Batman: Curse of the White Knight #7 – Sean Murphy, Writer/Artist; Matt Hollingsworth, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Batman: Curse of the White Knight #7 is probably the best issue of Sean Murphy’s epic alternate universe, as Bruce Wayne grapples with his family’s complex legacy and comes to the most dramatic decision of his heroic career. As we know from last issue, the Wayne legacy is a lie – stolen from the men Azrael descends from, and Jean-Paul Valley’s war is the culmination of hundreds of years of planning. Batman’s faced many villains before, but it’s clear he’s never grappled with anything like this.
As the issue opens, we get a brilliant flashback to Alfred’s influence on a young Bruce, followed by a surprising heart-to-heart between Batman and Harley. Murphy’s Harley has been one of the biggest surprises of this series, going from twisted gun moll to complex antihero to grieving mother seeking redemption. It’s her, and a still-recovering Barbara Gordon, who give Bruce the courage he needs to try to make amends – by ending Wayne enterprises, and ending Batman.
It’s ironic that Batman: Curse of the White Knight #7 comes only months after the Superman identity reveal. While Superman’s identity reveal is the beginning of a new story, Batman’s feels like the end. Batman isn’t a hero that can have a public identity. Not only is he too mortal to pull it off, but his very existence is a crime and the fallout would be massive. That makes the events of this issue all the more significant, as Batman makes his peace with ending his life’s work and paying for his own sins.
As he charges into battle one last time to hunt Azrael down, he asks Gotham to trust him one last time, and Murphy gets to indulge his love for classic cars. The story here is much stronger than the first volume in my opinion, but the art is as good as ever. I’m not sure if a volume three is coming – given the sales, I think it would be very tempting – but it feels like if it comes, it would be a radically different story and I’m very excited to see how this ends.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.