Writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy will create an original graphic novel in which Batman is the story’s villain, and the Joker is the hero.
The story, entitled Batman: White Knight, takes place in a world where the Joker has been cured of his insanity and no longer feels homicidal urges. Using modern social issues as a backdrop, Murphy will explore the idea that a now sane Joker views Batman as Gotham’s greatest villain.
"My main goal was to undo the comic tropes while changing Gotham from a comic book city into a real city—a city dealing with everything from Black Lives Matter to the growing wage gap," Murphy told Wired. "[But] rather than write a comic about the wage gap, I gave those ideas to the Joker, who leads a kind of media war against Gotham's elite by winning people over with his potent observations and rhetoric." And to take on Batman, the newly reformed Joker, or “Jack,” will become someone the Caped Crusader has rarely had to face down – a politician. “We know Joker's a genius, we know he's relentless, and we know he can play the crowd, so why not make him a politician?” said Murphy in a statement. “Why not strip away the psychosis (the thing that's holding him back) and let him challenge Batman unimpeded? And to make it even scarier, what if he did it legally and without breaking any rules, so that Batman couldn't stop him?” “Seeing Gotham for the first time with clear eyes, his psychosis now cured, he starts to understand the absurdity of vigilantism and how Batman's actions are only contributing to Gotham's endless crime cycle,” Murphy continued. “Joker sets out to beat Batman by becoming the White Knight that Gotham really needs.” Batman: White Knight #1, written and illustrated by Sean Murphy, arrives on October 4. Cover artwork by Murphy with color by Matt Hollingsworth.