Batman White Knight, after a sensational first issue, keeps enthralling us with a brand new issue that keeps exploring a very interesting role change between Batman and The Joker.
After Jack Napier's grand and powerful speech in court, the man who was once known as the Joker finally gets released and cleared of his crimes, and is now determined to start his crusade against Batman and the corruption of Gotham City. As soon as Jack Napier gets out of prison, he starts looking for Harley Quinn to reconcile with her.
Wearing an outfit resembling that of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, Harley is happy to finally have her lover back. Jack, however, tries to calm her down and apologize for his behavior with a marriage proposal, which Harley doesn't take well, noticing that the pills Jack is taking are "messing with his mind".
While Murphy's art is superb and detailed, especially in the panels that feature Mr. Freeze, the pacing of the comic is very slow, and the characterization of Harley Quinn is absolutely terrible. Harley, in fact, decided to leave and replace herself with a "new Harley" when Joker crossed the line and tried to kill Jason Todd, a thing that Harley would never do. Murphy's Harley Quinn appears to be not that obsessed with the Joker - and we all know that her obsession with the Joker is what Harley Quinn is built around in the first place. She is also extremely compassionate, as she tried to save Jason Todd by teaming up with Batman. In the end, the new Harley's characterization appears to be more accurate than the actual Harley, showing the lack on knowledge that Murphy has on Harley Quinn, as well as Joker and Harley's dynamic as a couple.
Another thing that shouldn't pass unnoticed, is Harley's statement: "I struggled to get your attention as you struggled to get Batman's. And that's when I knew you were in love... It just wasn't with me.", insinuating Joker's feelings for Batman, another thing that Murphy didn't quite get right. Joker is extremely obsessed with Batman, he is in fact the only person who is able to keep up with his insanely contorted mind, and Joker's goal is to finally make Batman understand that it's all a joke, everything anybody ever valued or struggled for, it's all a monstrous demented gag. Joker, of course, is not in love. He simply sees Batman as the funniest joke he ever heard, and this is why he is so obsessed with him.
Love and obsession, in fact, are two very different things.
Overall, besides the very slow pace and the terrible characterization of Harley Quinn, Batman: White Knight #2 is an enjoyable read, and some of the panels are so mesmerizing that I wished the speech balloons didn't get in the way.
If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, you can pick up a digital copy of the comic here.
Alessia's review of Batman: White Knight #1
Comic books reader, writer, film lover.