Script and Art: Sean Murphy, Colours: Matt Hollingsworth.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight is a DC Black Label series, stories for mature readers that take place outside of normal DC continuity.
Well... damn. He’s been building to it for a while. He’s been dropping hints, laying clues. Hell, last week he teased us by telling Harley, off panel. But Sean has been somewhat tight-lipped about exactly what it was that Joker read, scrawled in blood, at the bottom of a well. Those few words, that turned Jack Napier into the Joker, and kept a smile on his face all these years.
And now, amidst smouldering ruins, we finally find out, too.
Things are coming to a head, in Sean Murphy’s Batman: Curse of the White Knight. Six issues down and just two more to go.
But that doesn't mean things are slowing down, quite the opposite, in fact. Murphy is finally gathering together all the threads he's been laying since issue one, and just to be kind, he's bringing back a few from the last arc. Because he's nice like that.
Book 6 charges along at breakneck speeds, tying together the fallout of Joker's escape, the simmering feelings between Harley and Bruce, the GTO's thirst for Vengeance, and underneath it all, Joker's dark secret.
I'm not really sure how Murphy managed it. By most standards, Book 6 was overloaded. There were important scenes between Azrael & Joker, Joker & Harley, Harley & Bruce, Bruce & Azrael, and Bruce &Joker. That's a HELL of a lot to cover, in just shy of 30 pages.
You'd think that with all of this going on, the book would feel rushed...the scenes would lack impact, or lose the subtlety needed...
But like some crazy plate spinner, Murphy somehow keeps a whole dinner service spinning, and manages to give each scene the time it requires to play out. Each moment hits with just the right level of impact, slowly increasing your surprise level, until he hits you with the final haymaker, and leaves you on the floor, wondering what on earth just happened.
Because, here's the thing... When the message on the wall was finally revealed, l was a little let down. The initial impact was less than I'd expected. But then, he hits you with a second revelation, to add a little context, and with that, I was done. Checked out. Taheg's brain has left the building. Once I was back to sanity, and able to continue reading, Book 6 finished in grand style, and Murphy once more left me climbing the freakin' walls, waiting for book 7.
But I have to say, as much as I want more from this series, the fact that every issue brings us one book closer to the end, makes me a little sad. I'm really going to miss this book, when it's gone.