‘I have tried my best to keep this as spoiler free as possible but before you dive in I will be discussing the themes of the story and some of the plot points so ladies and gentleman you have been warned. Though if you like what I have to say then after we are done here I would advise running out and grabbing a copy as this will be the first release from DC’s Black Label Imprint and it will not disappoint.’
Before we begin I shall inform you dear readers that this tale is Elseworlds and there for non cannon. Never the less unlike many of the main stream story lines from the big two, this story deals with some pretty powerful, deep and heavy topics. So sit back while I tell you all about the time that the Joker lost his madness and went sane.
As I have previously stated Batman White Knight is about the Joker becoming normal, but that is only the superficial, at its core it tells a deep rich story about the human condition and even covers a few topics that today’s politicians too easily shy away from. Honestly I have picked this book up and read it over and over again and each time I find myself interpreting something slightly different, which is just brilliant.
The main focus of the story is the duality between the Joker and Batman, or should I say Jack Napier and Batman. When Joker reverts to Jack he manages to retain all of his mental faculties but none of the madness. He wants to atone for the chaos he has caused, which shows that maybe the Joker is not him, but something else, something that is triggered by the existence of Batman, so one must wonder, who is at fault? (This is a question that Christoper Nolan tried to address in The Dark Knight)
Of course the joker is the villain, no one could argue against that, but in his pursuit for justice Batman has become dangerous and relentless, to the point of causing mass destruction. Naturally Bruce Wayne is on stand by to help fix the damage, but is the damage necessary, especially if its caused by a vigilante. This makes me wonder is vigilante justice just one step away from mob justice and have we as a species not moved on from this?
Not only does the book take aim at the concept of vigilante heroes but it also hit’s out at the modern police force. It highlights the issues of Police Brutality and the less reported issue of militerizing of civilian police forces around the world.
Along the way Jack even takes aim at the rich who run Gotham and keep the the proletariat beneath their boots. He manages to twist this around and uses it as a weapon against Batman, but if we take a look at our world this is something we can all relate too. We all know about the rich jackasses that manage to get away with things we could never dream of.
At its deepest levels this book discusses shows us just how far someone can go to defeat their greatest threat. It does this in three ways and it took me many reads to pick up on this. There is the obvious part of this, where we see an obsessive Batman turning on his friends and family, the second see’s Bruce Wayne ally with an old enemy to save a dear friends life and finally the book discusses how the allies scrambled to recruit Nazi scientists post World War 2, in order to become the next super power. Even in my own life I have lost myself to a blind rage and done and or said thing’s that are just not me, but in my mind they are actions which I needed to take to achieve my end goals, even if its goals that I should never have set.
Do not fret for this tale is not all doom and gloom because the book leaves us with a hopeful message about how the tribes that we create for ourselves can always be there to guide us even if it is for just a short period of time and this goes for both Batman and the Joker, further highlighting their similarities.
It is rare that I could find a book with this many layers in it, but it is just wonderful, combine that with gorgeous art work and plenty of subtle nods to the entire franchise that is Batman and you have what could be one of the most important graphic novel’s ever made.
A worth while read for all.