Batman and his primary antagonist, the Joker, will have their roles reversed in an upcoming miniseries, which will show the Clown Prince of Crime return to sanity and begin a social justice warrior-style campaign against The Dark Knight.
Sean Gordon Murphy is an up-and-coming comic book writer and illustrator. He’s well known for his run with the DC Comics series Batman/Scarecrow: Year One, Teen Titans, and Hellblazer: City of Demons.
Murphy is returning to Gotham City with Batman: White Knight. He is twisting the iconic characters, making Batman the villain and the Joker the hero. This is not unusual; other writers have done this in the past. The issue is that Murphy plans to make the Joker, now called Jack Napier (a throwback to the Tim Burton film), a left-wing politician who is bent on taking down the Batman, whom he sees as a fascist oppressor.
Murphy told The Wire in an interview, "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.” He added, "... 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."
There is a huge problem with this logic. Why would the citizens of Gotham City suddenly forgive a psychopathic mass murderer and view him as a crusading politician who is leading the cause of social justice against the Caped Crusader? That is a stretch, even for a comic book.
Perhaps that makes perfect sense to a social justice warrior. Left-wing organizations like the Women’s March and Antifa often celebrate criminals that they see as "victims" of white privilege. To them, that excuses their nefarious activities, including assault, rape, kidnapping, and murder. Why not the Joker? In the comic books, he has been a deadly prankster, a spree killer, psychopathic gangster, and a serial killer. All he has to do is feign a Bernie Sanders impersonation and all is forgiven.
At least, that is the impression Murphy gives. He excuses this by saying that the Joker will be "cured" of his insanity. That does not bode well with the Batman canon. In several comic book issues and graphic novels, it is hinted that the Joker is a sane yet evil sadist, who is faking his psychosis to get out of the death penalty and return to the revolving door at Arkham Asylum.
The scene comes to mind in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, where the Joker, played brilliantly by Heath Ledger, is accused of being crazy by a gang leader. He replies, "I'm not."
Murphy continues, "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.” He emphasized, "The line Batman rides between 'noble vigilante' and 'overzealous oppressor' will always be shifting as our own society changes."
Murphy uses a plethora of left-wing buzzwords, playing to the leftism of the SJWs he is trying to reach.
He added, "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?"
Pandering to the left-wing ideologues is what is hurting the sales at Marvel Comics. Why would DC want to copy that failing model with their greatest comic book character? The industry needs to realize that SJWs do not buy comics, nor will they. The far left will always complain about their imagined lack of diversity or social engineering in the pages.
This editorial decision will only alienate their readers and Batman fans alike. Fortunately, Batman: White Knight will be an "imaginary storyline" in their Elseworld tales, not official canon. It is due for release in October of this year.