If you're getting a sense of deja vu right now, that's because you actually have read this article before. Right before the latest volume of Batman: Black & White began back in 2013, ComicsAlliance published a list of the ten best stories in the celebrated anthology series. But the fourth volume was really, really good, and included some stories strong enough to be considered among the very best.
Making a new version of that same list with just a few replacements would be cheating you, and require me to read my own writing (ecch). So instead, we're just going to stick with the 'ten best' thing. Here are the highlights from the latest volume of Black & White, and a few that were barely edged out of the first list. Will there be another version of this article after the next volume? You bet your ass. We're gonna stay here until we get this right, people.
Originally launched in 1997, Batman: Black & White was an anthology in which DC Comics editor and art director Mark Chiarello got the best people he could find to draw and write new Batman stories with an emphasis on creative vision -- particularly that of the artists, whose contributions were enhanced both by the Dark Knight's compelling visual presence and the book's colorless format. The first run proved to be an award-winning and influential hit, bringing readers the first Batman work of Jim Lee, inspiring DC Collectibles' most popular line of statues, and leading to similarly tasteful, aesthetically sophisticated and critically acclaimed Chiarello-edited books like DC: The New Frontier, Solo, Wednesday Comics and Catwoman: Selina's Big Score.
Then after the last Black & White short story was published as a backup in Batman: Gotham Knights, Chiarello readied an all-new volume of Batman: Black & White that's basically the same deal but with different creators. As with the original, the new roster is a mix of the top artists of today and accomplished masters, including ComicsAlliance favorites like Joe Quinones, Sean Murphy, Neal Adams, Chris Samnee and Michael Cho, with covers by Marc Silvestri and Phil Noto. The book goes on sale this week but courtesy of DC, you can take an early look at some preview pages below.
Published in 1996, DC Comics' Batman: Black and White remains one of the most celebrated anthologies in the history of mainstream comics. Originally a four issue miniseries that was collected into one volume, its popularity spawned similarly styled back up stories in the pages of Batman: Gotham Knights, which led to two more collections.
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