"Batman: White Knight Part 1": A Batmobile approaches the gates of Arkham Asylum. Jack Napier, previously known as the Joker, enters the Asylum to go meet with one of its patients: Batman. As Napier asks for Batman's help, he's threatened by the Bat's menacing pose, only restrained by the chains
Appearing in "Batman: White Knight Part 1"
- Batman (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- The Joker / Jack Napier (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Alfred Pennyworth (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Batgirl (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Nightwing (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Dr. Leslie Thompkins (First appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Mayor Hill (First appearance)
- Harley Quinn (First appearance) (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Martha Wayne (First appearance) (In a photograph only)
- Thomas Wayne (First appearance) (In a photograph only)
- Mister Freeze (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City (Flashback and main story)
- Bat-Signal (Mentioned only)
- Batmobile (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Wingcycle (First appearance) (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Batman: White Knight Part 1"
A Batmobile approaches the gates of Arkham Asylum. Jack Napier, previously known as the Joker, enters the Asylum to go meet with one of its patients: Batman. As Napier asks for Batman's help, he's threatened by the Bat's menacing pose, only restrained by the chains at his wrists.
One year before, Batman and Batgirl are chasing Joker with the Batmobile. The prince of crime forces Batman to perform dangerous maneuvers that put citizens' lives in peril, to Batgirl's disappointment. Nightwing comes to save a construction worker from Batman's crazy stunts, as he recommends Batgirl to make the same decision he did at his time: to leave Batman. Following Joker in the industrial district, Batman knocks over an innocent guard, who's assisted by Batgirl as she and Nightwing chase the two arch-enemies.
Joker and Batman start a classic fight, where the first argues that their relationship is vital to both's existence, while the latter denies everything. Joker loses his temper, admitting that he's always held back in order not to ruin his game with the Bat; also, he adds, Gotham lets Batman do as he pleases only because they know that is the lesser evil, considering the Joker as the alternative. Crime is Batman's therapy, it's the only thing that preserves the last remnants of his sanity. He's only ruined the children he took under his wing and Gordon himself has been taken into his nightmarish madness, losing many of his men in the process. In brief, the Joker concludes, Batman is Gotham's worst villain. As Napier brings forward these arguments, Batman loses it, beating his nemesis up badly. The Joker takes out some pills he thinks will get him back on track, so he'll be able to show Batman that he needs him.
In front of everyone, including the GCPD and a woman who's filming the scene, Batman takes the package of pills and empties it inside Joker's mouth, preventing him from breathing. Then, he leaves.
In the aftermath of this, the city breaks up in two fronts: those who believe Batman crossed a line and needs to be stopped for good and those who think the Joker deserved this kind of treatment. In the GCPD the two fronts are represented by Harvey Bullock and Jim Gordon, respectively. As the two policemen watch Napier recovering at the hospital, Batgirl arrives and asks her father if the Joker will live. Gordon answers that Napier is a "tough son of a bitch", and that he's not the one he's worried about.
In Wayne Manor, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon try to bring Bruce Wayne back to his senses: they say he doesn't listen to them and that he should tell them if something was wrong. As an answer, Bruce opens a secret passage and asks them to follow him downstairs. In a secret location underground, Bruce reveals that Alfred Pennyworth is in his dying bed, and he's trying to save him with the aid of supervillain Victor Fries.
Napier, now in prison, sees Batman watching him out of the window. He explains why he turned to crime, to shake a city gone numb from its sleep, and questions if he ever knew Batman at all.
At the City Hall, Jim Gordon confronts the mayor about the recent events. He's scalded about asking to have a blind-eye policy towards the masked vigilante, thus corrupting the corps he had the mission to clean up. Doctor Leslie Thompkins is let in, and she reports that Napier has recovered from his wounds and is now apparently completely sane, thanks to the pills he swallowed. The Commissioner doesn't buy it: "he's got to be faking it", he says. Napier is now reported to be spending his days working tirelessly to his legal case against the city of Gotham and they're supposed to worry as his intellect now reaches a genius level.
Gordon decides to organize a meeting with Napier, offering him a deal to not add time to his sentence for his attempted escape from his cell. Napier easily gets rid of his handcuffs and calmly explains he has no intention to strike any deal: he wants to go to trial and win it, listing the many reasons why he has every right to indict the GCPD as a Batman collaborator.
Standing up, Napier ends his discourse saying that he loves Gotham and that the city deserves better than Batman or Joker. Thus, he'll use his intellect to help the city, becoming its White Knight, so that he may pay back his debt for his past crimes.
- This book was first published on October 4, 2017.
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