Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Batman: White Knight #5 Review

I'm a Doctor

Written by: Sean Murphy
Art by: Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, and Todd Klein
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 7, 2018

White Knight is one of my favorite books and it just solidifies the idea in my head that I am an Elseworlds kind of guy.  No need to tie me down with any continuity nonsense, just give me a good story with good characters...the fact that the author can play around with stuff is just icing on the cake.  I know that some people (Dancing Mike) don't like the idea of a bad Batman, but to me, that's been part of the fun and mysterious ride here.  Is Joker  Jack really good?  Is Batman really this bad?  How will it all come together to lead us to that dark beginning we saw issues ago?  Well, do we get any hints to any of these or other questions I haven't even asked yet?  Let's find out...

The issue begins with Jack having a little problem with his meds, but really wanting Harley to help him train in hand-to-hand combat.  You see, he is convinced that Batman will eventually just start throwing hands and he wants to be ready.

We then go off to see Batman meeting with Babs and Dick and what starts with Batman trying to figure out how Neo Joker and Mad Hatter are controlling Gotham's villains, ends up with Dick and Bruce in a shouting match that would have gone further if Batgirl wasn't there.  Sean Murphy continues showing a Bat Family with more cracks in it then a Quakertown sidewalk and I like it...seeing it that is.

Batman then heads off to talk to Harley and this is easily the best scene in the book.  Batman just can't accept that Joker is now just Jack and Harley is there to keep demanding things are different.  We get more background information about these two friends of convenience and leave the scene seeing that while Joker's problems stemmed from his obsession with Batman, Batman has the same problems himself.  Sean Murphy also gives us a great little bit on why Batman continued to help Harley even when she continued to go back to Joker...actually, he kept helping because of that.

We then get an extended scene of Hatter, Neo Joker and Ivy breaking into Wayne Manor looking for more incriminating evidence and while there was a tiny bit of tension about whether they would find more, they didn't.  The scene continues with a ridiculous Bruce Wayne in a pink robe (which makes Neo Joker very curious) and the cool entrance of the GTO.  

We then get a cool chase scene as the GTO driving their muscle car Batmobiles chase Neo Joker and Mad Hatter.  It takes a turn when Batman shows up in the Tumbler and forces the baddies off of the Gotham Bridge, but when the bridge collapses, Gordan declares war on the Bat.  In the meantime, Batman gets a glimpse at how Neo Joker is controlling Gotham's rogues and also why Neo Joker was at Wayne Manor.  The issue ends with Batman paying Mr. Freeze a visit and the reader getting a glimpse of a really big bit of trouble heading Gotham's way.

I liked this issue, but it was obvious this was a setup issue to ramp up the story before the finale.  This is a common deal with these minis, but Sean Murphy does a good job of giving us some really good character moments, action and great art so what could be a down issue is anything but.  Seriously, when it comes to these mini-series, the ones that can make these middle setup parts fun and exciting are the ones that kick ass overall.  This book is kicking ass overall!

Bits and Pieces:

Sean Murphy continues to impress with a great looking issue that is high on action and has some great character moments.  It is a setup issue to get us revved up before the end, but I can easily recommend to anyone already reading this book.  



  1. I agree with your points, Jim, especially the incident at the climax of the bridge. While this is one of if not the best Batman story going on at DC at the moment, there was a lot of setup here that I felt was telegraphed. The Batman of this story isn't a detective and an emotional man-child with a deep black and white mentality. As a result, he constantly makes mistakes that I figured Batman would normally be able to ,if not avoid, then resolve.
    That being said, this is my favorite version of Harley, whether it be Marian or Harleen. I always liked the characterization of Harley as lovestruck and intelligent over just simply crazy. We got to many "crazy" sobs in the DC universe we really don't need anymore.

    1. love harleys so much in this story...and the fact that Batman let Harleen out of Arkham because she makes the joker more sane for a bit was such a cool touch. Goes back to mimicking the reason why Batman needs a robin. I love this book!

  2. This was an amazing issue. It's also nice to see an intelligent non-Cartoony Barbara Gordon in this title, even if it is only for a few panels here and there. Have to say I've loved this series, story is so interesting and the art is very much to my tastes!

  3. Wow, Nightwing is a dick. He must sense Barbara and Bruce are getting it on since it's the Timmverse.