In Batman: White Knight, The Joker Is the Hero

The Joker is Gotham's White Knight in a new 8-issue miniseries from Sean Gordon Murphy.

Writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy (The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus, Tokyo Ghost) has unveiled his mystery Batman project. It’s called Batman: White Knight and it’s about what would happen if Batman existed in a Gotham City with real-world problems such as race and class inequality. In this Elseworlds-style 8-issue miniseries, Murphy suggests that Batman’s brand of vigilante justice would be seen as villainous. 

“It’s sexy to think crime can be stopped with a fist, but the real solution is a lot more boring than that: education, increasing wages, and building trust,” Murphy told Wired. “The line Batman rides between ‘noble vigilante’ and ‘overzealous oppressor’ will always be shifting as our own society changes.”

So who steps up to protect Gotham when vigilante justice isn’t enough? The Clown Prince of Crime.

Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First by reconciling with Harley Quinn and then by trying to save Gotham City from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham’s greatest villain—the Batman.

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“We know Joker’s a genius, we know he’s relentless, and we know he can play the crowd, so why not make him a politician?” said Murphy. “Why not strip away the psychosis (the thing that’s holding him back) and let him challenge Batman unimpeded? And to make it even scarier, what if he did it legally and without breaking any rules, so that Batman couldn’t stop him?”

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Murphy revealed that his main inspiration for his take on the Joker was Mad Men‘s Don Draper.

“Frank Miller modeled him after David Bowie. Chris Nolan showed him as a controlled sociopath. I see the Joker as Don Draper.”

It must be said that the Joker does look pretty dapper in his suit. 

“Seeing Gotham for the first time with clear eyes, his psychosis now cured, he starts to understand the absurdity of vigilantism and how Batman’s actions are only contributing to Gotham’s endless crime cycle,” said Murphy. “Joker sets out to beat Batman by becoming the White Knight that Gotham really needs.”

A good Joker, huh? Something tells me that this new status quo won’t last very long…

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Batman: White Knight #1 arrives on October 4. 

Here’s the cover for the first issue:

Murphy has also released a few pages from the book, which you can check out below: