotham was attacked from a refreshing angle that never felt cheap or overdone. All of the story felt necessarily, it never felt like page space was wasted or that Murphy was retreading ground. All put together it made for an incredibly cinematic experience.
I think the dark tone is well warranted, it never feels 'edgy for the sake of being edgy' or that any of it is for shock-value. And the art definitely helps this. The art is just stunning and never distracts but elevates the themes and tone of the book. And the stylistic touches make it feel unique and unforgettable.

5/5 stars, highly recommend, I see a reread of this in my near future.

Oct 27, 2019

Amazing standalone book - perfect for people like me who normally cling to Image and Dark Horse because DC and Marvel can seem so intimidating to pick up. Loved the two Harleys, loved the Alfred and Fries arcs, loved the Joker and Napier illustrations...loved it all really lol

Oct 04, 2019

A decent story about Joker going good and taking down Batman legally. Interesting story, but the art isn't to my taste.

Sep 20, 2019

We've all heard about the classic superhero tale of saving the city, rescuing its helpless citizens and defeating your all-time supervillain. Now take everything you already know about the notorious Batman and Joker story and completely turn it upside down. With "Batman White Knight" written and created by Murphy and Sean Gordon, the classic childhood favorite duo has its roles reversed in a way that makes you the reader see beyond the insanity and psychological madness of the Joker and deeper into the clockwork of what makes Jack Napier and more importantly, the fictional city of Gotham operate economically, politically and socially. The graphic novel brings to light the dispute between the high-nobility rich, wealthy and privileged of Gotham with the other 99%, that struggle to barely earn enough to get by in their day-to-day lives. Murphy and Gordon brilliantly bring together a deep and compelling story through the dark and luminous illustrations of each comic panel that expose the fundamental basics of human nature, and how easily it can be manipulated. Rating: 4/5. @Davvy of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Sep 12, 2019

Interesting alternate universe with beautiful art. I'd be excited to see more stories in this universe, as this volume doesn't really stand on its own--the story is a little bland.

Mar 17, 2019

This is an example of a very well written, well thought out comic book with some great art that explores some interesting dark themes. It’s a somewhat fresh take on the world of Batman as the central character of the story is the Joker and some key characters from the Batverse are faced with unique challenges and one of them is even facing death.

This graphic novel is the first of DC's Black Label imprint, which is somewhat similar to DC’s Elseworld’s imprint which was discontinued several years ago. Black Label, similar to Elseworlds, features stories set outside the bounds of continuity where the creators have more flexibility to explore characters in fresh, unique and interesting ways.

What’s interesting in the White Knight is that Joker is portrayed as a more dynamic character than his usual depiction as just another crazy psychopath that is hell bent on terrorizing Gotham city just for the fun of it. Instead of just focusing on Joker’s latest plot to destroy Batman (although that still happens) there is a sincere exploration of the human side of the Joker and whether or not there is still some genuine good left in him. The story suggests that the “Joker” side of Jack Napier may be controlled by medication and raises the possibility that Jack could finally be cured and become a “white knight” for the citizens of Gotham by helping weed out corruption from the city. This interesting take on the Joker also ties into issues of right and wrong for Batman and his supporting cast of Bat-sidekicks. It gives rise to the dilemma of how they should go about their vigilante missions and what harm they could be doing instead of good, especially when it comes to the recklessness of Batman’s actions.

Although there are some interesting concepts here, especially when it comes to exploring Joker’s character, I agree with other readers that there are also some missed opportunities. The story, although unique and well conceived, could have been better. Even with the freedom of the Black Label imprint, Batman is once again portrayed as a head strong, arrogant pompous a*%hole. He secretly cares and cherishes his Bat-family more than anything else but he just doesn’t have the time to explain anything about what’s he’s thinking or doing because he’s too busy being dark, serious, conflicted, deep and too smart for others to understand. Someone at DC seriously needs to update Batman’s personality as much of it is stuck in Frank Millar’s dark interpretation from the 80’s that was preceded by an overall darkening of the character in the 70’s by Dennis O’Neil that thankfully got him out of the pretty awful “approved by the comics code” kid-friendly version of Batman from the 60’s. Many people that are too afraid to change the character don’t realize Bob Kane’s original Batman used to carry a gun and had no problem killing when he felt he had to. Someone really needs to strike a happy medium between the dark and light versions of Batman and as a childhood fan of Batman, I seriously feel he’s overdue for a personality overhaul if he’s going to appeal to a newer generation of readers. As he is right now, he’s pretty dull and annoying and as a result so are parts of this book.

Aside from grinding my gears a little by being another dull take on Batman, this comic is somewhat rare these days in that it is well written with an interesting plot that makes for a book that is very well conceived and executed. The art is a little “sketchy” and not crisp for my tastes but still very well done and suits the murky and dark world of Gotham and Batman very well. Sean Murphy is a really good writer and is not afraid of filling up a page with words when the story demands it. His unique talents as both an artist and writer help in crafting a well constructed story that is as fresh a take on the Bat-world as we’re likely to get until someone finally has the guts to overhaul Batman himself. Highly recommended!

Mar 12, 2019

Not bad but from what I had heard about it before I read it I was expecting better.

Jan 27, 2019

Absolutely brilliant. Sure to be remembered as a landmark in the history of Batman storytelling. Like a movie in comic book form. Fans of the Michael Keaton and Christian Bale films will especially appreciate this one. It offers the most interesting and complex portrayal of the Joker since Heath Ledger's version - and also a lot of commentary on the times we're living in right now. Essential reading for anybody who likes their Batman stories dark and real.

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Nov 16, 2018

blessedOne thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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