So for those of you who haven’t heard the news. Writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy from DC Comics will create an original graphic novel in which Batman is the story’s villain, and the Joker is the hero. But instead of having their traditional rivalry they have had since the character inception the roles will now be reversed, and instead of using violence to make it happen, Joker or Jack, as he will be known the graphic novel will use social justice to bring down Batman. The story entitled Batman: White Knight, will take place in an alternative universe where the Joker has been cured (magically) of his insanity and no longer feels homicidal urges. The first issue I have with this is that Gotham, whom The Joker has been terrorizing since his character’s inception all just decide one day: “Hey, let’s just forget all that nasty bad stuff you did to us and our city.”
It sounded semi-interesting until I started reading the interview Sean Murphy had with Wired. A Batman comic about Black Lives Matter a movement known for their ultra-violent behavior, and the now already thoroughly debunked wage gap. Where The Joker will be using Social Justice to defeat Batman, I can just imagine Joker telling Batman to check is superhero privilege. Another great concept ruined by political themes. But then again it seems par for the course for Marvel, so I am really surprised that DC Comics are trying to outdo Marvel in that department. Most modern attempts at social commentary in comic books have often been really clumsy, hamfisted and inelegant. Having said that the comic is already being praised by Feminist/Social Justice media for “challenging the supposed status quo” and “daring to cover the important topics”…..
[Editorial Note:] Yes I am aware of the Elseworlds comics that took place outside of the DC Universe canon. Gotham by Gaslight graphic novel is considered the first in this series. But these never had any political agendas or pushed any social themes.