In DC lore, the rivalry between Batman and the Joker is the ying and yang to what makes the whole world of Gotham work. Batman takes out the villains from the underbelly of Gotham’s dark alleys while The Joker just creates enough chaos to keep Gotham sinking. But what if The Joker turned a new leaf, even going against everything he stands for. What would happen to the Batman Universe?
Writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy’s new comic book series Batman: White Knight delves into a reinterpretation of the familiar Dark Knight story. And the twist in the new story that makes it all so refreshing- The Joker is actually a sane character! Murphy told Wired why he approached this new take:
“We know Joker’s a genius, we know he’s relentless, and we know he can play the crowd, so why not make him a politician? Why not strip away the psychosis (the thing that’s holding him back) and let him challenge Batman unimpeded? And to make it even scarier, what if he did it legally and without breaking any rules, so that Batman couldn’t stop him?”
The Joker has often made Batman’s world a taste of hell with his vicious acts. But a Joker with a clear vision of what he wants is any less threatening. After all, he is the only character who truly knows how Batman works, and a sane Joker would use his intelligence to really shine a light on Batman’s actions:
“Seeing Gotham for the first time with clear eyes, his psychosis now cured, he starts to understand the absurdity of vigilantism and how Batman’s actions are only contributing to Gotham’s endless crime cycle. Joker sets out to beat Batman by becoming the White Knight that Gotham really needs.”
Murphy has also used the White Knight story to give a critical analysis of the relevant social movements of the new age.Art has often reflected the most strenuous of times and it looks like 2017 will be no different. Murphy uses Gotham to reflect a light on movements like “Black Lives Matter to the growing wage gap… rather than write a comic about the wage gap.”
This is not the first time that writers have used comics to showcase social commentary, Marvel parodied the Trump campaign by putting the Asgardian God Of Mischief run for President. Loki, as fans will know is a master of disguise who easily fool both humans and gods (like his brother Thor) to do what he wants.