Rating: 5/5 – Batman at his best, by the best.
Batman Black and White is visually stunning from the first page to the last. For those not familiar with the concept behind this series, a collection of some of the most talented writers and artists in the business get together to tell short stories about Batman, with the freedom to use the character free of continuity. This freedom allows the creators to use a version of Batman that connects with them. Whether it be Chip Kidd’s more silver age Batman, or Joe Quinones animated style Batman, both are found within this issue. There are five stories in all and all but one of them are great reads, but visually each one is superb.
My favorite of the five was the opening story by Chip Kidd and artist Michael Cho. Each panel is better then the last and Cho captures that Silver Age feel with not only Batman, but with the guest appearances by Robin and Superman as well. After the Joker shoots Batman with a teleporter, it’s up to Robin with the help of Superman to find him. It’s a warm-hearted story that makes you feel for Robin when he can’t find his missing partner, and concludes with an ending that proves Batman doesn’t have to be dark and brooding. I’d love to see a monthly book with this Batman and this creative team. So well done.
Neal Adams Batman Zombie story is next and although the pencilled art is amazing, the story is just all kinds of crazy. His story has a Batman Zombie dealing with social and legal issues. Adams gets pretty preachy during the story and when you get to the end, well, it just doesn’t pay off. But, if you just concentrate on his art, you’ll be fine. It’s rough pencil work without any inks, so it’s as though you also get to see the process. After all these years, he’s still a master and his iteration of Batman is still so iconic.
The other stories within the book, without going into detail on each one are fantastic. Seeing Sean Murphy draw the Batcave and Batmobile is a treat, and we also get to see Chris Samnee’s first published Batman work. The bio of his work on this story say it best, “for the first time, the inky black world of Chris Samnee meets the shadowy world of the Dark Knight.” His art is a perfect match for Batman’s world, and he and writer Howard Mackie prove it.
This book is Batman at his finest by some of the best creators working today. If you’re a Batman fan, it’s an absolutely must read. Even if you take away all the words, this is still an amazing comic book.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – firstname.lastname@example.org
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture