Batman: Black and White #2 review – another mixed Bat-bag

February 4, 2021
Louie Fecou 0
Comics
3.5

Summary

Batman: Black & White #2 is a nice interlude from the regular runs of Batman, and if you want to hand over the $5.99 cover price, then give it a go, but like most of these types of books, they are only as strong as the creative teams involved so they very rarely feel completely satisfying.

3.5

Summary

Batman: Black & White #2 is a nice interlude from the regular runs of Batman, and if you want to hand over the $5.99 cover price, then give it a go, but like most of these types of books, they are only as strong as the creative teams involved so they very rarely feel completely satisfying.

This review of Batman: Black & White #2 contains some minor spoilers.


The second issue of the anthology title from DC focusing on Batman and his supporting cast is another mixed bag from a variety of creative teams.

“The Unjust Judge” is the first story, written by Tom King with art from his usual collaborator Mitch Gerads. A priest is trapped under the wreckage of a Cathedral when it collapses. Batman arrives too late but comforts the dying man in his last moments. Once again Tom King manages to turn the avenging devil of the dark into a pathetic, simpering non-hero that is more concerned about himself than anyone else. This depressing, bland, and pretentious short story has nothing to offer fans of Batman and is a bad start to the book.

Sophie Campbell is the writer and artist on tale two, “All Cats Are Grey”. This story has no dialogue so relies heavily on the art, and Campbell, who has understood the whole premise of a book called Black & White, embraces the medium with a nice little piece about Batman chasing Catwoman who has stolen a diamond. Beautiful.

“The Spill” is the next offering, this time from writers Gabriel Hardman (who is also on art duties) and Corrina Bechko. An EMP has taken out Gotham, Batman has crashed the Batmobile while pursuing The Joker, and finds himself trapped in the wreckage; the water is about to crash through the spillway and the Joker is content to sit back and watch. There’s a lot happening in the few pages here, but there’s a great and honest insight into the Batman/Joker relationship and although you may be left wanting to see more, it’s a good entry for the book.

Dustin Weaver is next up to bat, with “Dual”. Batman is on the trail of The White Bat, an inverse of himself that is causing mayhem in Gotham. For six nights, The White Bat has prowled Gotham, escalating his activities as he goes. Rounding up the homeless and putting them in the Zoo, and euthanizing patients in the hospital, Batman is determined to stop him. This is the sort of story that feels more like a pitch for a mini-series; the trouble here is that there’s a lot of big ideas and no space to develop them, leaving the ending infuriating for the reader.

David Aja is last to submit with “The Devil Is In The Detail”. You need to turn the book sideways to read this, something I haven’t done since the ’90s. The reason being that Aja has presented this tale like a daily newspaper strip. So once again the black and white premise is well used here. Aja uses old-style letratone to give the pages a feel of an old newspaper. His stylish art is wonderful to look at, reminding me of David Mazzucchelli’s work on Batman: Year One. The story of occult ceremonies and murder fits early Batman very well, and it is good to see Batman actually being a detective. This is probably the most accomplished entry to this book and along with a couple of nice pin-up pages, this rounds the book off well.

Batman: Black & White #2 is a nice interlude from the regular runs of Batman, and if you want to hand over the $5.99 cover price, then give it a go, but like most of these types of books, they are only as strong as the creative teams involved so they very rarely feel completely satisfying.

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