The world of Batman: White Knight is one of my favorite little corners of the greater DC Universe, and now writer and artist Sean Murphy, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer at Andworld Design are back with a new chapter titled Batman: Beyond The White Knight. As the name suggests, this latest adventure will bring in the Batman Beyond mythology into the world of White Knight, and moves things 10 years into the future as well, shaking up this stunning world in a fresh new way. That said, White Knight is at its strongest when it examines the relationships between the Bat-family and what led to all of the baggage those relationships carry, and that is at the core of this latest return. It's one hell of a debut, and I couldn't recommend it more.
Let's get this out of the way now, because this whole review could be nothing but compliments regarding the dazzling artwork, coloring, and lettering of Murphy, Stewart, and Andworld Design. If you had visions of that Batman Beyond suit in the Murphy style, you will not walk away disappointed, as Murphy keeps the suit's design perfectly minimalist but with a just a few touches to give it that modern flair. Stewart's bold colors capture your eye instantly while also painting a vivid portrait of the new Gotham this mysterious Batman inhabits, and several of these pages demand posters to truly appreciate their splendor.
Ironically the Beyond suit isn't actually in the issue that often, but the team applies a similar but slightly tweaked touch to Batman's memories, recreating Bruce's early adventures with Jason Todd's Robin, giving them an almost vintage tone that still feels as if it's a part of the White Knight world. What's more impressive however is how the team portrays emotion, including several scenes involving Bruce and Jason that capture a moment of vulnerability and regret like no other. These moments are the foundation of not only their relationship from here on out but this issue overall. While Terry McGinnis is a factor here, he isn't the sole star.
Speaking of which, while she isn't the focal point, White Knight's Harley Quinn once again shines in this series, bringing back the charismatic and relatable mother who is trying to raise two kids in a challenging world. The dynamic between her kids couldn't be more different but also feel familiar enough to parents despite the more eccentric circumstances at play because most people don't have The Joker for a dad.
If you've been reading along with the other comics in this series, you will get even more out of this issue, but surprisingly those really aren't required to pick this up and get up to speed. As for nitpicks, there was a line or two of dialogue that sounded kind of forced, but that's just trying to find problems frankly and is easily ignored.
Batman: Beyond The White Knight #1 captures your attention instantly with its eye-catching visuals, but it's the oh-so-human family dynamics at the center of it all that makes it so damn great. If you've been on the fence as to diving into the White Knight Universe, this is the perfect place to start, and if you do you might find yourself jumping all the way in. Trust me, you won't regret it, and I can't wait to see where things go from here.
Published by DC Comics
On March 29, 2022
Written by Sean Murphy
Art by Sean Murphy
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Andworld Design
Cover by Sean Murphy and Dave Stewart