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Comic Book / Batman: Curse of the White Knight

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In this explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed blockbuster Batman: White Knight from writer/artist Sean Murphy, The Joker recruits Azrael to help him expose a shocking secret from the Wayne family's legacy—and to run Gotham City into the ground! As Batman rushes to protect the city and his loved ones from danger, the mystery of his ancestry unravels, dealing a devastating blow to the Dark Knight. Exciting new villains and unexpected allies will clash in this unforgettable chapter of the White Knight saga—and the truth about the blood they shed will shake Gotham to its core!


Batman: Curse of the White Knight contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Azrael is an Anti-Hero in the mainstream continuity, while here he serves as the secondary and later main villain of the story.
  • Age Lift:
    • Azrael was a college student when he first appeared in the original comics. Here, he's a graying Vietnam veteran with decades of combat experience under his belt.
    • Jason Todd shows up at the very end of the series, and appears to have some wrinkles and a receding hairline. This makes him look quite a bit older than the Jason Todd of the mainstream DC Universe, who is a youthful twenty-something.
  • Anyone Can Die: This series doesn't pull any punches; Azrael kills Gordon at the end of Issue #3, then in Issue #5, he decapitates Bane before going on to murder just about the rest of the Rogues Gallery minus Joker. Then Harley shoots Joker at the end of Issue #6, killing both him and Jack at Jack's request. Although he slits his throat at his urging, Bruce doesn't allow Azrael to die by tending to the throat wound.
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  • Awesomeness by Analysis: The moment the Joker sees that Harley was pregnant, he correctly guesses that she is having twins.
  • Biblical Motifs: Azrael's spec ops team the Blood Angels runs on this, each of them having code names based off of different angels (Azrael, Gabriel, Michael, etc).
  • Big Bad: The Joker with Azrael acting as The Dragon. After Harley kills Joker, Azrael takes over as the Big Bad for the rest of the story.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bruce ultimately defeats Azrael, ending his reign of terror and saving Gotham, then surrenders himself to the GCPD for all of his actions and donates all of his money to the city. Bullock gets promoted to Sergeant and the GCPD starts to recruit vigilantes into their force. As Bruce prepares for his trial, he seeks to talk to a certain someone who's been assigned to guard his cell — Jason Todd.
  • The Cameo: Jason Blood was the one who gave Alfred the journal that revealed the truth behind the Wayne family fortune to give to Bruce.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of issue #6 shows Bruce Wayne fighting Bane. Bane gets decapitated at the end of issue #5.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Joker could not help but note the Irony that his children were born in the crypt where Laffy was buried, the place where his persona (and by extension, the legendary history between him and Batman) was born.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lampshaded by Gordon after he finds out Barbara is Batgirl. It never occurred to him that he was working alongside his daughter for years just because of a dinky little Domino Mask that did nothing to hide her identity.
  • Foreshadowing: While fighting Azrael in Issue #4, Batman states that the Waynes are the rightful protectors of Gotham and always will be, which prompts Azrael to respond "I agree". This foreshadows the reveal that Bakkar is Bruce's ancestor and that Azrael is really a Wayne.
  • Flaming Sword: The Joker gives Azrael a sword lined with napalm that ignites instantly with the push of a button.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: It is revealed that the defining moment where Jack Napier became the Joker was when he discovered the "joke" that Laffy wrote on the walls in his dying moments. When Jack Napier has a Moment of Lucidity and tells Harley about it, he makes her promise not to tell Batman for fear that the same thing would happen to him.
  • History Repeats: It is revealed that the Joker was inspired by Lafayette "Laffy" Arkham (who the Joker actually bears a resemblance too), who has a long-standing conflict and was killed by Bruce's ancestor Edmond Wayne who wielded a whip made from bat-leather.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In Issue #6, Jack gains control long enough to try and kill himself, on the grounds that Joker will never leave Harley and their children alone. When the Joker won't let Jack do it, he begs Harley to instead, and she does.
