REVIEW: ‘Batman: Beyond The White Knight,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1

Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1 is written and illustrated by Sean Gordon Murphy, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered by Andworld Design. It’s published by DC Comics underneath their Black Label imprint. Ten years after the events of Batman: Curse of the White Knight, Bruce Wayne is serving time in prison while Gotham City has become a near-futuristic megalopolis ruled by militarized police. When teenager Terry McGinnis liberates a hi-tech Batsuit from the ruins of Wayne Manor, Wayne decides it’s time to break out of prison with the help of his first Robin, Jason Todd.

The White Knight universe has been a source of debate among many Batman fans, myself included. On the one hand, Murphy is one of the most visually gifted artists working in the business today. His White Knight universe mixes elements of various Batman media, including the DC Animated Universe and other Batman films. The futuristic Gotham City looks like it was ripped right out of Batman Beyond. And that’s saying nothing about the character designs; from Jason sporting a more cyberpunk-influenced version of his Red Hood helmet to Terry sporting the classic Batman Beyond suit (albeit with a few new red accents), this is a book that will burn itself into readers’ brains long after they close the pages. My favorite image has to be a two-page spread featuring Terry soaring through the skies of Gotham; it brings back fond memories of watching Batman Beyond on Saturday mornings.

What really makes the art stand out, though, is Stewart’s colors. Stewart makes heavy use of shadows, giving a sinister look to Neo Gotham and Stonegate Prison; in contrast, a flashback featuring Jason’s time as Batman is given more sepia-toned colors. Andworld’s letters feel more slanted than regular comic book lettering, with one exception. When Terry first puts on his Batman suit, a shocked police officer yells “BATMAN?!” and the font is displayed exactly how it appeared in the Batman Beyond title.

The issue is dependent on readers having picked up Batman: White Knight and Batman: Curse of the White Knight – otherwise, they may feel lost. There’s also the matter of various members of the Bat-family joining up with the Gotham Terrorist Oppression Unit; I still don’t feel like it fits Duke Thomas or Jason Todd (Especially since the latter has always been openly rebellious.) There’s also a plot twist on the last page that’s groan-worthy in its predictability. However, the opening with Terry is great, especially as he has a surprising new mentor. One of the best things about Batman Beyond was how Terry found his own way to being Batman with Bruce’s help. Now that dynamic is flipped on its head, which could provide an interesting story if Murphy plays his cards right.

Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1 presents a unique take on the Batman Beyond universe, and its visually stunning art makes up for a bumpy story. Hopefully, future issues will continue to explore this new world and show how Terry grows into the Batman fans know and love.

Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1
3.5

TL;DR

Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1 presents a unique take on the Batman Beyond universe, and its visually stunning art makes up for a bumpy story. Hopefully, future issues will continue to explore this new world and show how Terry grows into the Batman fans know and love.