Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #5 by Sean Murphy - Book Review

From the publisher: Jack’s mind and body begin to betray him as he prepares for an inevitable showdown with Batman, and Bruce himself struggles to keep his team united. As the game gets tougher, Batman seeks counsel from a shocking source—and after Wayne Manor is infiltrated, a car chase for the ages aims to curb Napier’s supercriminal crew once and for all.

Sean Murphy's Batman: White Knight #5 continues the story of a reformed Joker/Jack Napier and a Batman who is getting closer and closer to going over the edge. This issue doesn't really see Napier doing much, but instead focuses on Harley Quinn, Batman, and Neo Joker (the fake Harley). Rather than discover more of Napier's (possible) scheme, we see more in the way of relationships, and find out a secret from the Wayne family's past.

I really enjoyed the quieter moments in White Knight #5. There is a really cool scene between Batman and Harley (the real one) in which Batman appeals to Harley's saner side. There is a shared history between them that hints at some past events, which I'm curious to read about. Batgirl and Nightwing find themselves moving even farther away from Batman's philosophy and Joker obsession. Finally, Neo Joker has some sort of plan to discover Wayne family secrets, along the lines of "information is power". She also gives a little more info about her motivations regarding trying to bring Joker back from where Napier has repressed him. These storylines fleshed out the central story more, but its still not clear what Napier's endgame is. With three issues left, Murphy still has plenty of time to reveal his plan, but I'm getting anxious to find out if Napier is truly "cured" of being Joker.

Murphy has done a wonderful job with the characterization, especially in developing the roll reversal between Batman and the Napier/Harley duo, who are now the sympathetic characters. This alternate Bat-universe he has created is very interesting, with the potential for a lot of really good stories. There have been so many throwaway lines about previous events that I'd love to see turned into another series or graphic novel.

I highly recommend Batman: White Knight #5 by Sean Murphy, particularly if you've been keeping up with the series. We are now on the downhill slope and the story is picking up steam. Count me as a reader who is extremely curious to find out how this all turns out.

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

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