REVIEW: ‘Batman: Curse of the White Knight,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 is published by under DC Comics’ imprint DC Black Label and is a sequel to Sean Murphy’s breakout elseworld series, Batman: The White Knight. The mini-series is written and illustrated by Sean Murphy with colors by Matt Hollingsworth, and letters by AndWorld Design.

Previously, Batman: Curse of the White Knight dealt with the implications of the Waynes’ and Batman’s place in society. Additionally, with the Joker having broken out, there is a storm brewing and Azrael seems to be in the middle of it. Now, in Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2, the books offer a glimpse back in time as we follow Edmond Wayne, an ancestor of Bruce Wayne. As Batman learns more about his family, the Joker’s plan is in full swing. He controls the elite of Gotham with the help of his new recruit, Azrael. Azrael’s goal is to eliminate Batman and obliterate the Wayne family’s legacy.

In Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2, Batman is entangled in a moral dilemma. Following Alfred’s death, he wants to do the right thing and turn himself in. However, he knows that he is not the only person hurt by his actions. Turning himself in would implicate his company, his allies, and his loved ones. The relationship Batman has with his allies at this point is rocky at best and the introduction of Azrael only complicates things.

Murphy’s art is the shining star of this issue. His ability to showcase action works well and the best panels were those with little dialogue. That being said, Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 is an incredibly wordy comic and at times, it makes the lettering nearly impossible to read. This is particularly the case during Edmond’s monologue which is shown on what appears to be old paper. The font resembles handwriting; however, because it is so small and litters nearly the entire page, it is hard to focus and read clearly. Despite the difficult lettering, the panels are still beautiful. Part of this is due to Hollingsworth’s impeccable coloring. The different tones of red bring vibrancy to the book. The color choices are deliberate as moments of conflict are bathed in red, while panels that pack more of an emotional, as opposed to physical, punch have a much softer color palette.

The visuals and script of the story showcase the dichotomy within Batman well. However, as much as I love the ethical dilemma Batman is facing and his relationship with his allies, specifically Barbara and Jim Gordon in this issue, the plot is unfortunately convoluted. The beginning panels with Edmond don’t add much to the story at this point and coupled with the difficult lettering, make it boring and just hard to read.

Overall, Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 fails to capture the magic of its predecessor. It is not nearly as compelling and struggles to tie-up the loose ends created in the first run. The Waynes’ bloody history and impact on Gotham, in theory, should be an excellent place to dive into Batman’s psyche as it forces him to reevaluate his own choices. Batman is Batman because he lost the people he loved most. However, the addition of Azrael makes this difficult, as another piece is added to an already overcrowded chessboard.

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 is available in comic book stores everywhere.

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2
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TL;DR

Overall, Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 fails to capture the magic of its predecessor. It is not nearly as compelling and struggles to tie-up the loose ends created in the first run.