An homage to the Three Musketeers, Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2, out this week from DC Comics Black Label, is an action-packed elaboration on the history of the Wayne’s.
Opening with some gorgeous panels straight from the work of Alexandre Dumas, Sean Murphy illustrates some of the amazing European architecture of the past. Murphy even uses some of the famous names from Three Musketeers for characters and places in this story.
Matt Hollingsworth always does an amazing job coloring Murphy’s art. In the panels from the past, reds dominate the pages giving the impression the only source of light back then was fire or the burning sun. Murphy makes a point to add lanterns and candles into many of the panels to keep the aura alive. As soon as the story reverts to the present the softer and cooler blues take over. Hollingsworth does a fantastic job giving each environment of the story its own atmosphere.
AndWorld Design handles the lettering and it fits extremely well with Murphy’s art. Murphy dives into his work with great detail adding so many lines in such a small space it seems like he uses pencils with microscopic tips. The lettering in this story is small when necessary but booming when the story calls for it.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 doesn’t have a slowdown and catch your breath moment. Each page delves into important history or exposition unfolding more drama into the present day.
The story opens in the past and shows us why the sword the Joker gave to Azrael in issue #1 is significant. Edmond Wayne is freed by a murderous priest named Bakkar who believes he has been ordained by God for higher purposes. Killing in the name of freeing Edmond is fine, but taking the lord’s name in vain is not. Bakkar wields the giant sword to kill the carriage driver and later gives it to Edmond when they begin training.
Bakkar trains Edmond in sword fighting, sparring, whips, tight ropes, shooting guns, preparing him to be the first Batman. In Edmond’s journal, he outlines why Bakkar needs Edmond and why training him is so important to his goals. Familiar names like Arkham and Gotham remind the reader that this is in fact a Batman story.
Murphy has created a vulnerable Batman for his White Knight universe. This Batman doesn’t seem to have had enough prep time, and he hasn’t taken every precaution the Batman we’re used to would have taken. This version is very reminiscent of Christian Bale’s Batman, and this story combines aspects from many amazing stories into an action-packed chapter.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 takes from Three Musketeers, The DaVinci Code, and even Mission Impossible. Conspiracy abound and plenty of guns to go around. Azrael has secured backing from the elites with deep pockets, and he assembles a team where each member has a specialty. The costume design is new and creative, combining Musketeers, Knights Templar, and Knightfall costumes to make quite the intimidating look.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 is amazing, and another non-stop action-filled chapter in Murphy’s universe. This issue in integral and touches back to events from the first series, and not a single panel is wasted. This is an issue that is not to be missed.
What did you think of Sean Murphy’s twist on the Musketeers? Let us know how much you liked this issue in the comments.