  • If Jesus, Then Aliens: Barbara thinks that Laffy actually could have been a vampire, arguing that all sorts of weird things prowl the streets of Gotham City and that vampires wouldn't be the weirdest.
  • Joker Immunity: Averted. Harley kills the Joker.
  • Kill and Replace: Ruth and the Elites' plan was for Azrael to quietly kill Bruce Wayne and take his place as Batman. She's quite miffed when he instead goes rogue and causes a major scene by killing Gordon.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Lafayette "Laffy" Arkham was a noble that ran Fort Arkham in the 17th century who suffered from consumption and a spinal hump caused by arthritic inflammation. He would eventually be given a Historical Villain Upgrade over the years, with rumors saying that he was a vampire that hunted children.
  • Moment of Lucidity: Two in the case of Joker and Jack Napier.
    • Harley reveals that she created the pills that temporarily cured Jack after she was received a three of diamonds card (representing Harley herself) with a note written on it that said "Don't give up on me. -J".
    • Batman and Harley try and appeal to Jack Napier's personality, buried deep in the Joker, and fail every time. It is not until she brings her newborn children for him to see in Issue #5 that Jack is able to surface long enough to tell her where the Blood Angels are hiding and the dying message Laffy wrote in his crypt.
  • Mugging the Monster: After failing to blackmail Bruce into going along with the Elites' plan, Ruth simply tries hiring Jean-Paul Valley to replace him. When that doesn't work out due to Valley's tremendous zealotry, she instead hires Bane to dispose of him. Unfortunately, Azrael manages to kill Bane, and tremendously pissed with Ruth, he simply trusses her up and threatens to light her up with his Flaming Sword unless she gives him the names of her clients.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Reality Ensues: Bruce, deeply affected by the events of White Knight, plans to reveal that he's Batman to Gotham. Ruth, the creator of the Batman Devastation Fund and the woman who represents the people who profit off of Batman's war on crime, spells out to him exactly what would happen if he did.
    Ruth: First, the stock in your companies would plummet as the FBI seized your assets and arrested you for terrorism. Thousands of people would lose their jobs— Not just your employees, but workers all over the city as you send Gotham's economy into a tailspin, resulting in even more crime and poverty. Then you'd lose your entire fortune as you accumulated hundreds of assault charges from decades of vigilantism. Everyone you ever worked with would be charged with aiding and abetting, including the entire GCPD. You'd BEG to go to prison— Because that's the only way you'd be safe from the dozens of super-criminals who will seek revenge.
    • Ultimately defied. When Bruce ends up revealing his identity to Gotham and the world, the one thing that does happen is that Bruce goes to jail. He willingly surrenders his money to be distributed to all of Gotham, Wayne Enterprises is restructured under Lucius Fox's eye and the GCPD willingly accepts vigilantes into the force. The events of the series show that Batman ultimately had a point in his war on crime, and since Bruce was the only one to step forward and out himself, the rest of Wayne Enterprises gets to avoid connections via plausible deniability.
  • Shout-Out: Long ago, Edmond Wayne killed Lafayette Arkham with a whip of bat leather. In the present, it's speculated that Laffy was a vampire. If the latter winds up being true, then we have a vampire who was killed with a whip.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Issue #2, Joker crashes Jim Gordon's mayoral campaign and outs his daughter as Batgirl to the public, Batman discovers that Harley is pregnant, and Azrael has the Mad Hatter hack the Batcave, completely destroying it and Wayne Manor.
    • Issue #3 is where Azrael kills Gordon and Harley goes into labor.
    • Issue #5, Azrael (now in his own Batsuit) walks into Arkham and slaughters all of the inmates.
    • Issue #6, The truth is that Bakkar is actually Bruce’s ancestor, and that he killed Edmond Wayne and stole his identity to rebuild Gotham Valley into Gotham City. Harley also shoots Joker, killing both him and Jack.
    • Issue #7, Bruce unmasks himself and announces that he's dissolving his company and giving away his entire fortune to help Gotham. Then he goes after Azrael, apparently prepared to kill him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Joker reveals that his own daughter was Batgirl, Jim gives her and Batman a serious dressing down for not telling him and for Bruce backing out on his promise to unmask himself to the public.


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