Batman Black and White, Vol. 1
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Batman Black and White, Vol. 1 (Batman Black and White #1)

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,778 ratings  ·  68 reviews
The Dark Knight stars in this extraordinary collection of short stories illustrated in stark black and white by some of the world's most respected comics artists and writers. This collection examines every aspect of Batman with startling new approaches--detective, crimefighter, avenger, hero, creature of the night, and more. 200 pp.


BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE
The Title is Simple

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Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 26th 2007 by DC Comics (first published 1998)
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Brandon
I love it when Batman is stripped back to his absolute core - a detective on the mean streets of Gotham.

While there’s still a lot of stuff in this volume that takes the Caped Crusader in totally different directions, the majority of the stories rely heavily on the gritty Gotham streets in which Batman uses his intellect to conquer crime. The absolutely stellar opener, Ted McKeever's "Perpetual Morning", is flat out one of the best Batman tales I've ever read. Nominated for an Eisner Award, The D...more
Sesana
Most of the stories are decent, but forgettable. There are a few standouts that make the collection worth reading, though. Bruce Timm's Two of a Kind is the one that I remember best from my previous read of Black and White. Not only is a great Two-Face story, it works really, really well in black and white. Also worth reading are Neil Gaiman's A Black & White World and Brian Bolland's chilling An Innocent Guy. I don't remember any truly bad stories, but there were quite a few mediocre ones.
Sam Quixote
This is an anthology of short black and white Batman strips written and drawn by some of the best writers and artists in comics. The artists include Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Bruce Timm, Joe Kubert, Klaus Janson, Simon Bisley, Richard Corben, Alex Toth, Brian Bolland, Howard Chaykin, and Matt Wagner, while the writers include Denny O’Neil, Neil Gaiman, and Chuck Dixon.

Despite this impressive roster of big names, I found the collection to be made up of some very average stories. Granted, they’ve go...more
Shivering William
Batman is the perfect rage read. Not because it's cathartic, but because it reminds you there's a way to temper your anger to serve something bigger than yourself. I've always believed this, but I've never actually read the bat with a broken heart before. It's rough. Even the slightest bit of empathy toward Bruce Wayne can open the flood gates to what the cape and ears are all about. This collection captures some of those moments perfectly.

This is not a four star collection. It's a five star col...more
Angela
Some really amazing short Batman stories, and some really so-so ones. The Neil Gaimen one stands out as doing something very different with the characters. And this volume is worth it just for that story.
Aaron
To have received as much acclaim as this did when it was first released back in the late 90s, as well as continued notoriety through today, this book doesn't really stand out to me as anything particularly special, creatively. It's more of a gallery of incredibly talented writers and artists just kind of putting out mediocre Batman stories. I think we're meant to be impressed that DC managed to put together so many talents more than we're meant to actually enjoy the storytelling, which is mostly...more
D.M.
When it comes to superheroes, I definitely have more Batman than any other. There's always been a draw there for me, that's taken me through years of reading comics as well as getting into and out of various other supers...and superheroes in general. Most of the costume stuff I own now is because someone I really like is involved in it, and Black and White gathers more of them than almost any other book (save perhaps the Bizarro books). In addition to typical bat-writers like Archie Goodwin, Den...more
Sophie
This collection had been sitting on my shelf for over a year, but when I finally started reading it I found it hard to stop.

I'm not a big fan of short stories, whether it's in comics or prose. I usually prefer the bigger tales. But with Batman I have to say that who he is - who he really is (and I mean "really" as in "the image I have in my head of him") - tends to get lost and/or muddled in most of the in-continuity stories. That doesn't mean I don't love him there, but some storylines can resu...more
Angel
Sep 17, 2012 Angel rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Batman fans
This is a very good comics anthology. The comics are drawn in black and white, which gives the collection a very classic feel and look that can range from noir to gritty. Mark Chiarello, one of the editors, wrote in the introduction about pitching the idea to DC: "Most everyone at DC tells me it won't sell. No one likes black and white comics. No one likes anthologies." The series did go on to be a success and win awards. I will write and add that some of us do like black and white comics when d...more
Michael
Sometime the short stories can be pretty good, sometimes better than a regular comic. Consists of the following:

Perpetual morning: this isn't really a murder mystery, it shows that each nameless victim has a life story and it was a bit deep in a way.

Two of a kind: a two face story that involves him reforming, a tragic love story, dirty secrets and what looks like an internal struggle played out in a more literal way.

Good evening, midnight: this isn't a story about batman and the joker, its abo...more
Raj
This is a collection of very short, black and white, stories about the Dark Knight, from a selection of artists and writers, each with their own distinctive style. The stories are so short that I found it hard to keep them in my head much longer than reading the final panel, but there were a few exceptions, notably Legend, retelling the Batman legend from an almost Arthurian perspective; Good Evening, Midnight, where Alfred reads a letter written by Bruce's father; and A Black and White World, N...more
Mike
Sorry, Cleveland Public Library. I didn't mean to keep this book checked out for more than six months. You see, I checked it out after I saw The Dark Knight Rises. Then it just sat there. And sat there. And sat there. Soon other books piled on top of it. But you never asked for it back. I just kept keeping it. Then other things got in the way. I read other books, watched other movies. Batman: Black and White waited for me all this time, though.

Thanks for waiting for me all this time, Batman: Bla...more
Ollie
What can be said about a project like this? Batman: Black and White is basically a reimagening of batman by 20 different creative teams. The result is quick stories which are beautiful and simple at times and boring and pointless other times. All in all, most of the book paces really quickly and is fun to read, and the feeling of freshness definitely holds up throughout the book as each story wraps up and the reader is brought into a new world created by the next team.

