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Batman White Knight Reading Order, exploring the Murphyverse

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Launched in 2017 with the book Batman: White Knight, The Murphyverse is a universe created by Sean Gordon Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, The Wake) and published under the DC Black Label imprint.

As the imprint suggests, this is not a series set in the DC continuity—it could qualify as an Elseworlds series. The first book introduced us to a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies. Now a politician under his real name of Jack Napier, The Joker sets about trying to right his wrongs. First, he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!

The success of Batman: White Knight was massive, and the trade paperback quickly became a best-seller (it since has been republished in multiple formats). A sequel was commissioned, Batman: Curse of the White Knight.

This time, the Joker recruits Azrael, a knight of the Order of St. Dumas, to help him expose a shocking secret from the Wayne family’s legacy. As Batman rushes to protect the city and his loved ones from danger, the mystery of his ancestry unravels, dealing a devastating blow to the Dark Knight.

This second limited series confirmed the popularity of this alternate version of Batman. This prompted DC Comics to give Sean Murphy his own line of books to be published under its Black Label imprint. The Murphyverse was born.

When Sean Murphy revealed his project for the line, he also laid out rules for the writers and illustrators he recruited to work with him on the next books:

  1. Any character that dies cannot be revived.
  2. There can be no internal monologues.
  3. No series can be rushed.
  4. The authors of the books must have as their primary focus the goal of pleasing their readers.
  5. There must be at least one vehicle—such as the Batmobile—in each comic
  6. No series may crossover with another, despite taking place in the same shared universe.

For now, the plan is to focus on Batman and his overall cast of supporting characters, but Sean Murphy already hinted at comics based on other prominent DC characters like Superman and the Justice League. He wants his universe to be the equivalent of Marvel’s Ultimate Imprint.


Batman: White Knight Reading Order

Also available in other editions:

  • Batman: Curse of the White Knight
    Collects Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1-8 and Batman: White Knight Presents Von Freeze #1.

    • The one-shot “Batman White Knight Presents: Von Freeze” can be read between issues #6 and #7 of Curse of the White Knight.

Also available in: Batman: Curse of the White Knight The Deluxe Edition

  • Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn
    Collects Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn #1-6 and Harley Quinn Black + White + Red #6.

    • Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn takes place two years after the events of Batman: Curse of the White Knight, and centers on Quinn as she investigates a string of murders in Gotham City.
    • Harley Quinn Black + White + Red is a digital comic.

  • Batman: Beyond the White Knight
    Collects This collection includes Batman: Beyond the White Knight #1-8; Batman: White Knight Presents: Red Hood #1-2.

    • Batman: Beyond the White Knight is set 12 years after the events depicted in Batman: Curse of the White Knight.
    • Batman: White Knight Presents: Red Hood is both a spin-off and a prequel to Batman: Beyond the White Knight.

More to come…

Last Updated on October 27, 2023.

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