Written and Illustrated by Sean Murphy
Colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Published by DC Comics / Black Label
This book is Sean Murphy’s Red Wedding. The chapter where everything changes. Secrets are revealed, and nothing is what it seems.
The unveiling of these moments is executed effortlessly.
Everything Batman believed about the Wayne family secret is wrong.
Heck, wrong is putting it mildly.
Bruce Wayne, Edmond Wayne, Bakkar, Lafayette Arkham, and Azrael all have different fates than was imagined going into the White Knight sequel.
While it’s possible that everything discovered could be a ruse, it’s too good from a narrative perspective to do a bait and switch. The original series made considerable changes to the Batman mythos in this contained Murphy-verse. Curse has delivered stellar storytelling with some big moments. However, it was missing that seismic narrative shift until now.
If that’s not enough, the climactic encounter between Harley Quinn and The Joker/Jack Napier is what Batman fans deserve.
Napier tries to keep Joker at bay to keep Harley and their daughters safe. The back and forth between the two personalities was riveting, and its visual presentation puts it over the top in the best possible way. Napier’s agony is only matched by Joker’s sheer insanity as both of them struggle for possession of the infamous long barrel gun. It’s anarchy in its purest form as Harley struggles with the ultimate choice.
Murphy’s illustrations never cease to amaze; however, this might be his most beautiful work yet. A split-faced Joker/Napier lunging at Harley in utter rage encapsulated how far things have turned in their twisted relationship. The next panel Azrael in the Knightfall bat suit “kracking” Batman in the face as he beats him from pillar to post.
All of the awesomeness builds to the ultimate crescendo where after all of the mysteries and shocking moments are delivered; it’s perhaps the final panel that serves as the biggest surprise. It’s an image that would be the talk of the town if it occurred in the regular continuity, and it works perfectly in this incarnation.
With two issues to go, smart money says Murphy can’t top himself as the work he exhibited here is exceptional. Wise money, on the other hand, says never doubt the talents of Sean Murphy.