"The city deserves better than the Joker and better than The Dark Knight. So I'm going to be her White Knight." Those bone chilling words were stated by the Joker or as he wants to the be called Mr. Napier. Facts are, I'm a Joker fan. Anyone that's been following my reviews of the Dark Knights arc can tell you that. So thus I am both excited about this story and equally as critical of it. It's fun, it's interesting, and it's not without it's share of flaws, and we'll find out if this journey is going to worth your cash and more importantly, your time. The Light: This book is an absolute pleasure to behold! Sean Murphy nails the vibe of this book at every turn and is deeply complimented by Matt Hollingsworth. The lines, the shading, the colors. It's everything. The panels are well thought out and placed with precision. Now lets talk about that story. It's a pretty awesome story about how the Joker feels like Batman's greatest Villain ever, yet Batman doesn't share the same feels. Telling the Joker he's nothing and nobody almost killing them during their little "lovers quarrel". This Sends the joker into a jilted lover like downward spiral. If this story sounds familiar, that's because it was done in Lego Batman. Well, at least the heightened relationship part because that's about where the similarities end. The Batman in this story is dark...no pun intended. Like even for Batman, this version is a complete, reckless ass. He doesn't care who he hurts or how much property damage he does...and it's kind of awesome. However, let's talk Joker and his personality shift. Holy shit is it great. This issue basically ends with him calling out the GCPD and The Dark Knight for police brutality, excessive force, aggravated assault, property damage, attempted murder, and so much more. I felt like I was reading an episode of Law & Order. Talk about Glorious!
The dialogue gets a little muddy. The issue just feels winded. A lot of the Joker dialogue seems forced and drawn out for no reason. Then there is a media coverage part in the story that just seems out of place and forced. There's also a splash page of a bunch of joker related images and it's hard to make out what's happening there. Eventually I realize it's supposed to be a dream sequence or maybe a life flashing before Napier's eyes moment but who knows.
Fucking Batman! The battle him and the Joker have in this issue was just through the roof. As winded as the dialogue is in this issue with the Joker, but to see the Joker talk about knowing the real Batman, about knowing his fears, about changing. All the while watching Batman react both frightfully but with rage and violence was phenomenal. Sean Murphy has gold here and I'm praying it only gets better. The end of this comic, watching a genius Joker take over as the side effects of some pills forced fed to him by Batman was phenomenal. Batman had his chance to help Gotham! Make room for a new Knight people. One that fights in the light!
If you had any question on if you should pick this up...know that you absolutely should. This is a MUST have for any fan of Batman, of Joker, or of alternate story lines. This first issue is the start of something great and I can't wait to see what Artist & Writer Sean Murphy has planned next!