The whole concept behind Batman Black & White began in the mid-1990s when DC asked several artists and writers to collaborate on stand alone stories featuring the Caped Crusader – using only black and white of course. Since it sold better than expected, a second and third series would soon follow. Lying dormant since 2007, DC resurrected the series for a fourth volume with the trade paperback hitting comic shop shelves this past January.
Before writing this review, I went back and read my thoughts on the first two volumes. I found myself agreeing more or less with what I had said about the preceding books – several bright spots amongst a few passable duds. That being said, I felt Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee’s “Head Games” stood out. “A Place in Between” from Rafael Albuquerque as well as “Silent Knight, Holy Knight” from Michael Uslan and Dave Bullock were also memorable.
My biggest issue is that while some artists did wonderful work with the black and white concept, many chose to seemingly strip the color from what could have been your average Batman visuals, similar to watching a movie on a black and white TV. This isn’t meant to be a slight against the talented men and women involved, I just would have preferred a more imaginative approach to some of the stories.
If you’re a fan of the series, the editors at DC will give you what you’ve come to expect from this unique project. The fourth volume of Batman Black and White continues to explore the Dark Knight’s rich history while serving up a few stories that will stick with you beyond their often short six page length.