Batman: White Knight (2017) #1-3 Review

Story Summary

“In a world where Batman has gone too far, The Joker must save Gotham City.

He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the “Clown Prince of Crime” but “white knight”? Never. Until now…

Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!”

~*~

So this has been an abnormally emotional ride for me, though I guess that’s not super surprising to anyone who knows my opinion on/history with Harley/Joker. I literally sobbed at the end of issue two, but that’s because of my personal childhood traumas that are what draw me to the characters in the first place.

I keep having to remind myself that these are new iterations of the characters because it’s a completely new twist on their relationship in some ways. Granted, there’s a part of me that’s still suspicious that what’s happening is yet another of Joker’s tricks, but there’s a possibility that that’s not the case. I’ll be damn surprised, however, if they take his character in a totally new direction that’s not been done before, though.

I’m not traditionally a fan of Joker’s original identity being revealed because I feel that that undermines what Joker has worked so hard at becoming. He’s removed any individuality or humanity in himself. He’s worked at becoming what he believes is MORE than human… an ideal… a concept… the very thing that is Batman’s biggest weakness: FEAR itself. Similarly, Batman did the same thing: sacrifice his personal identity to become an ideal, as well. His ideal, however, is a bit more shaky than Joker’s, which is pretty clear cut, but that was part of what kept their relationship going. It’s not a classic good vs evil story. It’s two mentally ill people tormenting each other.

I also am not a big fan of Joker actually being kind to Harley on any level because, again, this is antithetical toward his goals of becoming more than just another supervillain. The brilliance of the Harley/Joker relationship is that he never cared for her more than as a HIGHLY useful resource who stroked his ego & (usually) did what he told her to do. Her obsession over him was due to the unreciprocated affection, and her attraction to him was BECAUSE he was ill since that’s how she was able to relate to him & believe that if she could gain the love of the Joker, it wouldn’t matter if her Dad never loved her.

We’re only on issue 3 so far, so there’s a lot of time for things to be revealed further, and it’s very well written despite me being a bit blasé about the premise, too, since that’s not how mental illness works haha. Again, this is why I’m actually kinda HOPING that it’s just another ruse, because then it’d be more plausible, but let’s see where they take it! I always have to remind myself that this is comics, not real life, so gotta take it with a grain of salt hehe. What can I say though, the more realistic the world & characters, even in a different world, the more invested I am in the story.

Over all, I’d give the series a solid 7/10 so far. But again, this is only after issue 3. If you’re a classic Joker/Batman fan, you’ll probably really dig this comic. If you’re a classic Harley/Joker fan, you might be a bit more apprehensive about it, like me, but it’s definitely still worth the read. I’m eager to continue reading to find out what happens next!

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