Review: Batman: Black & White #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Colors: See Graphic Below
Letters: See Graphic Below
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Batman: Black & White #2 – The all-new anthology series continues with new tales of mystery, mayhem and madness from all levels of Gotham City by some of the finest talents in comics.
In this auspicious issue:
• Eisner Award-winning collaborators Tom King and Mitch Gerads (Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures) tell a tale of Batman administering a form of last rites to a dying priest. Or is it the other way around?
• Eisner-nominated storytellers Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Green Lantern: Earth One) find the Dark Knight facing certain death-with The Joker his last lifeline.
• Multiple award-winner for his innovative work on Hawkeye, David Aja writes and draws his first DC story, in which Batman is set on the trail of a deadly cult preying on Gotham City-and it’s one you’ll be talking about all year!
• The brilliant Sophie Campbell (Jem and the Holograms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wet Moon) returns to DC after a 10-year absence to follow Batman and Catwoman on one of their greatest chases ever.
• Celebrated artist of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers and the creator of Paklis, Dustin Weaver makes his DC debut as Batman takes to the sky in a stunning aerial battle against one of the most unsettling foes he’s ever faced.
Black and white is the perfect medium for Batman, who works in the shadows. Again, the duality of this character meets the perfect criteria for authors and artists to have fun in this limited playground.
Deep on story quality and rich in art, this second issue contributes as much as the first one does. Tom King and Mitch Gerads kick this issue off with the efforts of Batman in trying to save everyone in the collapse of a cathedral. The Unjust Judge is both poignant, topical (as no super villains are involved) and overwhelming in one’s sympathy for the Dark Knight.
Some of these stories could work in color and some work only in black and white For instance, The Spill would be pleasurable to read in color. But the fact that the story is in black and white gives the rain and water a chance to be a character in of itself. Hardman and Bechko write a desperation tale where Batman is arguably going to drown, and the one person who shows up to save (watch) him is The Joker.
Sophie Campbell’s tale All Cats Are Grey works perfectly in this black and white medium. In fact I am hard pressed in seeing how it could work in color at all.
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. Short stories that satisfy in the nuggets they are intended to. 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!