Here's the thing. What's supposed to be a alternate story lined one off series, is quickly turning into the way the Joker should be written! And fact is, it's fucking phenomenal. Again, it's no secret that I am a huge fan of Joker. With that being said, I've also stated that I'm most critical of stories including him. Sean Murphy not only spits in the face of everything we know about The Joker, but he does it right, with accuracy, and with a smile.
Honest to God, what is there not to like about this issue! It is without flaw! I accused issue 1 of being long winded and muddy. I accused it of being slightly confusing at times. Well, Murphy gave me two middle fingers and delivered something that is not only well written, but something that makes you want to read it again and again. One of my favorite pieces of dialogue in this one I'll leave for the unhinged section of this review. However, the first page alone is magnificent. Jack Napier making his closing statement to a jury of his peers. His silhouette, a shadow of what we, the viewer, know him to be. The Joker. Just beautifully written. Then fast forward to the last page. Jack is no longer facing us, but the love of his life while the contents of his plan to take down Batman face us. Stone faced and ready to accomplish his goals. Murphy also gives us a little homage to Jason Todd's death. In a few panels where Harley is trying to explain Joker's madness to Jack. We get a flashback to Jason Todd in the chair and Joker going ballistic on him. Just so many great Easter eggs alone make it worth a pull. The social and political commentary is there and it's just enough to make a point while not beating you over the head with it. It's like Murphy is showing us that in a place like Gotham, there are no good and bad people. There is bad and worse and it's becoming harder and harder to sort. Between and over the top Batman, a corrupt poice system, and the remaining baddies. Who's worst? The best thing about Murphy is that he's drawing his own issues. So the tone is a complete match and the panels are perfect. For example there are a series of panels in this issue that follows Harley Quinn in a flashback and they're so beautiful it legit brings a tear to one's eye. Matt Hollingsworth complements puts everything over the top with his gorgeous colors. That last page's color and mood...I can't wait to see what Jack does next.
I've tried to find something to be negative about and you just can't do it. It's well written, driven by story, and beautifully drawn. Frankly I think DC has too many side stories going on. Doomsday Clock, White Knight, and all the Metal Tie-In One Shots. With that out the way, White Knight is solidifying it's place in your bag!
Harley Quinn! This is where Murphy truly shines. And of course it's not intentional nor can I speak to his state of mind when he made this decision. However, he totally spit on the current image of Harley Quinn, by bringing back the Quinn we all fell in love with. With the 90's cartoon Quinn complete with Hyenas attacking the scandalously clad Harley we've all grown to know from the stupid Suicide Squad movie. This was a moment of pure gold. He also takes her back to her roots as a person with a PHD. Reminding the reader that yea, she's crazy and in love with a sociopath but she has her limits. Her non costumed look that Murphy chose for her is not only classy but definitely fits her character.
Here's the thing. I could nit-pick about the Mister Freeze part, it gets a little jumbled. However, there was a mention of a certain something that peeked my interest and though it was hard to make out what was going on it was easy to look past with such great writing that is direct and to the point with art that brings that narrative to life. There are some many great series' being made and stories being told. However, it just may stand that White Knight is the greatest we'll see. Only time will tell that part, however for now...it's a no brainer. If you're not reading this run. Do you even comic book!?