[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sean Murphy
Artist: Sean Murphy
Letters: AndWorld Design
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“Holy Biblical Flood Batman!” – Dick Grayson
This is the eighth and final installment of Batman: Curse of the White Knight!
Sean Murphy drops the reader off right in the middle of a car chase, but with Azrael (In his Bat-Suit) being pursued by Batman and the GCPD. But Bruce wants him all to himself!
Murphy uses this hot pursuit to provide the reader an introspective of those around Bruce and what has driven him to the point where he is at now. Harley fears that he is going to cross the line in killing Azrael to preserve Gotham.
Bruce is of that mindset as well as he remembers Alfred’s advice, Von Freeze’s remarks, and Jim Gordon’s confidence in him. Murphy paints a great mental tug of war where we know the Bruce in this “Murphy-Verse” is the same that we always knew. But is he?
Murphy has flashes of the 1966 series, the Tim Burton movies and Zorro homages amid all of this comic. And the passion of Christianity runs thick for Azrael as he is devout on his mission and thinks it a holy mission!
This is Murphy’s “Empire Strikes Back” (arguably the best Star Wars movie in the nine!). It is not my job nor my pleasure in taking anything away from Murphy’s story in the review.
He has developed quite a style in paying both comic and cinema homage to the characters he has chosen in his Batman story. And he uses all of them in this issue…..except for one (see Negatives)
Murphy draws an frenetic Bruce. This Batman has expressions! And this Batman is a version of the Grim Knight that Scott Snyder created too. Wow…Murphy did it again! He took something from one universe and perfectly inserted it into his!
Murphy paints a beautiful background to his renderings. His homage to Batman is fraught with city images that are worthy of a museum. And his vehicles… pretty special!
But what he achieves with Harley is nothing short of magnificent. She is both heroine, girl next door, and all things that are right with this story. She is finally in a timeline where she should be taken seriously. Not a foil of the Joker, but a heroic mother who is on a mission.
In this Murphy-Verse, there is no room for Selina. There is only room for Harley and it feels right!
One… who lit this stack of dynamite? Who set this in motion? In fact, we are given a wonderful portrait of him in this issue. And where is he? Argh!
If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is that Jack Napier/Joker has not stuck around for the finale (?) Yeah…that’s a question mark. I told you this is Murphy’s “Empire Strikes Back”!
Okay…the interviews told us that he wanted to explore one more character within this universe. Murphy feels like a little more can be told on this birdy…this Robin that met a different fate at the hands of readers. If I were you, I’d re-read the entire series again…issues 1-8, and then look at the Easter Eggs Murphy provides. And then tell me if you saw this return coming at all. Maybe he even dropped the title to the next part within this issue……?