Review: Batman: Black & White #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: See Graphic Below
Colors: See Graphic Below
Letters: See Graphic Below
Artist: See Graphic Below
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Batman: Black & White #3 – The mythology of Batman continues to expand in this issue of Batman Black and White as we explore alternate takes and possible futures for the Caped Crusader from the minds of comics’ most innovative and creative thinkers!
In this auspicious issue:
• Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and iconic Thor and Avengers artist Olivier Coipel reteam to dip into the world of Future State and expand the legend of the next Batman and introduce us to his new-well, she’s not exactly Robin!
• Bilquis Evely, Eisner Award-nominated artist of The Sandman Universe’s The Dreaming and Wonder Woman, writes and draws a tale that takes the myth of Batman to a medieval realm of knights and sorcery. In this vision of Batman, the Dark Knight is a real knight-and he must save a community from a dryad known as Ivy!
• Nick Dragotta, co-creator of East of West, makes his DC writing debut with a tale that looks at a post apocalyptic future where a giant Batman-like robot rampages through what’s left of Gotham City.
• Celebrated co-writer of Grayson and writer of Nightwing Tim Seeley returns to his horror roots with one of comics’ most legendary Batman and horror artists, Kelley Jones, to show us a Gotham cursed to be forever haunted by Batman!
• Bengal, international comics luminary and co-creator of Death or Glory, returns to DC to tell a story expressing Batman’s admiration for his father and how he once protected Gotham City.
Here we are in the third issue of Black and White and the hits keep coming. It would be unfair of a reviewer to even try to rehash each story. But thematically, one could say this issue is simply “Batman is Dead. Long Live Batman!”
Read into that what you will, but each author is cognizant of the old time lines, the “Future State”…a nod to Frank Miller here and there. Speaking of which, you cannot read The Calvary and not think of an iconic shot in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight.
I’ll let you hunt for that Easter Egg, but it is there.
Tim Seeley’s Unquiet Knight is both haunting and a fitting end for a restless Bruce Wayne. Only Zatanna and company could make sense in this story of a Bruce that is haunted so much by Gotham, but is in need of a deserved rest.
These stories make me think that the page can be turned on Bruce. In the past two years, we have lost Alfred. We see a Future State Batman who has inherited the mantle via a connection to the Wayne wealth. Is it time to let Bruce rest?
Even when we did see Bruce age to an older mentor in 2039, we could not see him rest. He had to mentor Terry McGuinness to assume the Mantle of the Bat. We see currently versions of Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Tim Fox, and even Helena Wayne taking the mantle. We won’t talk about Azrael… at least this reviewer won’t.
This particular set of stories allows us to think…”It’s going to be okay to let Bruce rest. It’s going to be okay to let Bruce go.”
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!