Whether or not you’re reading Batman: White Knight you have to admire what Sean Murphy did with Harley Quinn in today’s second issue of the miniseries. Already changing Joker in this Elseworlds story, Murphy has Joker (who is now going by Jack Napier and cured of his madness) visit with his main squeeze Harley Quinn. Sporting her most recent duds from the Suicide Squad movie he attempts to convince her they need to stop being the bad guys. This comes with a proposal of marriage something he assumes she’s always wanted. Fans of the Batman the Animated Series will remember it’s all she ever hoped for.

Unfortunately for Jack, that’s not what she has in mind for their relationship at all:

With an off-panel kick she goes flying and to the surprise of readers Harley shows up sporting the original costumed from Batman The Animated Series! As if commenting on the preferred costume or just the portrayal he preferred Murphy literally had the movie Harley get kicked to the side.

It’s not till a few pages later that the reader gets an explanation. As you can see below Joker has always been so narcissistic and crazy he never realized Harley Quinn was switched. And with that Murphy has managed to bring the cartoon psychiatrist version into his story.

It’s a clever twist particularly in how it is explainable due to Joker’s madness, but also why she’s changed her outfit so dramatically.

What say you? Chime in the comments to tell us what you think.

  • Keshav Toshniwal

    I am almost certain it’s a comment on the Suicide Squad’s projection of Harley Quinn but, while it’s a valid opinion to which I myself agree, when you use a space in your story to broadcast your opinion, you gotta be very cautious as to not make it seem inorganic. In this case I found it to be distracting and waste of precious panels. It bugged me even more when Joker says he didn’t notice that Harley changed. If he did not know it, then the moment he discovers it should have been a lot more dramatic than what we see. Also, given the fairly mature tone of the piece, a concept such as a person not noticing something as big as his partner being replaced by a whole other human tends to bring back the nefarious judgment in you that you so gladly suspended before getting into the story.

    Apart from that, what disappointed me was the sudden turn of Joker into an amnesic patient. All joker does in the stellar first issue is talk, talk and talk. It is through his words that we are introduced to the dynamically new dimension of Gotham, Batman and Joker himself. But nowhere does he show signs of amnesia, and now, suddenly, he doesn’t remember the Robin episode, his most lethal assault on his love, Batman.

    These flaws aside, I loved the plot, the further exploration of the complex relationship between The Joker and Batman and, of course, the art and also the colors, by Matt Hollingsworth.

    • David Brooke

      Well said Keshav. Thanks for the comment it got me thinking!