[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sean Murphy
Artist: Sean Murphy
Letters: AndWorld Design
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“You’re not a Princess. You’re a fighter. Like me!” -JIm Gordon to his daughter Barbara
This is the fourth installment of Batman: Curse of the White Knight!
Sean Murphy’s not coloring within the lines. He is on his on level in playing in and out of the Batman canon. He is like a scrambling quarterback…calling the play based on the Batman we know, giving a nod or an homage to a cinematic line here and there, but then going so off script, we are in a whole new universe. His rules are the only ones that apply and I love it!
First, his script is so strong and so grounded. He’s taking a Shakesperean “Capulet-Montague” angle with the Wayne family and the Bakkars. He’s giving it history akin to the Court of Owls and what Scott Snyder has done for the Batman scripts in recent years. He’s provided more of a background for Azrael and a mission so strong, he has to take down Batman.
And while this review should not reveal the great loss that the Bat Family endures, it is safe to say that Barbara’s verbal tirade at Bruce is one of the ages.
Azrael is written as if he is a Terminator. I’ve never seen him dripping with so much focus and so much rage at Bruce, at cancer, at anyone in his way!
Dick Grayson…voice of reason…he seems to be the only rational one at this point!
By reducing the cast down to a broth, Murphy hits one of the biggest homeruns in comics since…well White Knight!
Murphy draws Barbara, Montoya, and Harley with such precision and care, they are the epitome of all strong women that should be in every person’s life. They are smart, fighters, and beautifully portrayed even in their most panicked moments.
Bruce is drawn like a real world Batman. His boots, his belt, his facial hair. Murphy leaves no stone unturned.
He switches gears between perfect scripts and perfect pens like he is driving a stick shift on a country road. No effort, just giving it the right amount of clutch and gas.
Some people have to wait for the perfect artist or the perfect script writer to go along with their respective talent. He’s got both of them and I am rooting that he somehow inserts himself into a regular Batman title or even turns his attention to a reimagining of other heroes in the DC universe!
Finally, I don’t want to spoil anything about this comic. Murphy pays different homages in different ways as a nod to prior canon. You are really going to come away shaking your head and rubbing your back in this one. Bane and Joker literally have nothing on each other in one frame. It’s one of those sounds you never forget!
Joker/Jack Napier is absent in this issue. He is mentioned, but no appearance per se. However, less is more! Every good joke has a setup and you have to wait for the punch line.
And Babs…she never had it so bad. And that is saying a LOT!
Again…Batman: White Knight was special. And this sequel is really really special. You should go to your local comic store, ask for the White Knight and ask for every issue thus far of Curse of the White Knight. You can’t drink this story in fast enough.