The thing about new comic books starring the Caped Crusader is that you never really know when the next Dark Knight Returns or Long Halloween will come around. And while Batman: White Knight certainly did impress us out of the gate, one can never be too sure if that level of quality will continue. Fortunately, not only have the first three issues been solid gold, but it looks like writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy is most assuredly in the process of crafting the next timeless classic.
Now, there has been the obvious drawing point that is a reformed Joker running for public office and taking down Batman within the parameters of the law, but this series’ take on Harley Quinn has also turned more than a few heads. In short, Murphy has interpreted the Clown Princess of Crime as being two different people: The classic, jester-suited version that we’ve come to know from Batman: The Animated Series, with the other being a more modern take inspired by the Suicide Squad movie.
Infuriatingly enough, this has caused some outlets to erroneously report that two Harleys are running around the DC Universe, but anyone who’s been paying attention knows that this limited series takes place outside of continuity proper. Thus, Murphy can reinterpret these characters at his leisure.
Aside from giving his own commentary of sorts on Harley’s modern portrayal, Murphy is still hoping that fans of both depictions find something to enjoy about White Knight. What’s especially intriguing is that upon shedding his Joker identity, Jack Napier has returned to the arms of the original Harley, Harleen Quinzel, who seems to love him to the bone. Marian Drews, however, was apparently just addicted to the thrill that came with a life of crime.
Having established that, this week’s issue sees Drews fill her former partner’s void by adopting the identity of “Neo Joker” and seemingly looking to take control of the Gotham underworld. Her costume, obviously, is that of an awesome-looking Joker-Harley hybrid that stands a chance of taking the cosplay world by storm. But when it comes to this medium itself, I, for one, can’t wait to see Marian’s background be detailed before long.
Batman: White Knight #3 is now available in comic shops.