By Ben Snyder
Batman: White Knight #6 largely serves as the mini-series’ “I told you so” moment in which everyone realizes they may have needed Batman all along. After everyone from Jack to Commissioner Gordon to even Nightwing plot on capturing the Batman, all hell breaks loose, and his services are needed more than ever, especially with the issue ending with a surprise appearance from The Joker. While Sean Murphy has done a heroic job with the series so far, this issue feels like a bit of a letdown.
It seemed that by the end of this series there would be new status quo in Gotham. One in which there is no Batman, Bat family, or Joker. It felt like Jack Napier was here to stay. Surely there would be some struggles, there’d be no story without one, but ultimately Joker would never resurface again. Batman: White Knight #6 only strengthens the argument that Batman and Joker are inevitable in Gotham and will remain so until the end of time. This is a theme we have seen in countless other stories, and I was genuinely hoping Murphy would give us something more. The story is not over yet, so maybe this is nothing more than just a slight hiccup in the series. Despite this, I was a little disappointed with this entry.
The issue started off strong, as the GTO planned the capture of Batman. I think Murphy showing the juxtaposition of thinking between Nightwing and Batgirl is strong in this chapter especially because they are both right. Batman is doing immense harm to Gotham and needs to be reprimanded, but he has protected this city for decades and deserves a second chance. The irony of this story is how they are ultimately willing to give Jack a second chance but not Batman and having Batgirl point that out seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
There were a couple of scenes after the chase that seemed out of place and not relevant, especially the one involving Mr. Freeze and Batgirl. It seemed like Freeze was only in this story so Neo-Joker could get her big freeze gun and all of his other scenes served to justify his character. But they didn’t offer anything new. Honestly, I don’t care how he worked against the Nazi’s; I’d rather spend more time with Jack or Harley or anyone else.
Murphy’s art is amazing throughout the issue specifically in scenes with a lot of motion. The car chase scenes work well, and I love the throwback to include the iconic cartoonier batmobile. It’s a relic of the past and Murphy draws it lovingly. The fight scene between Batman and Jack is fluid and visceral. Murphy showcases that these two are fighting veterans, and the detail he still manages to put into it despite the movement is noteworthy. I love the touch of having one of Jack’s eyes go purple during their fight, foreshadowing the Joker’s eventual return.
Batman: White Knight #6 isn’t a horrible comic book despite my complaints throughout this review, and Batman: White Knight isn’t a bad comic book mini-series, both offer an interesting spin on very well worn characters. And chapter #6 introduces some fairly novel wrinkles to the story. I guess I was expecting much more with a brilliant, accomplished creator such as Sean Murphy at the helm.
Batman: White Knight #6