Batman: White Knight 3

by Mark Mitchell

Batman White Knight 3

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The primary mystery of Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight (with an assist from Matt Hollingsworth on colors) is determining what exactly Jack Napier’s intentions are. How much of his stance against Batman on moral grounds is part of a longer con? And even if Napier is truly free of the Joker, he’s certainly willing to indulge in a little villainy if the ends justify the means. But then, the same can be said of Murphy’s Batman, and it’s the murky morality of most all the major players in Batman: White Knight 3 that makes this book so compelling.

Nu-Harley Quinn, Alfred Pennyworth, and, perhaps, Batgirl are the few characters who play their roles like we expect they would. Nu-Harley is out to get her man, Alfred makes a selfless sacrifice to once again save Bruce Wayne, and Batgirl is the last remaining rational player in the Bat-Family.

But why is Batman acting like such a dick? It’s White Knight’s second greatest mystery, and one I’m unclear if Murphy intends to resolve. Batman’s dark turn certainly makes for fascinating parallels with Napier — is Batman’s constant endangerment of civilian lives any better than Napier using Gotham’s villains to create a distraction to advance his plan? — but Batman is such a cypher right now that I’m unsure what’s motivating his mania, and I’m unsure if I’m supposed to be unsure. Barbara makes it clear that Bruce is becoming more unhinged, but is reckless abandon just the way Batman has always operated in this world? If our baseline is the Batman we know outside of White Knight, what caused him to turn? And even if he’s always been dangerously aggressive, why?

Clearing up Batman’s motivations, or even Murphy signaling that he intends to clear it up, would go a long way to making the Batman part of Batman: White Knight as interesting as the rest.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

One comment on “Batman: White Knight 3

  1. So, this has to be the worst major comic being released at the moment, right? Nothing else comes close to the sheer offensiveness of this awful piece of garbage.

    In an era where systemic problems, especially in policing, are the primary vector of oppression on the marginalised, White Knight says that the system is clean, but the problem is a single bad actor. I write this just days after another policeman has been cleared of charges, despite being videoed shooting an unarmed man, on his knees begging not to be shot

    In an era where malignant apathy towards marginalised populations lets great injustices happen, White Knight presents Batman as having an honest ignorance. I write this while the American Government is currently in conference over a tax bill that none of the key decision makers care that it has been proven to fail in every one of its supposed objectives.

    In an era where we are being confronted by the sheer cost of society’s refusal to believe women, White Knight whitewashes Harley’s history throughout comics of being abused by the Joker so that we don’t have to confront that. I say this as the fallout throughout Hollywood, the media and politics still continues.

    In an era where the way we villainize women in order to avoid judging men, White Knight takes Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, a character whose biggest problem is that the movie doesn’t understand that she is in an abusive relationship, and makes her the bad guy while it redeems her abuser. I write this as groups like Breitbart and Project Veritas have manipulated and lied about the news to discredit Roy Moore’s accusers.

    In an era where an inability to be honest about our icons has wrecked havoc on every aspect on society, White Knight has done everything it can to rewrite the most vile and villainous character in DC’s stable so that he can be redeemable, to misrepresent him so that we can cheer him. I write this shortly after the New York TImes actually attempted to find the humanity in an honest to god Nazi.

    I regret how harsh I was on Secret Empire 10, because to even bring up phrases like ‘no redeeming feature’ is grossly unfair on what still is a truly terrible comic. Because if we want to discuss no redeeming value, it is hard not to look at White Knight. I can’t think of a single comic worse.

    This is a timely comic, because it perfectly encapsulates everything wrong. It is vile. It is a blight. It is the enemy.

    White Knight wants you to ignore the plight of the marginalised. It wants you to disbelieve and villainize women. It exists to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. And the fact it does so well pretending to champion the very opposite is what makes it so poisonous and horrific.

    I have said that Action Comics doesn’t not deserve a mention anywhere until the current creative team goes, after trying to redeem a war criminal. The only reason not to say the same about White Knight is that speaking out against its sins is too important.

    This comic is a disgrace

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