What happens when the Joker vanishes from Gotham City? Who can replace the Clown Prince of Crime? The answer is pretty obvious; it’s the Princess herself, Harley Quinn. In a shocking twist of events, Harley Quinn has stepped up to be the new Joker in Batman: White Knight. Sean Murphy’s avant-garde approach to the Batman mythos has not just one, but two Harley Quinns in Gotham. Batman: White Knight tells the tale of a cured Joker, who holds Batman accountable for all the madness that has been ravaging the city. But with the recent third issue of the comic book, it’s the story of a revamped Harley Quinn which has left fans awestruck.
In the previous issue, Sean Murphy brought back the psychotic girlfriend of Joker back to the spotlight, providing her a major role in the series. If the twist was not enough, the new Harley Quinn has a different name too; Marian Drews, who is on a mission to fill the vacuum left by the Clown Prince of Crime in the city of The Bat.
The return of a cured Joker didn’t really work out in his grand scheme of plans for the city. Taking a bold step to stop the abusive relationship the Joker had with Harley, it was revealed that in all these years of frenzied madness, Harley had been replaced. The old Harley Quinn or otherwise known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel left the entire crime syndicate, as she had no claim to the now cured Joker, devoid of his psychosis. But in the shadows, Marian Drews was the imposter, playing the role of Harley Quinn. A sudden change in plans left Drews unsatisfied and crying for the injustice that had been done to her. The issue concluded by teasing the re-union of the Joker and the original Harley, but Marian Drews was already onto her new plans.
Issue #3 returns to the imposter Harley, who is seething in anger for the gross injustice that had been done to her. A cured Joker, who goes by the name of Jack Napier is still under medication, under the care of Dr. Harleen Quinzel, to gain back his sanity. But despite all this, Marian assumes it’s all a facade. She fell for the Joker persona, not Jack Napier, who is slowly getting rid of his insanity. As far as her attraction towards the Joker is concerned, both Napier and Quinzel are obstacles in her path.
Thus, Marian Drews adopts a completely new persona. From new shoes to new make-up, she even gets the combination of Harley’s diamond pattern and Joker’s acid flower, showing how far she is willing to get back her puddin’. But during all these events, Drews actually becomes the new Joker, with a completely new make-over, which actually complements her own moniker.
On Drew’s interaction with the Mad Hatter, he refers her as the Joker’s stand-in. Marian’s neo-futurist-punk style in fusion with the Joker’s persona gives her a fresh look, which has been dubbed as the Neo Joker. Right now, it’s almost impossible to predict what Sean Murphy has got up his sleeves. With Jack and Harleen trying to go the legal way to rule over Gotham, it’s highly unlikely that the true Clown Prince of Crime is going to return any time soon. Will Marian Drew become the new arch-nemesis of The Dark Knight? Or is she plotting a even more malicious plan to put both Jack and Harleen in her crosshairs?
Sean Murphy has confirmed that the next issue of Batman: White Knight will delve into the origins of the Neo Joker, explaining, how a presumably ordinary little girl grew up to fall in love with the craziest criminal of DC Comics. But Murphy has assured the fans that he won’t be berating the classic Harley Quinn, but rather, give her a respectable story. It would be intriguing to see how Drew replaced Quinn, who was bored with competing with The Batman for her puddin’s attention.
Bringing in a completely new Joker is a terrific start for Batman: White Knight. In the series, the Joker used the Mad Hatter’s mind control card to manipulate Clayface into dissolving his body into all the other members of the Rogue Gallery, to gain absolute control over them. But the masterstroke of the series so far has to be Marian finding out about the Joker’s plan and using the Mad Hatter’s mind control technique to gain control over the members of the Rogue Gallery. The Joker has always been a cunning mastermind in such situations, but it’s thrilling to see a newbie outsmarting the Clown Prince of Crime, just under his nose.