Robot 6

DC’s ‘Batman: Black and White’ returns in September

Batman: Black and White #1, by Marc Silvestri

Batman: Black and White #1, by Marc Silvestri

DC Comics will resurrect its well-regarded anthology Batman: Black and White beginning in September with six double-sized issues.

Originally published in 1996 as a four-issue miniseries, the anthology was the brainchild DC’s Vice President of Art Direction & Design Mark Chiarello, then a Batman Group editor, who sought out such top creators as Bruce Timm, Joe Kubert, Bill Sienkiewicz, Neil Gaiman, Ted McKeever and Katsuhiro Otomo to offer their own interpretations of the Dark Knight — in black and white.

The concept was revived in 2000 as a series of backup features in Batman: Gotham Knights, featuring contributions by the likes of Alex Ross, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Paul Pope, Steve Rude, Harlan Ellison, Paul Grist, Darwyn Cooke, Jill Thompson and Mike Mignola. That title ended in 2006, but several Batman: Black and White have since been adapted as motion comics by Warner Premiere and DC Entertainment, and inspired numerous statues released by DC Direct.

According to the solicitation text provided to MTV Geek, September’s Batman: Black and White #1 will feature stories by Chip Kidd and Michael Cho, Neal Adams, Joe Quinones and Maris Wicks, John Arcudi and Sean Murphy, and Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee. Priced at $4.99, the 48-page first issue is scheduled to arrive Sept. 4.

1:25 Variant cover by TBD
1:200 B&W Variant cover by MARC SILVESTRI
“We Can Be Heroes” Blank variant cover also available.
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 48 pg, 1 of 6, B&W, $4.99 US • RATED T

The legendary, Eisner Award-winning series BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE returns in a brand-new six-issue miniseries featuring tales of The Dark Knight by some of comics’ greatest writers and artists! This first issue kicks off with stories by Chip Kidd and Michael Cho, Neal Adams, Joe Quinones and Maris Wicks, John Arcudi and Sean Murphy, and Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee!



I spoke to Dave Bullock at the WizardWorld Philly convention over the weekend. He said he had an 8-page Batman story coming up, but couldn’t say where/when/how it was appearing. He thought it would be announced in San Diego. But I’m guessing this it. Just not in the 1st issue.

By the way, Dave Bullock — man does some gorgeous work. I bought a few prints of his, and was reminded he directed the JL: New Frontier animated adaptation.

That Silvestri cover is nice, but man, nothing beats that pin-up he did of Batman on a throne he did for the original Batman B&W. One of the most gorgeous, hyper-detailed things I’ve ever seen him draw.

Also, with all that “villain month” garbage, it’s nice to see there’s at least *something* from DC to look forward to in September.

Because there aren’t enough Batman books already, right?

Good point…it is kind of a shame that they’re shipping this the same month they’re, um, “sixteen-tuple” shipping the Bat-books. I hope it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

While the cover is totally tone-inappropriate for the kind of artists contained within, this is the best DC news I’ve read in ages. As the villain month makes me consider dropping BATMAN and BATMAN & ROBIN, this could be a nice fix to tide me over!

Don’t care!
They should actually resurrect Dixon & Nolan’s Batman!
Nolan’s series is heavily inspired on their work and with the spotlight on Bane from the last movie, we should have finally got “Vengeance of Bane III”.

Wow… At least, there will be something very ‘serious’ to buy and read from DC for September. I sign for it!!!

And if they can do the same thing with Superman and Wonder Woman, then it will be really OK!!! I know, it’s just a dream…

But why not a true monthly black/white anthology book??? That will sell well.


DC will make some good bank on this… AFTER it gets collected in trade.

I don’t think it’ll stand out much because of DC’s theme month.

The extra dollar charged — despite being black-and-white “print” — is because the lower amounts of people who buy this comic will STILL buy it despite a higher price tag and no color. That at least allows DC to break even on printing the comic format version… They’ll really make money on the collected edition.

The series will probably be better just on the principle of NOT being slavish or tied in to the present Bat-continuity… The better stories usually aren’t.

I don’t think there’s enough interest to do Black-and-White DC series continually. Better off being a once-in-a-while thing.
This business of milking a good concept has destroyed other otherwise good concept lines like “Elseworlds,” not that DC still doesn’t do out-of-continuity stories… The Elseworlds brand name may have been partly abandoned due to some fans with the mentality that “every story has to fit some place, somewhere in the timeline.” Can’t sell these kinds of comics to continuity-obsessive people with no imagination or ability to comprehend time travel and alternative reality stories IF they’re labeled as imaginary, right? => IRONY: Aren’t MOST comics imaginary stories set in alternate realities at any rate? LOL (Stupidity is funny sometimes…)

DC and Marvel do these cross-line, crossover series because they know the collector zombies will lap it all up…
And those collector zombies prove them right most of the time. There will always be “speculator fans” who occasionally pop in but it’s those series-/character-addicted fans who collect all issues at all costs that the companies aim at with line-wide storylines.

The monthly comics themselves aren’t worth it (to me at any rate; many others would agree with me) precisely because many plots, characters, ideas, etc. have been milked past-the-point of death. Gotta keep that engine going even if it needs to be overhauled and a sparkplug or two replaced!

Much as I prize some traditions and a good overall sense of quality, these companies are businesses far above being art producers and will do whatever they deem is necessary to make the most money possible at the present moment and keep the engine running, quality and good sense be damned!
The long-term prospects for the health of the comics industry do NOT look good to me, superhero movies or not… Too many people are distracted by the $$$ signs to see how rotted the publishing/printing part of the industry is. No new ideas, overly concentrated in one genre, and exploring diversification in the wrong sense (political correctness, altering continuity history for ill-conceived editorial agendas, adult situations and “relevance” issues in books that should be fantasy) at the expense of quality.

1990s all over again…

I wonder how many people will be left after the next bubble burst THIS time?
Right now, it really stands at around 100,000 fans or less… It was around 250k+ 30 years ago, maybe up to 300,000… It probably dipped to below 80k+ in the late 1990s, early 2000s.
Marvel certainly figured out a formula that got people back but it’s starting to wear thin despite the success.
DC, as usual, remains clueless…
How much abuse and exploitation will people take before larger numbers of them DON’T come back…?

I wonder how much of the paycheck is going into this hobby because it sure ain’t cheap anymore!

The very first “Black & White” series was spectacular and I love the talent line-up they announced for this. I’m in.

DC, please make sure one of the issues contains the 5 stories originally printed only in the 2nd TPB of the Black and White series that were said at the time to also run in the backup B&W series that was part of Gotham Knights which ended before they did it.

I’d really like to read those stories without needing to look for that book full of stories I already own.

Those b&w stories are great done in one stories by some of the industry’s best.

Automatic buy.

Even if this sounds good, the way DC is flooding the market with Batman books in September is pretty nauseating.

Yes!! More good, done-in-one, out-of-continuity stories? I’m there!

@Luca – You get half your wish for Villains Month!!!

Graham Nolan is artist on…. wait for it… the BANE one-shot! :)

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