Things are really heating up in Batman: Curse of the White Knight and issue #6 gets even spicier. We’re talking huge revelations, surprise interactions, and maybe even a death or two! Sean Murphy gets to play in the Bat-sandbox and does whatever he wants, making this one of the more exciting superhero stories on the stands today.
This issue opens with Azrael attacking the GTO and it’s not going well for the police. He’s got Joker by his side for likely some psychological attack on Batman when he pops up, but for now, Batman is getting answers to his questions about his ancestor. If you’ve been enjoying the flashback story of Wayne’s rise in power in Gotham, you’ll enjoy this issue immensely. Murphy drops a lot of new information on the reader — so much so that I’d wager you may be in shock by the end. We get a few pages revealing more of the story between Dumas and Wayne with a little sex and action to boot.
At the same time, the Joker/Harley/Batman love triangle rages on. In the first series, it was all about the love affair of Batman and Joker getting in between Harley and Joker, but now it’s reversed as Harley seems to be siding with Batman. It comes to a head near the end of the issue and, once again, you may be left in shock by the results. The bond between these two characters is quite something and Murphy has done an exceptional job making Harley human and empathetic.
The art continues to be excellent, with the vehicles being the highlight. The bullet that is Batman’s motorcycle is a thing of art more than a functional vehicle which makes it look stylized and cool. The character acting only gets better with each issue, too. Joker and Harley both have incredible moments of emotion that are passionate and real. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors are fantastic too. There’s a color-story going on in each scene, making them feel apart from each other and unique. It helps divide the story into chunks but also sets the mood for the scenes.
Plotting in this issue feels a bit different than previous issues, with a lot of going on and very little waste. That’s a good thing, although it does feel like we may be rushing forward due to the book needing to wrap up. Some of the reveals in this issue probably could have been spaced out a bit to give them more weight. Instead, you’re sort of hit over the head over and over with big turns in the story. My only other gripe is an odd panel with Batman clutching and crouched around a cross. He’s in a room with a priest and while it kind of looks cool, it makes no sense he’d be in this position and when you give it a thought it makes him seem strange and animalistic. An odd choice.
This is a good sixth issue with so many reveals and plot twists you may need to lay down after reading it. The Elseworlds method of storytelling continues to show how exciting and surprising superheroes can be without the limitations of canon.