Written by Marcus Ellinger
Cover rank: 8.5/10
The former Joker, who now goes by Jack Napier, (super cool 1989 Burton nod) is campaigning for councilor of Gotham, as an enraged blood soaked Batman pushes himself further into the background. All this intensity with a menacing red tone, I love it! This is one of my favorite covers of the White Knight series, it embodies the buildup to issue #4 perfectly. Batman moving out of focus and Jack moving to the foreground is a great visual representation of what the White Knight series is all about.
Best variant issue: 5/10
There is only one variant and, its OK. Harley (now Neo Joker) is awkwardly posed over a card wielding Mad Hater in front of their brainwashed super villain mob. The White Knight series has had some great Harley moments, this unfortunately, isn’t one of them. The variant takes the spotlight off Jack, Batman, and the two Harleys (we will get into that later) missing the mark on what makes issue #4 so great.
What I like:
Batman White Knight #1 – #3 are some of my favorite comics of 2017, admittedly I’m a sucker for the B-man. As we roll into 2018 we hit the halfway mark in the White Knight series with issue #4 and it’s a great way to start the year. White Knight is all about Batman “The Dark Knight” going crazy and loosing his grip on everything he stands for, all while the Joker “The White Knight” goes sane and tries to defend Gotham against its vigilantly threat. This role reversal is the emphasis of the White Knight series but, there have been some great subplots going on. In issue #2 we learned that there is actually two Harley Quinns. The classic black and red jester Harley from the animated series (my personal favorite) and the Harley with blue hair and skimpy clothes from that “really good movie”. In issue #4 we learn the origin of this second Harley and what caused her to become the Clown Prince’s sidekick.
I love that Sean Murphy addressed the dual Harley Quinn issue, and I’m curious if it will carry over to DC continuity. But, lets get back to the Batgate scandal. Issue #4 emphasizes on the Jack side of the story as he puts hope in the people of the city the Joker tried relentlessly to destroy. Jack does this by reallocating the BDF ( Batman Devastation Fund) to a new proposal the GTO (Gotham Terror Oppression). The BDF was a secret 3 billion dollar taxpayer fund to rebuild Gotham every time Batman destroyed with vigilantism. The new GTO plan would take that money and use it to outfit the GCPD with its own Bat-tech and work side by side with the cities vigilantes in a super team. Jacks plan is so convincing that Gordon, Batgirl and even Nightwing are actually considering it. Crazy I know. The best part of White Knight and maybe the craziest part, is that I find my self siding with Jack more and more with each issue. He almost has me convinced. Batman White Knight #4 has so many great nods to classic Batman while at the same time great new Batman-insight, its a must read for any Batman-fan
When Batman’s biggest advocate Jim Gordon turns his back on him and sides with Jack, it is a powerful moment. The one man that always had Batman’s back is fed up and I found my self thinking good for you Gordon, its about time. It was this moment that had me, a Batman-superfan, wanting to side with the questionable Jack Napier. I know, I still can’t believe it either. Gordon says to Batman “The GTO is a good plan. If you want to help then join. If not — stay out of the way.” Batman can only reply “But…” when Gordon cuts him off and says “Isn’t this the part when you magically disappear?” As Gordon turns his back and walks away he says “Let me save you the trouble.” Wow, it still gives me chills.
With so many great moments in issue #4 I found myself a little underwhelmed with the ending. Right before the end we get the great new Harley origin reveal, and I was excited to turn the page. But, I felt let down when it jumped to Harley discovering more Batgate scandal to further humiliate and destroy Batman. Perhaps its the Batman fan in me, but hasn’t he endured enough? Maybe Harley will use this info to make Jack snap back to the Joker she so desperately desires, who knows? Depending on what Harley does with her new found dirt on Batman and the Wayne’s, the ending could be better in retrospect. For now it wasn’t the best part of issue #4
What I’m looking forward to:
I’m excited to learn more about the two Harley Quinns, which Harley will Jack/The Joker choose? As I find myself siding with Jack more and more with each issue, I wonder how long he can maintain the facade? It is a facade, right? Will Batgirl and Nightwing join Gordon and Jack in the GTO? So many questions. I have said it several times, that a good comic make you question and think but first it should entertain. Batman White Knight continues to entertain and make me question everyone’s motives. A slow burn series with lots of great reveals, Sean Murphy continues to impress.