Upon the series’ official announcement Friday, fans finally got the full scoop surrounding writer-artist Sean Gordon Murphy’s new Gotham-centric eight-issue miniseries Batman: White Knight. The bold new take on the Batman mythos sees a strange version of the Joker, as a Don Draper-inspired media influencer and protector of Gotham, while a bat-costumed Bruce Wayne is framed as the city’s criminal.
Teasing some of his pencils for the series, Murphy also indicated that fan-favorite Gothamite and GCPD detective Renee Montoya (who has gone on to become the Question in other continuity) will feature in the series.
“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 teased upon the series’ announcement. “[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.”
“It’s sexy to think crime can be stopped with a fist, but the real solution is a lot more boring than that: education, increasing wages, and building trust,” Murphy added. “The line Batman rides between ‘noble vigilante’ and ‘overzealous oppressor’ will always be shifting as our own society changes.”
“We know the Joker is a genius, we know he’s relentless, and we know he can play the crowd, so why not make him a politician?” Murphy said of the Joker’s new role. “Frank Miller modeled him after David Bowie. Chris Nolan showed him as a controlled sociopath. I see the Joker as Don Draper.”
Batman: White Knight #1, by Sean Gordon Murphy, arrives in stores Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017.