“Harley Quinn FINALLY Kills Joker in Batman: White Knight”
Warning: SPOILERS for Batman: Curse of the White Knight #6
The latest issue of Batman: Curse of the White Knight has made history with its shocking twist to Bruce Wayne’s family history, but that’s just the beginning. Because it is also the issue in which Joker gets the death he always deserved… and Harley Quinn is the killer.
While it would have been impossible to imagine Harley ever willingly killing the Joker in their first incarnations, the years have seen their bond evolve, transform, and more recently, dissolve completely in the canon of DC Comics. Details change from one story, sequel, or re-imagining to the next, but most tend to agree: Joker is a subject of emotional abuse and trauma for Harley, not a soulmate. It’s that exact line of modern thinking that urged writer/artist Sean Murphy to create his new Harley Quinns for Batman: White Knight. It led to one of the most touching, tragic, and torturous stories Harley and Joker have ever enjoyed. A story she has sadly ended it by putting a bullet in the Joker’s head.
Those who missed out on White Knight are in for heartbreak, after Joker was ‘cured’ via prescription medicine, restoring Jack Napier — the goodhearted man he had once been when he loved Harley (in a healthy, non-abusive way). Sadly the story ended in tragedy, when the pair arranged to be married just moments before Joker regained control, forcing Jack back down. The sequel Batman: Curse of the White Knight picks up not long after, with Batman hunting down the escaped Joker, and Harley Quinn pregnant with her and Jack’s twins. So when Joker kidnaps said newborn babies to lure Harley and Batman into his Arkham trap in Curse of the White Knight #6, she does what she has to do.
The sight of Harley booting Azrael clear of Batman, and blasting Joker with a direct shot to the head will be satisfying for many fans (especially those who tend to think Joker’s bodycount would justify Batman making an exception to his ‘no kill’ policy). But the story is more complicated than Harley killing the evil, crazed, cackling Joker. Sadly, Jack returns when faced with Harley, first enjoying a brief reunion and revealing how difficult it is to retake control for even seconds. Knowing his and Harley’s children will never be safe from Joker, Jack attempts to take his own life to end the threat permanently. But when he proves unable to pull the trigger, the Joker’s resurgence, and a scuffle with Harley leaves her fate unclear. At least until she returns for the killing shot.
It’s the panels which follow that will be most memorable for fans of Murphy’s White Knight universe thus far. As the life flows out of Joker’s body, it’s Jack who returns to lay his eyes on Harley one last time. The same Jack who, despite their differences, cared about saving Gotham just as much as Batman. Which is why Bruce takes Jack’s hand as well, promising him that Harley will “be okay.”
The image of Batman and Harley embracing as life leaves Jack Napier’s body ends the issue, rivaling even the death of Jim Gordon for the series’ most unforgettable moment. So where does Harley Quinn go from here? With both Joker and Jack Napier now dead, what does the future hold for the already confirmed White Knight threequel comic? Those questions will have to wait. For the time being, fans will want to pick up their own piece of Batman history from their local comic book shop today.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #6 is available now.
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