At long last, we have arrived at the final issue of Batman: Beyond the White Knight. I came to a catharsis while reviewing this series that Sean Gordon Murphy’s world of Batman just wasn’t as good as I had originally thought. Since my realization, most of my reviews have been negative. Still, I have been following this universe since the beginning and was rather curious to see how it would all wrap up. So let’s finish this series out, shall we?
The Big Ending
With most of the major conflicts resolved, all that really remains is the big final battle between the heroes and Blight.
The action, as always, is very well drawn. I especially like the way Matt Hollingsworth handles the colors. For example, if Blight is in a scene with his glowing green skull, then the background of the page will also be shaded green. If it’s a scene with Robin wearing red colors, then the background will be a shade of pink. The colors complement the characters.
Meanwhile, Sean Murphy makes sure to wrap up the few remaining conflicts in ways that are in line with what he has previously built up. It all depends on if you agree with those directions (like the Batman and Harley Quinn relationship).
The Problems That Still Persist…
However, while some people who are fans of Murphy might enjoy this ending, I still see it as being plagued with all the problems that seem fundamental to Murphy’s writing at this point. Dramatic moments continue to be interrupted by goofy attempts at humor and banter. Meanwhile, there’s still the plot hole of Jack Napier and how everyone can all of a sudden see him in holographic form. Sean Murphy never explains why. As for the final conclusions of the book, well…
Jack Napier will live on as a holograph, it seems. That’s strange to me since it makes Napier’s death feel pointless. Why kill him off in the first place if he is going to live on as a ghost, essentially, and continue to have great influence on the story? Bruce also finally comes to terms with his role as Batman, believing that the persona is not a bad thing after all. That seems a little bit antithetical to Murphy’s entire Elseworld saga where the point was that Batman WAS the villain. Now this feels like just another regular Batman book going forward, with characters that just happen to be older than usual.
I’ve become so tired of this universe, from the weird character choices, to Murphy now developing past his original ideas. Unfortunately, this comic doesn’t end the White Knight universe as I thought it would.
The book concludes with previews for 2 new White Knight series Murphy has had in the works. One is based off of Jack and Harley’s kids, Jackie and Bryce. The other includes Wonder Woman and Superman (with a potential Batman Vs. Superman tease). Maybe if you still love Murphy’s Batman world, you’ll be excited to see his take on those characters. I, however, have come to see that he doesn’t really have that much to say about the characters of DC after all. I probably won’t be picking up the next chapters.
- You want to see how Sean Gordon Murphy’s Batman Beyond book ends.
- Batman and Harley Quinn is a couple you can get behind.
- You want to see the Murphy-verse expand.
I’m afraid this series is the one that killed the interest I originally had in the White Knight universe. I’d be curious to see Murphy write a Batman book where he wasn’t doing the art. Would the reception be as positive then? I don’t think so.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.