Terry McGinnis. Bruce Wayne. Jack Napier. Derek Powers. Dick Grayson. Barbara Gordon. Harley Quinn.
All of these characters get their time to shine in Sean Murphy’s BATMAN: BEYOND THE WHITE KNIGHT #2, and everything snaps together perfectly. It’s been happening since the writer/artist kicked off this universe, and it’s one of the many reasons I love it.
Murphy opens the book wasting no time, giving us some backstory of McGinnis, his motivations, and where he’s headed. We also pick right up on that shocking cliffhanger with Bruce and Jack Napier, explaining how what seems impossible is possible. It’s clever and makes absolute sense with the story. While Bruce is figuring out his next moves, we check in on the GTO, headed by Dick Grayson, and how controversial the force is among its own officers and some of Dick’s allies. All of this before we get a new look at the Batsuit, and another exciting cliffhanger.
Sean Murphy’s comics have always been dense. There are a lot of elements that go into each chapter of each book, and yet I’ve never felt a story was overstuffed. He makes all of the characters, action, and plot threads weave in and around each other with ease, adding so many layers to an 8-issue story. This is also done with great pacing, something I’ve always commented on and appreciated about the WHITE KNIGHT books.
Of course, his art looks great. While this book clearly has the Murphy touch, it’s great that it’s in this Beyond-verse, bringing new challenges to illustrate. I really like the Tokyo influence, and the changes he’s made to his Gotham. Sure, it looks like it’s in the future, but it’s still recognizable as Gotham. And it still, thankfully, has blimps. A lovely touch he’s always done is drawing characters’ shadows in costumes. We get Batman, Joker, Batgirl, and Harley Quinn shadows in their suits and I love it every time he does it. It’s a nice touch.
Overall, BEYOND THE WHITE KNIGHT #2 adds to the first chapter and the already established universe. It’s exciting, inventive, perfectly drawn, and taking us on a unique journey.
I don’t know where it’s headed, but give me a first-class ticket. – Ryan Lower