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Batman: White Knight creator Sean Gordon Murphy talks creative control and the future of the series

Contributed by
Jan 15, 2018

Midway through its run of eight issues, the Batman miniseries White Knight has proven to be a bit of a breakout hit for DC Comics. It was a risky idea — turning The Joker into a reformed hero (and revealing his real name) while turning Batman into a madman — but somehow writer and artist Sean Gordon Murphy seems to be pulling it off. The brutal (but beautifully drawn) portrayal of a Gotham City turned on its head is only about halfway through its run at the moment, but readers are so curious about how Murphy conceived the series that he took to Twitter to answer a few questions.

First, there was the issue of creative control, and how DC Comics dealt with some of the audacious concepts Murphy had in mind for the series (for example, changing the timeline of the Bat-saga, specifically as it related to the death of Jason Todd). According to Murphy, apart from some adult content issues, that was never a problem.

Then there was the issue of the adult content itself. Murphy had originally intended to present White Knight with profanity and nudity intact, since it presents a different version of the Batman universe. As a creator-owned writer and artist, he can certainly do that elsewhere, and the DC Entertainment brand overall has allowed it many times through its acclaimed Vertigo imprint. This wasn't a Vertigo comic, though, and that meant those were the only things in the book that really had to go.

Batman: White Knight is a major departure for both Batman and The Joker (and that's including the time Batman got turned into a vampire), but it's clearly sparking tremendous interest and curiosity. DC Comics has had tremendous success in recent years by taking risks and sometimes almost literally flipping the script, and White Knight is another provocative example of that. So, if you're wondering whether this particular story might continue past its first eight issues, Murphy has good news for you.

You can read the whole Q&A thread over at Murphy's Twitter page.