Batman Black and White #1 is a collection of 5 short stories, each story featuring a different creative team. But how do they creativity express themselves when limited to two colours?
There is honesty in black and white comics. True talent cannot hide behind colouring and tricks. This issue brings out the best that monotone has to offer. Sean Murphy, Neal Adams, Michael Cho, Joe Quinones and Chris Samnee all contribute the best that they have to offer. What we are given as a final result is nothing short of a masterpiece. We get to see a range of characters presented in black and white, with other superheroes making cameos.
The opening story “Don’t know where, don’t know when” will give you a sense of nostalgia as you reminisce on that classic comic look. With a surprise cameo, you cannot help but feel you have been teleported through time.
Batman Zombie is done entirely in pencil. Some great art is presented in this story, however, the story does come across confusing. It is definitely the least enjoyable story of the bunch, simply because it is mind boggling at first glance and requires a second read.
The third story is a fun adventure with villains as the central characters, whilst Batman is lurking in the shadows doing the detective work on a rather bizarre case. The shading in this story is superb and it even features some cool “Adventure Time” looking Chibi characters during comedy relief scenes.
The next story is Driven. Its art would certainly drive the reader to crave more of this adventure. It has some stunning visuals mainly focused around car chases. It is almost as though Bruce Wayne took lessons from Dominic (Vin Diesel), the Fast and the Furious character, when it comes to mechanics, but has taken lessons from Hobbs (The Rock) when it comes to arm workouts. The Batmobile is the major focus of this quick adventure and this Batmobile is rather amazing in looks and performance.
The final story sees an old foe, The Ventriloquist, on the loose. We get to see just how the mind-set of this villain works, whilst witnessing the irony of Scarface being seen as a threat and Arnold as an innocent. It is a great new take on an old foe and wraps this issue up quite nicely. It gives the reader a little heart-warming ending to a masterpiece that will have them craving for more.
Batman Black and White #1 is beautiful. Although the stories may seem too fleeting and confusing, it is still an awesome read. Each story is unique and features some of the best art that DC has to offer.