Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 Review

Writer: Sean Murphy
Art Team: Sean Murpy, Matt Hollingsworth, AndWorld Design
DC Comics Black Label
Release Date: August 28, 2019
Cover Price: $4.99

Bat Zorro

The first issue of Batman: Curse of the White Knight was a lot more of a continuation of the previous series than a fresh jumping on point for anyone who may have missed the fun the first time around.  Personally I'm just fine with that, sometimes you have to go back a few issues to understand whats going on now, that's just the nature of comics. So we picked up where the last series left off, with new connections to the Wayne family and Gothams past coming to light, meanwhile Azrael is thrown into the mix and I was excited to see where this all went again. Sean Murphy grabbed me again so lets see whats continuing to simmer in issue two.

The issue begins with an extended scene filling in some background information about the past, and characters, we were introduced to last issue, expounding on the connections with present day Gotham.  I know a chunk of people just weren't huge fans of these scenes the first time around, but I enjoyed the Zorro type feel to them, I also really enjoyed how that idea was taken to the next level here with the connections to present day being brought back to light.  I mean different strokes for different folks I guess.

The present day picks up with Bruce looking over the journal pages left by his late ancestor as he attempts to catch up to any present day connections himself.  It doesn't seem like Bruce makes it much further than we do into the story before he's interrupted with vague threats from "the Elites" spokeswoman. Without spoiling some of the finer points of whats she wants in regards to the story at play here she gives Bruce a couple of ultimatums Then in bad ass fashion spills the beans on the "secret"  she knows and goes on about her day like someone looking like Amanda Waller does in the DC Universe.

From there we jump around a bit in our story, first moving on to Gordon, who is trying to gather steam in a run for Mayor. He's interrupted by the Joker, who has a new bombshell to drop on the people directly related to the Gordon family ... Ill give you two guess as to what that may be.  The jumping around is a bit jarring to be honest, but we're revisiting some of the cast still from the previous series, seeing the repercussions in real-time of their actions, which to me is pretty interesting. Harley comes up next who also has a pretty big surprise in store here maybe the biggest shock of the issue and something possibly bringing Jack back into play later.

The issue begins its conclusion with a huge action sequence thats beautifully rendered and serves as Azraels introduction to Batman in a huge way as everything starts beginning to come together, past and present.  With some financial backing behind him now, in just a few short pages, Azrael and his new team are able to cripple much of Batman's tech, with the hero able to escape total ruin just in time. I cant wait to see this slightly older more weathered Batman's next move and think this is a must read if you enjoyed the first after a slightly slow start to the series.

The whole political posturing that goes on here in this series was never my favorite part and that continues to ring true, but it ends up being well told in a simple fashion, and relevant to the story so I deal with it and move on. My brain just kind of hears 'blah blah blah' anytime I see political podiums or bickering, but Murphy's art usually distracts me well enough I learn to tolerate those scenes well enough. Its nothing that really effects my score much but it slows what is an otherwise awesome book down for me a bit. 

Overall, Batman: Cures of the White Knight continues to expand on the ideas established in the first run of the series.  Despite being more of a continuation than a fresh jumping on point the story touches on plenty of new ground, with the introduction of some past connections, while letting some of the older conflicts continue to bubble to the surface naturally.  Murphy's art continues to be a draw for me personally as well, and while the book gets a little too into local Gotham politics at times for me to wrap my head around, it has plenty of positives going for it to keep it on my must read pile.


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