Review: Batman: Black & White #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: See Graphic Below
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Letters: See Graphic Below
Artist: See Graphic Below
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Batman: Black & White #4 – The mythology of Batman continues to expand in this issue as we explore Bruce and his penchant for detective work.
Gotham City’s past, present and future all come together to haunt the Dark Knight in exhilarating new stories from some of comics’ most noted luminaries as Batman: Black & White continues!
In this auspicious issue:
• Eisner Award-winning writer Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil, Stillwater) and fan-favorite artist Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine & the X-Men, Spidey) team up for a story that brings Poison Ivy to the front door of Wayne Manor to demand ecological responsibility from Bruce Wayne!
• Superstar writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Batman/Superman, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad) pairs with superstar artist Riley Rossmo (Harley Quinn, Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King, Martian Manhunter) for a horrific night in Gotham as a new villain emerges, as seen through the eyes of Batman himself.
• Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Gotham Academy) concocts a murder mystery for Batman to solve set at a circus, featuring art by legendary artist Terry Dodson (Wonder Woman, X-Men, Adventureman).
• Red-hot cartoonist Daniel Warren Johnson puts Batman at the mercy of Two-Face. Batman will have to remember the words of Alfred Pennyworth if he’s going to make it through this ordeal alive.
• Karl Kerschl, artist of Gotham Academy, writes and draws a tale of Batman investigating the occult mysteries of Gotham City’s past with his new Robin…Gotham Academy’s Maps Mizoguchi?!
Here we are in the fourth issue of Black and White and the hits keep coming. I would never attempt to spoil any of the stories as each are rich in both art and script. However, a quick shout out to Superman: Red and Blue #1 because Batman in his “Black and White” homage to this comic makes an appropriate appearance in a story in that comic.
Notable highlights from this issue is Riley Rossmo’s art. Wow. I have not seen him draw a Bruce Wayne as he puts his own twist on Batman. I lack the words to say how precise the pencils are, but I have not seen anything quite like the spin he puts on Batman (and the entire Bat Family) as Rossmo. The “white eyes” have it, however, it is both cartoonish and serious art at the same time. In other words, drink in his story as each frame is a treat!
Karl Kerschl, artist of Gotham Academy, gets to interject his new Robin…Gotham Academy’s Maps Mizoguchi. I was really thrown on this as the Robin gallery has a refreshing new face. Do Robins come in “flocks”? If so, count me in on this fresh take as she is not so much the “Bam! Crack! Pow!” fighting Robin, but in the vein of detective work which takes the forefront here.
Shoutout to Kerschl in putting Batman into a something that is more akin to JLA Dark.
Artist Nick Bradshaw…his rendition of Ivy’s attack on Bruce Wayne’s property…the detail is akin to when Todd McFarlane initially drew Spiderman. This book is worth the price of admission if you simply want to have these pages to “color” yourself as your eyes cannot drink in the detail.
It’s like a trip to the Grand Canyon for the first time. You simply cannot look at it all without wanting to see every crack and crevice. Bradshaw does for plants what McFarlane did for webbing.
Daniel Warren Johnson plays his “Queen’s Gambit” in providing the reader with another life lesson courtesy of Alfred. You have to love chess….and I miss Alfred! Curse you Bane!
Nope! Nothing…a cynic would say a splash of color would be nice, but nope! It’s BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE!
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!