BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4: A Hero Without A Mask

Already Sean Murphy’s BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT has proven to be one of the greatest Batman stories. Each issue turns the wheel a bit more, leaving readers craving to know how this will all turn out in the end. BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4 continues this as not only a fulfilling issue but an epic and possibly controversial ending. We see more of the “fake” Harley as Neo Joker, a true romance between Harleen and Jack, and Batman slowly becoming the bad guy on everyone’s mind. Joker knows the Dark Knight the best, so can Jack really and truly be Gotham’s White Knight? Read on and let us know what you think!

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Thin White and Duke

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4 picks up with this world’s version of Duke Thomas. In current DC continuity, Duke has become the Signal, and his origins also tie in with a Joker attack that left Duke’s family in a mental hospital. Here, Duke is an ex-cop and speaker for the marginalized community of Backport. Duke rallies the community as Jack speaks to them for their support in his bid for councilman. Jack points out that there are no police and, as the entire city of Gotham has turned their backs to Backport, offers to help. With a speech and a peaceful protest lead by Jack, the community begins to march before being stopped by the Dark Knight. Slamming Duke to the ground and apprehending Napier for almost no reason.

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This causes a spark to ignite as Jack uses Batman’s unnecessary force in his favor. Approaching not only Gordon but Nightwing and Batgirl as well to push for his GTO plan. The Gotham Terrorist Oppression unit, funneling the money that the city would use to clean up Batman’s mess and destruction back into GCPD. The funds are utilized to craft souped-up vehicles and armor to help defend the city, while giving Nightwing and Batgirl the option to join and keep their secret identities. Hoping to transitions the crimefighters from vigilantism to honest working cops. Jack persuades Nightwing and Batgirl with the fact that Batman has all of this to keep himself safe, but has never shared it with Gotham’s regular heroes.

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4 page 14. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Riddle Me This

So honestly, how wrong are Jack’s view on things? His point opens up the eyes of Gordon so much so that he doesn’t have a reason to say no. Batman’s Kevlar armor could be saving dozens of cops, even some small gadgets could be used to their benefit. It’s understandable why not everyone has a Batmobile and a mask, but the never-ending war could be relieved a bit more by Batman. The tables are turning against the Dark Knight, and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Along with that, the cliffhanger involving Victor Fries’ relationship with Thomas and Martha Wayne sets up an exciting upcoming issue!

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Sean Murphy won’t stop shaking up the Batman mythos anytime soon either. His love for the Tim Burton 1989 movie and BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES has maintained ever prominent. References from the movie in Jack’s dialogue and the original vs. fake Harley has been a blast. Giving Harley and Jack a beautiful and true relationship for the first time is a nice change of pace. Also, his origin for Neo Joker not only makes sense but gives this character some true grounding and a unique identity. Although many adore the Harley Quinn that’s blown up in the last five years or so, she never really felt like the true Harley that was birthed in BTAS.

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #4 page 21. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This The Part Where You Magically Disappear?

Overall, the series has held up to the hype. Having a large focus on Joker and Harleys’ relationship, with the most minimal Batman appearances so far, it’s what the book needed. Developing more into these characters has brought some understanding of their motivations. It leaves us all also questioning if Jack really is right, or for that matter even sane. Could we be cheering for him and turning our back on the beloved Dark Knight? We’ll find out next time, so leave your thoughts and comments below!

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