This latest story from the vaults of Batman: White Knight allows us to go on a child friendly escapade between the Joker and his two children. We already learnt about the children in the run of Batman Beyond as they took on two different aspects of the Joker’s personality but now we get to see them interact with their father, possibly for the last time…
Right off the bat it’s clear to me that this mini-series is intended for a younger audience. The dialogue, subject and the perspectives of the main characters all scream to me that this story is meant to be relatable to children in the age range of Joker’s children. This is slightly confusing to me because the main Batman: White Knight stories actually tackled some heavy subjects in nuanced and complicated ways that are completely different from this issue’s tell don’t show style of writing. So I have a hard time imagining any young children who would be interested in this mini-series when so much of the content is rooted in a version of Batman that isn’t really catering to them. On the flip side, every line of dialogue by Katana Collins and Clayton McCormack feels like it needs to communicate the most obvious and important information to the reader which is useful for kids but might put off the devoted readers of Batman White Knight.
This issue’s narrative structure is also very straightforward. Every story beat runs directly related to the previous one in a tightly constructed and bare bones way. In combination with the dialogue that makes the story incredibly easy to follow. I do think the simplicity makes the story a bit underwhelming as we go from one place to the next without really anything concrete being said and the Joker’s children can’t really develop as characters because they have to constantly represent the two different sides of Joker. This is just the first issue though so I can see this changing later on with the basis for the story having been firmly established.
I’m not gonna write too much about this because it’s incredibly subjective but I was pretty disappointed to read a story with basically three different Joker characters and yet the whole story is a sappy and unfunny family drama. I’m all for the sappiness and character exploration but this issue felt like each joke was crammed in there without thinking about how to make this a funny comic. You get awkward one-liners split into dialogue like Joker calling Batman his “Bat and Chain” but it’s way too little for a Joker focused story!
The art in this issue is lacking the incredible displays that Batman: White Knight’s main stories get to revel in but the art by Mirka Andolfo works well to merge the dark world of Gotham with the cutesy soft elements introduced for children. There’s enough detail in each panel to see how everything going on makes the characters feel but not enough detail to really go deeper. You might understand the characters and what they’re doing but the world is still quite superficial. I like that this mini-series is going to expand on the characters we’ve been introduced to before but visually this doesn’t translate to the Gotham that Sean Murphy and his team are creating.
The colors by Alejandro Sánchez are incredibly playful with Joker’s green and purple as it pops up constantly to reinforce the legacy he has left behind. Both the clowns and his kids combine the two colors to show us how complicated his legacy has become with the maleficent clowns threatening the hope he sees in his children.
- A light read with solid pacing sounds good
- You’re really deep in Batman White Knight lore
- Your school library is looking for new comic series
While I don’t see many children being able to debate the implications of Joker’s actions on the racial and political landscape of Gotham this story isn’t about that. It’s a simple story about family and leaving behind a legacy you can be proud of. I don’t think there’s anything exceptional about this comic though and I wouldn’t feel the need to include it in my Batman: White Knight reading list so far.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.
Come check out my other writing at loosedogmagazine.com !