Batman Black and White Volume 3

DC Comics 2007

Artwork below from Mick McMahon's story "Fat City"
McMahon Batman
Mick McMahon Artwork

Batman Black and White Volume 3
DC Comics 2007
Approximately 300 pages, Hardbound, Retail $24.99 USD

The Last Volume

The third volume (and apparently the last, according to the back cover copy) of the Batman Black and White books is a mixed bag, like the earlier volumes, of takes on the Batman character. Some of the material could fit into any of the monthly books DC Comics puts out selling the Batman character, but there are also short tales that would be quite outré for Detective Comics or the monthly Batman.

Batman Black and White Batmobile

See entire page enlarged here.

My favorite is the Mick McMahon "Fat City" which is co-scripted with Dave Gibbons. McMahon's art is heavily stylized and non-traditional (at least for a superhero book) but the story itself is as traditional a tale of Batman as you could find from any era of the character. Sacrifice, love and loss, and the sheer superhuman determination of Batman to defeat, overcome, and out-endure whatever calamity strikes Gotham. McMahon packs every panel with his heavy black line work, and what at first seemed to me to be a campy, mocking portrayal of DC's Dark Knight is actually as rock solid and straightforward a tale as I could imagine. Compared to some of the limp, self-aggrandizing stories in this book, McMahon's story is a cannonball shot straight out of the Batcave.

Another tale is the Ann Nocenti and John Bolton untitled story about a rather unusual Batman nemesis. Bolton's thick and heavy blacks perfectly the theme of this volume, but Nocenti's O'Henry-style story is right out of left field.

Batman BLack and White

This is a nice compilation which has its share of experimentation and also strict formula. A good package and dissapointing to hear the DC Comics will not be doing further volumes.

[Click to view enlargement]
John Bolton Batman

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Original Page Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Updated Sept 2015


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