Batman: Curse of the White Knight is now done with its story (spoilers follow). The final chapter of DC Comics alternate take on the Batman/Joker relationship and how it shapes Gotham ended with a bang, as Batman took on Azrael in a fight that changes the course of Bruce Wayne’s life, and his views on being a superhero vigilante. However, it was the epilogue to Curse of the White Knight #8 that managed to raise the eyebrows of DC Comics fans, as the final panels of the story seemed to set up a major change for the Batman universe: Jason Todd becoming the next Batman!
The final battle between Azrael and the Batman family isn’t just about the brutal physical battle (which is plenty brutal), but rather the mental and spiritual battle that Bruce Wayne/Batman goes through. Azrael murdered James Gordon, as well as Batman’s entire Rogues gallery – actions which have pushed the Dark Knight to his darkest place yet. Batman isn’t just willing to take Azrael down, he’s willing to break every one of his own rules to kill the crazed vigilante – before Azrael can blow Gotham’s Reservoir and flood the city (a plan that’s straight out of The Simpsons, but who’s counting?).
Ultimately, Batman mortally wounds Azrael, but ends up saving his life. When the battle is over, however, Bruce makes the decision to turn himself in, and use his hundreds of billions of dollars to transform Gotham. He funds Jack Napier’s Initiative for city reform, and bolsters the working and middle classes, taking the hold of power away from Gotham’s Elites. But as the newscasters sum up the new status quo, there is one big question still hanging in the air:
“…There is one thing that unites us, one thing we’re all feeling: The Loss of Batman. Whatever opinion you might have of the Dark Knight, he’s been a huge part of Gotham’s identity. Without Batman, what kind of city will Gotham be? That’s the question we’ll be asking ourselves a lot in the coming months… as we begin the Trial of Bruce Wayne.”
As the final panels reveal, Bruce Wayne may be sitting patiently in jail awaiting trial, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t without a plan to keep Gotham protected. Bruce invites Jason Todd to his cell, but Jason isn’t being fooled. He tells Bruce “You really expect me to believe that you intend on staying here? There’s got to be another reason.”
Bruce approaches his former Robin with the response, “You’re right there is… I want to talk.”
(Photo: DC Comics)
With the White Knight continuity now set for a clear trilogy, it seems like while Bruce Wayne will be on trial, Jason Todd will be stepping in as the new Batman. It’s a major change for the former Robin / Red Hood, and would be a major way for DC to grab the attention of Batman fans everywhere.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #8 is now on sale.
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