Batman: White Knight #1 by Sean Murphy (Matt Hollingsworth on colors/letters)
"In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City. Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as 'Jack,' sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!"
While I admit I'm a sucker for a good alternate reality story, DC's Batman: White Knight #1 is a GREAT alternate reality story. Sean Murphy, whose work I loved on Tokyo Ghost, absolutely nails this one in badass fashion by doing the writing, art, cover and variant cover to boot. Matt Hollingsworth handled the colors and letters.
The first issue of this miniseries starts off in the present moment before quickly jumping back one year prior to show us what led to this role reversal of sorts between Batman and the Joker. And, yes, as Morty Smith says we should tell our stories in the moment, this one is done in a swift and deliberate manner that seemed like the only logical choice.
Murphy gives readers a perfect balance between a splash or two, beautiful panels with creative format and pages of deep dialogue. I love seeing Batman, Batgirl and Nightwing in Murphy's grainy, gritty and Tokyo Ghost-ey style.
Not only are there some powerful, and impressively violent and demonic panels, but Murphy crafts a story that makes sense. Yeah, Batman and Joker switching places so to speaks sounds pretty off the charts, but Murphy sets it up in a way that works and makes you want more.
Murphy offers a deeper look at the complex relationship while giving us a glimpse at life would be like with a Batman actually about to have a breakdown. The Dark Knight is driving his Batmobile across homes with no regard and treating people like garbage, which only sets up the fateful switching of roles in Gotham.
The added bonus of seeing Batgirl and Nightwing worry about their mentor in the flashback -- and Alfred storyline -- are major send home factors. This was one hell of an enjoyable book that is absolutely worth your time.
Sean Murphy proves once again that he is one of the most badass creators in the comic world. Not only did he create a beautifully twisted alternate reality take on Joker-Batman, but he made some of DC's most fabled characters look like badasses straight out of Tokyo Ghost.