One place where this book d...more
Tabitha
A pretty awesome collection of Batman stories. All kinds of talented authors and artists involved. A wonderful nod to the sort of anthologies that make up a good chunk of comic book history.
Nazary
This is a quality collection of different stories relating to Batman. Some show him as a silent assassin, some as a tough bruiser and some just aren't about him solving murders at all. I think my favorite has to be the one where the father kills his son's cat and then wants Batman to defend him. It showed a very humane side of the character.
I felt the black and white approach was not crucial to the work, but I can see how it added a certain level of grit to the whole proceedings. Overall it was...more
Josh
Jan 22, 2010 Josh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: comic art fans
Shelves: comics
This is a true 3-star review, because I definitely liked this, but didn't necessarily love it. It's really a collection meant for the art, rather than the story, and there's some really amazing examples of both here, though. Archie Goodwin's story was my favorite (and I believe it won the Eisner for best , and Neil Gaiman and Simon Bisley's piece was also a knock-out, and worth reading, and I love the whole concept of the collection. I would certainly read the other volume(s), but it's ultimatel...more
Justyn Rampa
I'm underwhelmed. A good concept but I feel something gets lost in translation. Most of the vignettes are so short it is almost impossible to get invested in them. Several of the stories read more like PSAs than Batman stories. Almost every story relies on the mythology of Batman without adding anything new. Some succeed, some do not. Most of the stories are not memorable and nearly all of them are stories I would not re-read. The strongest stories were "Two of a Kind", "Legend", "A Black and Wh...more
Thomas Maluck
If you ever find yourself jonesing for some Batman - not by a particular artist or author, not featuring a specific villain or plotline, but just "I wanna read some Batman stories damn it!" then THIS is your series. Veteran artists and writers are paired up to deliver one great self-contained chapter after another. A few of the stories didn't quite hit their mark for me, but even so, none of them were wasted space, and I would instantly hand this collection to anyone wanting to read some of the...more
Marc Casson
This book is essentially a collection of short, 6-page stories told purely through the medium of black and white. Being as each tale is from a different artist/writer team, the quality fluctuates throughout the book.
That being said the better stories on the scale are hugely memorable and will stay with you long after you've read them. Of particular note is Brian Bolland's tale of psychotic character who has designs on killing the Batman and Bruce Timm's character retrospect of Harvey Dent.
sixthreezy
I've read half of these stories in their actual story arcs, and most of them are good parts of those. As for this, I'm not so sure it was the best idea in the world. You're getting one chunk of a major story with most of all of these. While this is cool to see the different writers and artists of Batman, all in B&W, it's hardly worth it to me when I've read most of them in color within their respective stories. Disappointing to say the least...
Elisabeth
There were only a few stories that I liked. Most of the creators chose to do noirish crime stories, which was very repetitive and, given how short they were were, it was hard to be invested in some random murder.

Also, because of the noir influence, quite a few stories had some pretty regressive gender representation (not to mention that the collection doesn't include a single female creator) and one of the stories was blatantly racist.
anthony e.
Some strong art and writing make this book an interesting exercise. I have to say, however, that I don't really see *why* some of these stories need to be in black and white. Some of them seem to be essentially UNCOLORED, which weakens the overall aesthetic. Additionslly, some of the pairings just make me wince. Neil Gaiman and Simon Bisley? Really?

Still, when the stories work, they work well.
Jake Keyel
I liked this collection of short Batman tales a lot. The art was top-notch and some of the stories were really poignant. There sure is a lot of pathos in the old Caped Crusader. I particularly liked the story of Batman's search for information about a nameless morgue victim in order to give her some dignity in death and the story of Thomas Wayne's letter to his young son.
Peter Stoutenburgh
This collection of colorless Batman stories is definitely unique. I enjoyed the multiple different artist renderings for each separate story. But, that alone was not enough for me to love the book on the whole. I understand it is a swathe of very different takes on very different arcs of the same hero, but I prefer a graphic novel with a continuous, page-by-page story.
Gonzalo Oyanedel
La excusa del blanco y negro permite a un selecto grupo de artistas perfilar una soberbia revisión del Hombre Murciélago. Historias breves y autoconclusivas que beben del pulp y el noir para recrear al héroe en su aspecto más primigenio, confirmando de paso su vigencia en una antología recomendable para el lector casual e imprescindible para el fanático.
Jen
I loved the anthology style of this work; the concept of a myriad of contributors adds even more depth to an already-complex character. Batman is one of those bulwarks that represents something different to every reader, and this piece gives a glimpse of what he means to those that play a part in his perpetuation. Amazing.
Jim
This is an anthology of short Batman stories drawn and written by some of the best artists and writers in the field. It was fascinating to see the different styles and perspectives on the Batman character.

This is a book that any comic fan should have in their collection, especially those who love the Dark Knight.
Kalei
A lot of variety in this collection - checking out graphic novels from the Library over the past few years makes me yearn to collect comics again. So far I've resisted the temptation.

Oh, it's also possible I read this (or part of it anyway), a couple years ago. Some of the stories and images seemed familiar.
Kennis
I really enjoyed reading this anthology of different Batman stories done by various authors and artists - I read it mostly for the artwork, (all in black and white clearly) most of which was splendid. Some of the stories were pretty cool and inventive too. I'll definitely check out Vol. 2.
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Mark Chiarello was born on Halloween in 1960. His book "Heroes of the Negro Leagues" (Abrams Publishing) was named the second best sports book of 2007 by Amazon.com. A graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, Mark was fortunate enough to have as roommates, Kent Williams, John Van Fleet, and George Pratt. He worked as an illustrator for DisneyWorld for a short time in the 1980’s, then went on t...more
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