Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Batman: White Knight - Redeeming the irredeemable
Like all the best villains, they keep trying to fuck up the Joker by redeeming him, and making him a 'good guy' for a while, but it can never really stick. Usually because he's a fucking mass murderer who has caused untold carnage and misery in a long and homicidal criminal career.
So in Sean Murphy's Batman: White Knight, where the whole idea is that Joker can be turned into a force for good, it's notable that he is about as homicidal as Cesar Romero's mustachioed clown prince of crime. The comic skips around the idea that he could have been a killer, avoiding the inconvenience of things like grieving relatives and vigilantes bent on murderous revenge.
Even the one murder that hangs over the whole series - the Joker's killing of the first Robin - turns out to be something completely different, something a little more psychologically harmful than physical.
Making the Joker a good guy is, like all those other redemptions, a waste of a glorious and mean villain. But if you have to reform it, this is the only way to go.