In Batman Beyond the White Knight #1, DC Comics calls out why Batman is doomed to fail at saving Gotham City no matter how hard he tries.
Warning: contains spoilers for Batman: Beyond the White Knight #1!
Over the years, Batman has tried to save Gotham City through a variety of methods, and DC has now called out why he is doomed to fail. In last year’s Batman: Curse of the White Knight, Bruce Wayne abdicated the role of Batman, donating his vast fortune to help better Gotham—but it has only made the problem worse, as seen in the follow-up Batman: Beyond the White Knight #1, on sale now in print and digital.
In 2017, writer/artist Sean Murphy’s Batman: The White Knight treated fans to a vision of Batman never seen before. After being cured of his madness, the Joker becomes a hero who exposes the foils of Gotham City—including Batman. In the sequel, Curse of the White Knight, a shaken-up Batman has to contend with not only Azrael, but the Wayne Family legacy as well. At the end of that miniseries, Batman decides to step down and turn himself in. Feeling that the best way to save Gotham is to address the social ills that lead to crime, he donates the entirety of his fortune to social betterment programs. All seems well, but years later, Gotham has somehow become even worse, showing why Batman will never be able to save it. Batman: Beyond the White Knight is written and illustrated by Sean Murphy, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Andworld Designs.
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Bruce Wayne is serving time in Stonegate, breaking up riots led by the Sons of Azrael. Jason Todd and Duke Thomas help Bruce during the riot. Back in his cell, Bruce learns the horrifying truth that Derek Powers, CEO of Wayne Motors, has taken control of the company. Powers funnels the money from Wayne’ charities to create a para-military force headed by Dick Grayson. Bruce Wayne learns the social betterment programs he had envisioned never came to pass, and instead Powers has used the money to essentially turn Gotham into a police state, and turn Wayne Enterprises into a weapons manufacturer. Bruce breaks out of jail in a bid to set matters right.
Batman has tried to save Gotham in a variety of ways, be it as the Batman, or by donating money to social welfare programs—and now DC has shown that regardless of how hard he tries, Batman is doomed to fail. As the Dark Knight, he is seemingly stuck in a loop, fighting the same villains over and over with no real progress; furthermore, crime is a constant in Gotham, an evil he can never stomp out. Batman is savvy enough to know that simply punching a problem will not solve it, and creators throughout time have shown Bruce Wayne using his fortune to combat social ills. He has invested in youth centers, shelters and other programs that help the most vulnerable—yet again, he is doomed to fail, as seen here. Bruce Wayne had the best intentions when he donated his money, but his intentions ran up against human nature. Derek Powers took Bruce’s money and lined his own coffers with it and turned Gotham into a fascist police state.
Thanks to his wealth, Batman is the best position to seemingly save Gotham City, and he has tried in multiple ways. Now, DC has shown why, no matter which way he goes, he will never succeed.
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About The Author
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Shaun Corley is a pop culture enthusiast living in the Pacific Northwest. After stints in both customer service and academia, he’s turned his attention to writing about comic books–his lifelong passion. He is a graduate of Radford University, with a degree in English. When not reading comics, he enjoys spending time with his fiance and their dog.
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