Review: Batman: Black & White #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: See Graphic Below
Artist: See Graphic Below
Letters: See Graphic Below
Colors: See Graphic Below
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Batman: Black & White #1 – The iconic anthology series returns with a brand-new slate of comics’ most exciting and innovative storytellers to explore the Batman mythos in stark black-and-white!
In this debut issue: • James Tynion IV and Tradd Moore explore the world of Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins • J.H. Williams III returns to DC Comics for a trip through the Dark Knight’s history • Emma Rios explores the eternal struggle of the Dark Knight • Paul Dini and Andy Kubert pit Batman against an infestation of ninja Man-Bats in the Batcave • G. Willow Wilson and Greg Smallwood portray Batman in his strangest standoff ever with Killer Croc
With a lineup this strong and a cover by legendary Batman artist Greg Capullo, you won’t want to miss the start of this tremendous collection of Batman tales by some of comics’ top creators!
There is something so raw about this comic in that it is in its purest form. Batman seems to be the perfect character for a black and white comic. It suits the personality of the character as well as the “Gemini” type of existence that he has as The Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne.
Given that the number of artists that contribute to this are wonderful in their own right, it makes sense to strip down the character and all that is around it to just these colors.
Greg Capullo and Jonathan Galpion grab you with their pencils as the cover artists. Capullo’s work on Spawn, as well as the Death Metal/Dark Metal series provides you the stellar resume that needs to work with a character in this medium.
Max Fiumara’s pinup poster is worthy of a museum as you cannot take your eyes off the razor sharp ears on Batman’s cowl!
It is a “murderer’s row” of artists and writers that have contributed to this book! From a point of view story to history to what appears to be a simple case of kidnapping, each nuance is explored by the artists and writers. To even give one morsel of a detail to these stories would be spoiling the experience for any of the readers. However….
J.H. Williams III story is the brightest diamond among these stories. At least for me as it is timely, topical, and a historical vision that visits some poignant moments in Batman’s history. It is one thing to visit it, but to put the pen and pencil to it to transport you to those Batman eras where you can see the artists that had the influence on the story. Even Batman: The Animated Series and Neil Gaiman are alongside each other…at least their shadows are as Williams III connects the “pearls” that turn into “COVID-19” germs.
You should buy the book for that story alone, but all the stories are treasures. It’s just that Williams III’s shines a bit brighter!
Nope! Nothing…a cynic would say a splash of color would be nice, but nope! It’s BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE 2020!
Obviously the medium works perfectly for telling Batman stories. Everything from the duality of his identity to the lurking in the shadows of Gotham, nightlife in the city, and in the corners of the Bat Cave. Art that is worthy of a gallery, and stories that are timeless. That is what everyone wants out of a comic, and that is what this issue delivers!