Batman: White Knight Reveals Neo Joker’s Origin


By now, any DC fan who’s been following along probably doesn’t need us to tell them how incredible Batman: White Knight has been. In short, writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy has thus far succeeded in crafting one of the greatest stories to feature the Caped Crusader of this era. Featuring fantastic character work, political intrigue, and some nifty redesigns of the heroes and villains we’ve come to love, there’s been seemingly no shortage of things to gush over in this book.

On that note, there’s another aspect that Murphy has been exploring especially well, and that’s been the psychology of those inhabiting Gotham City. For years, readers, writers, filmmakers and scholars have all tried to solve the riddle that is the psyche of the Dark Knight and his supporting characters. One of those would have to be Harley Quinn, whom this limited series has examined from a new perspective.

You see, White Knight contains two Harleys, one being the Harleen Quinzel who donned the classic jester suit that we’re all familiar with, and Marian Drews, who is more comparable to what we saw in the Suicide Squad movie. Of course, now that Harleen is back in the life of Jack Napier, the former Joker, Marian is none too pleased. In fact, she’s gone as far to take up the name “Neo Joker” in an attempt to take her former lover’s place at the top of Gotham’s underworld – and to hopefully coax him back into a life of crime.

Obviously, many of us wondered how she got to this point and, as it turns out, we finally got our answer this week. Basically, Marian was a bank teller who’d pretty much given up on life – so much that she slit her wrists while on the job, wondering how many customers she could service before anyone noticed.

As fate would have it, the Joker robbed her place of employment that day and started referring to her as “Harley” for some reason. Being in a vulnerable state, Marian stuck with him and eventually went along for the ride, becoming the new Clown Princess of Crime and loving the Ace of Knaves for all that made him evil. Oddly enough, he was actually more nurturing and caring toward her than to Harleen, whom we know the Joker often abused.

But now that we’re at the halfway point in this series, it should be most exciting to see how this Neo Joker factors into the grand scheme of things and shapes this interpretation of Gotham. Suffice it to say, a few Eisner Awards could also be in the cards.

Batman: White Knight #4 is now available in comic shops.