Sunday, October 6, 2013

Batman Black and White #2

   The beauty of anthology titles is that there's bound to be an artist or writer you'll like enough to lure you into buying the comic.

   Generally the artist is the main attraction, since (as in the case of Batman Black and White) the stories are very short, which doesn't give the writer much room to work with. Each story in this issue, for example, is eight pages long.

   I was lured into buying this issue by two artists - Jim Steranko's evocative and iconic cover got my attention, and the inclusion of the legendary Alex Nino closed the sale.

   But there's more to recommend the issue, including some great (or unique) art by J. G. Jones, Rafael Grampa, Rafael Albuqueque and Dave Bullock.

   But the stories don't always carry their end of the deal. The opening story by Dan Didio gives us a Batman who acts completely out of character. Grampa's odd tale offers an interesting twist. Albuqueque's tale treads some well-worn ground, but makes good use of his style. Jeff Lemire gives Nino the opportunity to provide some thrilling visuals, though the story is only a bit above average. The final story by Michael Uslan is the most clever of the bunch, evoking classic Batman tales in the framework of a classic bit of animation.

   So overall, it's a mixed bag, and your interest will depend on your feelings about the creators involved.

Grade: B-


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