Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SPOILERS: Batman: White Knight #1

What happens when the Joker goes sane and calls everyone in Gotham out on their bullshit?

The Spoilers:

Flash forward! The Batmobile rolls up to to Arkham, but it's Jack Napier getting out, to visit Batman, saying he needs his help. ::shock::

Then back where it began, another one of the countless Batman chasing Joker nights in Gotham, which ends rather poorly, when Joker drops the pleasantries and cuts down Batman to his very hypocritical core, saying that given the chance, he'd fix the city. Batman gives Joker the chance, and shoves a bunch of pills he was holding down his throat, almost killing him. Unfortunately, someone was recording it (it was Harley) and posted it online.

The clip goes viral, media is all over it, some condemn it saying that the GCPD still doesn't acknowledge Batman exists, yet here they are just standing there while Batman nearly kills the Joker, and others say fuck the Joker and fuck SJWs, good for Batman. 

As Joker recovers, Dick and Babs visit Bruce in Wayne Tower to see what the hell is wrong with him lately, and they find out that Alfred is dying, only being kept alive with tech Bruce has received from Mr. Freeze. 

Back in Arkham, Joker is acting... funny. Leslie Thompkins reports that she can find no trace of "Joker" left in Jack Napier, and his intellect has risen to a shocking degree. Napier is using that intellect to study law in Arkham's library for days on end, and there's nothing the facility can do to  stop him. So when they meet with him, he rejects any deal they attempt to make before they make it and lays the gauntlet down, he's taking them all to court and he'll save the city in a way they couldn't.

The Opinion:

So, let's get the obvious out of the way. Sean Murphy can fucking draw, and Matt Hollingsworth is a hell of a colorist. The art looks fantastic, and Sean Murphy drawing Batman is nothing short of a dream come true. There, that's the easy part.

But there's also the story, which I've got some hang ups here and there on. First of all, I will say that I liked how deep it went into how messed up the whole concept of Batman is legally. It went a level deeper with a lot more detail than something say the Victim Syndicate arc in Detective Comics did. When Joker is laying out all the charges that could be brought up against Batman that went as deep as traffic violations, I have to admit, that's some thought (also, bringing up how all Joker did was escape Arkham and steal a scooter, yet Batman's response was as he said). So I liked that, and I like the idea of Joker becoming a political figure in Gotham, that has some potential, for sure.

But here comes the nitpick stuff. First of all, the whole opening chase scene was really familiar feeling. It was the Joker telling Batman how much they have a relationship and how he's his arch nemesis to make him better, etc. etc. and Batman denying all of it. I kept thinking "what does this feel like?" and then it hit me: It's straight up The Lego Batman Movie. Until it gets to shoving pills down Joker's throat, it's almost 1:1. But once the story moves past the scene, that's where the comparison ends.

Then there's smaller shit that bugged me. Multiple times Dick and Babs use real names in front of the cops or civilians, yet when they're in private Dick calls Bruce Batman. That was just weird. Also, I get it was the character, but using "SJW" as it was just a normal term these days and ignoring that this specific use of it came from the disgusting bullshit that was Gamergate just makes me roll my eyes and groan. But that's where the world is these days, so fuck... I guess?

Overall, I think this first issue was a great opening to a story I definitely want to see through. I wouldn't say the writing is as rock solid as the art, but there were only a handful of minor annoyances I had, rather than glaring flaws, so I'm sure after we get past the intro and set up, things will tighten up.

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