The new comic book project, Batman: White Knight from writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy will offer Batman fans a very different depiction of The Joker.
Murphy took to social media to reveal that one big change to his version of The Joker will be that the character has the real name Jack Napier. That name might sound very familiar, because that is the name of the gangster who eventually became The Joker played by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie.
Murphy dropped that revelation on Twitter:
Big news: JACK NAPIER will be the name of my JOKER. Warner just approved--1st time Napier has been in a comic (minus Burton adaptations). pic.twitter.com/u4YwZLMmGL— Sean Gordon Murphy (@Sean_G_Murphy) August 17, 2017
In Burton's 1989 Batman movie, Jack Napier is an intimidating enforcer for mob boss Carl Grissom. When Napier leads a burglary of the Axis Chemicals plant, Grissom sets him up for a fall by calling in the police. During that raid, Napier faces Batman and ends up in a vat of chemicals, which transform him into The Joker.
Batman: White Knight will flip hero and villain roles and take place in Gotham City as it is terrorized by the figure known as The Batman, while Joker is actually a hero, dedicated to protecting the citizens.
As Murphy told Wired:
“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. [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... 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?”
This is the first time the name Jack Napier will be used as a depiction of Joker in the comic books (expcet for those based around Burton's '89 movie).
Batman: White Knight #1 will be on shelves Wednesday, October 4th.
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