Sunday, October 6, 2013

Batman: Black and White #2 Review

Written By: Rafael GrampaJeff LemireRafael AlbuquerqueDan DiDioMichael Uslan
Art By: Rafael GrampaJ.G. JonesRafael AlbuquerqueAlex NinoDave Bullock
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 2, 2013

Black and White...and Read All Over?

As a series, Batman: Black and White is appealing in a number of ways.  The art work is stylistic and haunting, the anthology aspect gives you a variety of stories that can go from humorous to serious and you don't have to be schooled in continuity to enjoy it.  Batman: Black and White #1 was an outstanding return for the series with great stories coupled with outstanding art.  Unfortunately, issue #2 doesn't maintain that greatness.  The issue has it's hits and misses and one glaring stinker.

Here are the individual stories:

Into the Circle written and Illustrated by Rafael Grampa is the highlight of the issue.  The art is surreal and disturbing.  Grampa's version of the Joker is one of the most gruesome and nightmare inducing I can remember...or is it?  The story is of a heist gone wrong or right depending on your point of view.

A Place in Between written and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque is an medicore story of Batman being ushered into the Underworld.  I liked the guest appearences by Deadman and Jason Todd, but the story is a bit cliché and didn't leave me feeling much of anything towards it.  The art was really strong though, so I have to give Albuquerque credit for that.

Winter’s End written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Alex Nino was a big disappointment for me.  When I saw the creators lined up for issue #2 I was looking forward to this story.  It just didn't go anywhere.  It g.wasn't the worst story in the book (I am saving that one for last), but it was the least moving.  In fact, it was actually downright boring.

Silent Knight…Unholy Knight!  written by Michael Uslan and illustrated by Dave Bullock. This silent movie version of Batman was my second favorite in the book.  I am a sucker for silent movies and old time radio and this Uslan penned story fits that vein perfectly.  To top it off, Dave Bullock's art is inspired by Max Fleischer and also just simply inspired. The story was not a feel good romp, but I still had a smile on my face the whole time I read it.

And then there was one...

Manbat out of Hell  written by Dan Didio and illustrated by J.G. Jones.  Dan Didio has been a target for haters lately because of the whole Batwoman controversy, but the real travesty is this story.  Didio makes Batman first look like an idiot and then lets him do something he never ever, ever, ever should do.  He has Batman turn his back and allow a man to get brutally murdered.  WTF?!?!  I don't care how high up the ladder Didio is, this story should never have been allowed to be published.  The realistic artwork by J.G. Jones is nice to a point, but his rendition of Man Bat is bizarre.  Yes, I know it's a realistic style, but Kurt Langstrom is supposed to be half-man half-bat, not just an overgrown vampire bat.  Here he is just a huge vampire bat with no human features that I could see.  I'm actually getting angry writing about this story.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Black and White #2 is a very good book plus one horrible story.  It's a great showcase for the various authors and artists to tell Batman tales without worrying about continuity and a good read for anyone interested in the Dark Knight.  Please though, do yourself a favor and rip out Dan Didio's story and pretend it never happened.  I wish I could, but like walking in on your Grandparents getting it on when all you wanted to do was pick up that apple pie you were promised (long story), some things can't be unseen.

No comments:

Post a Comment