In an amusing case of taking a circuitous route to get to the original destination, writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy reveals he was mistaken when he announced last week that the Black Label reprint of Batman: White Knight would include an uncensored sex scene between the Joker and Harley Quinn.
Initial indications were that the Batman: White Knight trade colleciton would contain the version of the scene that appeared originally in both print and digital, in which Harley Quinn's nudity following a love scene was covered with word balloons. Murphy had earlier released the original, unedited version (colored by Matt Hollingsworth) on his Instagram, but it seemed as though the scene was destined to be printed in the trade in its edited form. However, after he announced the series would be published under DC's new prestige line Black Label, Murphy let fans know the unedited scene would be in the collection.
As it turns out, though, Murphy was mistaken; the collection will be rated Teen + and not Adult.
1) UPDATE on White Knight--DC misinformed me about the Black Label trade being released this fall. This version will be the same version published in the monthlies (rated Teen+, not rated Adult).— Sean Gordon Murphy (@Sean_G_Murphy) June 21, 2018
The sex scene was a major moment in Murphy's series, which told the story of the Joker turning sane and becoming the "White Knight" of Gotham City. It's the first time that Joker (called Jack Napier in the story) and Harley had ever been depicted as being intimate in a comic book story. With the series taking part in DC's Black Label, it seemed as though Murphy would get the chance to do, in effect, the R-rated version of the story he'd intended. He noted at the time, “This is the much-talked-about love scene with Jack and Harley in White Knight. I’ve been told to cover up the nudity with word balloons, to meet DC’s 'teen+' rating. Which I understand. I was pushing for an 'adult' rating, but I don’t know if DC has that. Maybe for the sequel I can convince them.”
However, despite the scene not appearing unedited in the initial Black Label collection, Murphy did let fans know there would be an unedited version of the story released eventually.
2) I expect the unedited Adult rated version (which I referred to in earlier tweets) will likely be released next year.— Sean Gordon Murphy (@Sean_G_Murphy) June 21, 2018
It is unclear when the other version will be released, as the Black Label collection isn't due out until October 9, 2018, so it will likely not be until at least 2019 that we will get to see the version of Batman: White Knight that Murphy intended for fans to read.