Batman: Curse of the White Knight Rewrites the Wayne Legacy

Batman Curse of the White Knight

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman: Curse of the White Knight #2 by Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth and AndWorld Design, on sale now.

When Batman: White Knight revealed there was a hidden history to Thomas Wayne, fans were shocked to see Bruce's dad was a Nazi sympathizer, Luckily, it was a fake out and Thomas actually worked with Mr. Freeze, who turned out to be a Nazi traitor, to create technology for the Allies to use against the Axis.

However, creator Sean Gordon Murphy does flip the script with the Wayne ancestors come Batman: Curse of the White Knight as he reshapes the entire family legacy. This is thanks to Edmond Wayne, who's now been molded into a member of the Order of St. Dumas for a story that spans centuries.

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The pirate-esque Edmond was seen in Issue #1 fighting against the Joker-esque Lafayette "Laffy" Arkham, who many considered in his time to be a vampire. This chapter, however, goes a bit deeper as we see Bakkar, a missionary of God, saving Edmond after he's intercepted at his family's mansion in Gotham Valley. He isn't welcomed there as the entire estate has been stolen by Laffy, and Bakkar sees this as the perfect opportunity to make him a pawn.

As he's taken away, Bakkar rescues Edmond and kills his prison escort, making it clear he needs an heir to the valley to carry out his purpose -- one steeped in Christian faith as he's meant to pass Christianity on to the rest of the city and warp their minds towards his faith. This is the way the Order works all the time, and Bakkar sees Edmond as an instrument for his religion, eventually leading to their fallout.

Late on, we learn from Azrael aka Jean-Paul Valley (a descendant of Bakkar) that a deal had been struck whereby Bakkar was meant to help the Waynes take back what was rightfully theirs, and in exchange they'd get half the valley as a sort of promised land. Admittedly to Edmond, this seemed like a bargain at the time as half of something is better than half of nothing, which is why he easily undertook training under Bakkar similar to how Ra's al Ghul trained Bruce for the League of Assassins (or League of Shadows as the Christoper Nolan movies would call it).

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But, apparently from the clues dropped, Edmond reneged on the deal after being weirded out by Bakkar's methods and the Order on the whole, not offering up the half owed to the Azrael clan. This is why Jean-Paul was all too ready to wage this war on behalf of his family on the Waynes when Joker set the dominoes up, having garnered the info of Edmond's past.

To Jean-Paul, the Waynes are thieves because of how Bakkar didn't get his property. It leaves fans wondering what was up with the Order, who showed it had wealth to build Bakkar's movement -- one that retained the most elite of soldiers, which evolved for modern times.

As for Bruce, he now has to fix the mistakes his ancestor made, especially as we have no idea how Bakkar fell and who else, besides Azrael's team, is ready and willing to start a new dark era in Gotham. This also updates Thomas' history from the mainstream DCU and paints the Wayne legacy as rabble rousers from back in the day.

Sadly, Edmond breaking his promise is set to bite the Bat-family in the butt, because as it stands, the Waynes weren't just philanthropists, they were working with the government to rehabilitate turncoats through Thomas, to remind Gotham there was a glimmer of light they needed to look for within themselves during World War II.

Now, some fans would see all this as a façade and end up questioning whether it's the Waynes or Laffy to trust, because at the heart of this story, deceit runs deep and it appears that, since Edmond's days, Bruce's family have way too many skeletons in their closet.

Batman: Curse of the White Knight #3 goes on sale Sept. 25.

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