Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Batman: White Knight #4 by Sean Murphy - Book Review

From the publisher: NOW AN EIGHT-ISSUE MINISERIES! Jim Gordon and the GCPD are thrown into disarray when Jack Napier leads a show stopping campaign to become councilman of the politically abandoned neighborhood of Backport. Civic backlash brews as Mayor Hill struggles to find creative ways of criminalizing Napier’s democratic aspirations, and Batman’s interference blooms into a liability for the GCPD’s public image. Through it all, the new Joker plots to derail everything—and new secrets about Harley’s past are revealed.

With Batman: White Knight #4 by Sean Murphy, we finally see some of Jack Napier's (aka Joker) plans. He intends to run as City Councilman for the borough of Backport, and wants to create the GTO: the Gotham Terrorist Oppression Unit. The GTO will combine the Gotham Police with various vigilantes (like Batman and friends) with an incredible budget and access to Batman's technology. What could go wrong? Additionally, the fake Harley Quinn makes her move, and we learn her backstory.

I've got to say that White Knight is becoming more and more interesting as Murphy moves the plot along. Its nice to see what Napier intends, and his good ideas to help Gotham and Backport make him an even more interesting character. Do we trust that he's reformed, or is he still the Joker deep down, with an endgame no one can see yet? Batman is thrust into a similar position and it's one he's very uncomfortable with. Murphy also creates conflict by putting Commissioner Gordon, Nightwing, and Batgirl in agreement with Napier's plans.

The best part of issue #4, though, is the insight into the fake Harley Quinn. When Murphy revealed that there were two Harleys (which explains her varying looks and personality changes), he just moved on without really going into detail. Here, however, he rectifies that. And he has created a realistic and believable (maybe bordering on tragic) origin for the fake Harley. I don't want to give anything away, but I definitely wouldn't be disappointed if this character didn't make a transition into the mainstream Bat-books.

I really liked Batman: White Knight #4 by Sean Murphy. It's my favorite issue of the series to this point. I'm also enjoying the story Murphy is telling and I'm very curious to see how it will play out. I recommend this book (and series) to Batman fans looking for a self-contained story outside of the main continuity of DC.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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