Azrael has misappropriated the mantle of the Bat! After killing Jim Gordon and breaking said dead Gordon’s baby girl, Jean-Paul attempts to take the Valley back from Bruce Wayne and the elites! Joker’s doing his level best to help, but can he continue to suppress Jack Napier in the face of…BABIES?!?! Find out in Batman: Curse of the White Knight #6. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Perhaps the nicest thing you can say about a story is that you forget that you’re reading it. That was certainly the case for much of this issue. Joker’s plan to lure Batman to Arkham involves a pretty nasty maneuver, and the anxiety while waiting to see how things turned out was serious. Much of that anxiety comes from the investment I have in Harley at this point, but there’s a fair bit just in the moment, too.
I warned about spoilers up above, but given what I’m about to discuss, I’ll warn you again. If you haven’t read this, and you think you will, you really need to stop reading this now.
The relationship between Jack and Harley was strong in White Knight, but I think it works better here—both because we now know what Jack/Joker’s real situation is, that Jack really did mean good in White Knight—and because their situation is far more desperate. It’s a nice flip on the Harley origin story—the young psychiatrist brought in to cure the Joker, ultimately corrupted by him. Here, though, it’s the weathered, but not jaded, Harley, weak to the untrained eye, fighting to save the man she loves. Ultimately, though, she loves her babies even more, and she’s willing to do what she must to protect them.
When Harley shoots Joker in the head, I was simultaneously shocked and unsurprised. Murphy isn’t afraid to take major figures out, but, given the centrality of Jack/Joker to this saga, there is a heavy weight carried by that moment. If this is not the end of the Murphyverse, then it is the start of something decidedly different, because one of the characters that built it is gone.
The showdown at Arkham isn’t the only source of shock. Batman finds himself looking for answers in the home of the mysterious figure who approached him an issue or so ago. That mysterious figure—a former knight of The Order—turns out to be Jason Blood, which most of you probably already put together from the band of white hair amidst the brown on his head. Blood reveals the real earth-shaker of this whole series, and I must say, I didn’t see that one coming. It’s a detail that some will feel shakes Batman to his core. Others—and I think I number myself among them—will instead consider it of little ultimate consequence to Bruce’s identity—even if it does require a great deal of processing.
I’m curious to see how you readers respond to this. In a mainline-Batman title, I don’t think this would fly with fans, but the Elseworlds context doesn’t have that baggage, and we can contemplate this new development without having to work through its implications for canon. Let me know down below.
- You like it when things get real.
- You’ve been waiting to see Jean-Paul put the Az in the Bats.
- You’re a fan of Murphy’s Harley.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #6 reveals that thing Jack told Harley to keep from Bruce, and boy is it a doozy. It’s the sort of thing you couldn’t get away with in-continuity, but that makes for an effective shock here. The action is intense, the emotions strong and believable, and the visual storytelling is on-point. If you decided to pass on this series, you’re missing what will hopefully be a much stronger finish than what we saw in the first White Knight. Right that wrong, catch up, and join us as we race to the conclusion over these next two months.
DISCLAIMER: Batman News received an advance copy of this book for the purpose of review.