BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 by Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, & Todd Klein
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
In another gritty issue, BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 explores the depths of tragedy as the Bat-family faces new challenges.
92 %
Tragedy strikes again
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Beware, spoilers for BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 abound!

BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 digs deeper into the plight of the Bat-family. As Jack Napier, formerly known as the Joker, continues to build his case against Batman, the public’s opinion of the Dark Knight dwindles greatly. The series’ writer and artist, Sean Murphy, has excelled in depicting a gritty tale that inverts the conventional roles of the Batman mythos.

Now, as the tale deepens, tragedy strikes Batman’s home. The one question that remains is what happens next?

batman white knight #3
BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Gotham’s Only Disaster

Gotham City’s most notorious supervillains have banded together in an attack on the city’s financial district. As Batman and his allies face off against these criminals, the battle results in collateral damage. Buildings collapse as a result of the destruction, and it appears as though Batman is apathetic towards the turmoil. Rather, he focuses on capturing all the villains involved in the attack instead of rescuing individuals trapped in the rubble. Of course, his actions only result in more conflict. Jack Napier exacerbates the situation when he reveals that Gotham City taxpayers spend $3 billion a year fixing the messes Batman makes whenever he fights crime. As a result, public opinion of Batman continues to fester as those within the Bat-family express their own uncertainty.

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The most poignant moment of BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 lies in the death of Alfred Pennyworth. Following the funeral, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon find themselves discussing the descent of Bruce Wayne’s character. He’s grown ruthless and audacious, qualities that frighten Barbara. She believes Dick has also acquired some of these qualities in his resentment of Bruce. As a result, the Bat-family is crumbling. Alfred was the moral compass that tied the Bat-family together. With him gone, the structure of Batman and his allies is compromised.

Murphy is fearless in his narrative decisions. He takes risks. From Batman’s deterioration to the death of Alfred, the narrative can be quite shocking. However, the story isn’t just one that continuously evokes shock value. BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 is a cohesive narrative that transitions between points-of-view smoothly, presenting a new interpretation of Gotham City that’s quite haunting.

batman white knight #3
BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3 page 10. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3

Sean Murphy’s illustrations are unique. At times, his work gives off some serious Alex Maleev vibes. When I first started reading BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT, I wasn’t sure if I was a fan of the art as a whole. However, as I’ve continued to engage in the dynamic plot, I’ve grown to really appreciate the illustrations. Murphy’s work perfectly captures the chaos and gritty nature of the world of his narrative. Additionally, colorist Matt Hollingsworth’s palette is quite compelling. One sequence, in the panels depicted above, primarily features monochromatic hues. However, those tones are juxtaposed by the blood on Bruce’s body as he observes Alfred on his deathbed.

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Perhaps the most profound image in these panels is the one where Bruce collapses to the ground with Alfred watching over him. Despite Alfred’s current state, he’s still motivated to care for Bruce, and dialogue isn’t necessary to prove that. Finally, the lettering by the renowned Todd Klein is one of the stand-out aspects of this issue’s imagery. It provides more energy in the action sequences of BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #3. Thus, the issue’s art as a whole truly gives the work life.

What Lies Beyond

Many of the characters, particularly Barbara Gordon, are caught in a web. They feel a pull from their duty to be loyal to Batman. However, they’re struggling to accept that the Batman they used to know has changed. Thus, it will be interesting to see what becomes of these perceptions of the new Batman in future issues.

Evil has engulfed Gotham City. The lines between good and evil have blurred. Will Jack Napier take the reigns of the city Batman used to protect? We’ll just have to wait until BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT #4 to know.

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