Comic Review: Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1 (DC Comics)

In a sequel to Batman: White Knight and Batman: Curse of the White Knight, writer/artist Sean Murphy returns with Batman: Beyond The White Knight. It’s a big project, with plenty […]

In a sequel to Batman: White Knight and Batman: Curse of the White Knight, writer/artist Sean Murphy returns with Batman: Beyond The White Knight.

It’s a big project, with plenty of visual and written scope; large vistas, plenty of moving parts. But it ain’t for the uninitiated. Even a ’seasoned reader’ like myself, who has read the two previous titles, needs to get his bearings.

So, here’s the ’skinny’, as they used to say before any of us were born: Batman (Bruce Wayne) is in prison, serving a long run-on sentence. A new Batman has emerged to take his place. Meanwhile, bad guy Gotham Motors CEO Derek Powers (nice name) has taken control of the Wayne family cash and is the principal puppeteer of Gotham today. So, Jason Todd enters the scene. “and go…”, as we say today.

Murphy tells a strong tale and illustrates using epic poses, tremendous page layout skills, and masterful use of dramatic lighting. The characters are side-lit, crosslit, backlit, and moonlit. They punch and fly and Stand Tall, giving no quarter. It’s inspiring! (Colour by Dave Stewart, lettering by AndWorld Design)

My only qualm with this first issue is that the narrator, or the ’script editor’ is nowhere in sight. We, the reader, join scenes already in progress, and there is no one making introductions. People show up, do their speech, and exit stage left. We wonder who is who? Who is Robin this time? And who is this new Batman? Who is the big guy with the long hair standing on the penitentiary meal hall table? The shadows of the figures give us coded hints, and those are certainly appreciated. But it’s perfectly acceptable, encouraged even, to simply TELL us the name of the characters who inhabit a scene. They are seen but not identified.

It’s big, it’s grand and dark and shadowed all around this large drama. Pick up this part of the puzzle!

Contains bonus black and white pages of inks for issue 2, which are simply beautiful!

DC, Batman Beyond The White Knight Book One; $4.99 for 27 pages of content.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!