Written and Illustrated by Sean Murphy
Published by DC Comics
Just when you think there are no more secrets, no shocking revelations that Sean Murphy could possibly instill, we end up pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
Curse of the White Knight differentiates itself from its predecessor in the profound way it assaults Batman. One tried to erase the myth while this tale looks to systematically destroy the man.
The book opens with the funeral of Commissioner Gordon, and a certain pointy-eared vigilante did not attend. That alone was mind-boggling. Batman made excuses about the work needing to be done. I didn’t buy it, and neither the characters in the book.
Murphy has done a great job of painting Batman in a light where his menacing aura is no longer a factor. Dick, Barbara, Bullock, and the GTO now look at Batman as a millionaire in a suit who has made too many mistakes. An individual in such a position loses a certain amount of respect that is hard to retrieve. People who would never think to yell at Batman now do so without pause.
Batman’s word is no longer law. It’s just another in a sea of voices trying to be heard. That doesn’t stop him from doing what he needs to do.
However, the lack of clout Batman has with his once trusted circle brings a refreshing element to the story. Azrael turned up the volume on his master plan once a belittling truth came to light. It was fun to observe his reaction as the perpetrators were supremely arrogant while having no idea what they were in for.
A popular visual element from Knightfall came into play, however, it tied in differently here. Murphy added more layers to the Wayne family’s ancestral history. It’s hard to tell if he’s going to build it up or tear it down when it’s all said and done. There is a secret withheld from Batman about his family due to its sensitive nature. That wouldn’t have stopped people from telling Batman in the past, but now, it’s different, which is how Murphy tied all of the elements in play, together.
The results made for a fascinating read that increased the tension with every page examined.