Batman: White Knight #1
Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger
Script, art, covers by Sean Murphy
Colors and cover colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Todd Klein
Asst. Editor: Maggie Howell
Editor: Mark Doyle
Release date: October 4, 2017
First, I’ll state the obvious: Batman: White Knight #1 looks spectacular.
Sean Murphy‘s style is tailor made for Gotham City and its inhabitants. In the action-adventure series Chrononauts, he showed his range, packing each frame with so much kinetic energy it burst at the seams — but itâ€™s in the shadows where Murphy shines brightest. He was born to illustrate Batman.
At the moment there are a handful of artists at the top of the food chain — Adam Hughes, Greg Capullo, Rafael Albuquerque — and Murphy is among the very best. Not to be overlooked, Matt Hollingsworth adds a pitch-perfect color palate to offset Murphyâ€™s darkness, and the results are stunning.
There. I just told you a bunch of stuff you already knew and could see with your own two eyeballs.
*This* is where things get interesting.
Murphy *wrote* the story as well, and it was a revelation; sharp, incisive, and, in many ways, timely. Itâ€™s classic Gotham, but drops of the real world bleed through the cracks, giving the cityâ€™s gritty texture an all-too-familiar feel.
Most refreshingly (and almost surprisingly) this comic is for *comic book fans*.
When comics are increasingly being marketed to children (and adults who are interested primarily in G-rated childrenâ€™s fare), Murphy takes the story in a bold PG-13 direction that feels almost untapped in 2017, and yet the tone is reminiscent of the early 2000s when some of the most compelling stories in recent history were crafted. (Notice how many current TV shows and movies are based on the comics from that era? The near-flawless Daredevil and Jessica Jones Netflix series spring to mind, along with the entire tone of the Marvel MAX-inspired Deadpool film.)
I spend a lot of time talking with friends and fans about comics, and without a doubt, the most consistent criticism is: “Who the heck was this written for?”
If you love comic books, look no further: Batman: White Knight was written for *you*.
Along with the scintillating new Snyder/Capullo-helmed Dark Nights Metal series, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about Batman, or DC Comics in general.
Batman: White Knight #1 is biting. It challenges and pushes and takes you out of your comfort zone. And in the end, there are no easy answers.
I canâ€™t wait to see where Murphy takes me next.
Blake Northcott is a Canadian novelist and comic book writer.
She’s a 2017 James Patterson MasterClass Semifinalist, and author of the international best-seller, Arena Mode. She recently wrote volume 6 of Michael Turner’s All-New Fathom, and worked as an ambassador at Millarworld.