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Killer Croc stands at a stove, cooking, only to turn, and see Batman waiting in the darkness behind him, in Batman: Black & White #1 (2020). Image: G. Willow Wilson, Greg Smallwood/DC Comics

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The new Batman: Black & White series is unbelievably gorgeous

And it should be read all over

Batman: Black & White is a venerable title at DC Comics, that distinguishes itself from any old Batman book in two ways: It’s always a limited anthology series, a place for writers to take Batman in any direction in around eight pages, and the stories must be in black, white, and greyscale, giving pencillers and inkers alike the challenge of delivering striking, readable art without the aid of a colorist.

DC kicked off the newest incarnation of the series this week, and already Batman: Black & White #1 is a keeper. I couldn’t decide which story in it was my favorites, so you’re getting panels from two, starting with G. Willow Wilson and Greg Smallwood’s Killer Croc story above, which, not to spoil anything, is for all the Shape of Water fans out there.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Batman: Black & White #1

A ninja of the League of Assassins aims a lightning fast punch at Batman in slow motion. “He sees it coming,” thinks the ninja, as Batman slowly turns, “too late... but as he turns... his eyes lock with min. In time for him to understand.” The panels are all white, black, and greyscale, with a hand-made quality to the marker art, in Batman: Black & White #1, DC Comics (2020). Image: James Tynion IV, Tradd Moore/DC Comics

I think I’ve reached a point with artist Tradd Moore where I will read literally anything the guy does. I love how handmade these panels look, with the strokes of his marker preserved in the final printing rather than smoothed over with computer gradients. James Tynion mostly gets out of the way and lets Moore do his thing here, and the partnership is beautiful.


The uniformed and masked-up agents of SWORD prepare to enter a giant green vortex they created on their space station. “The six stand by the shore,” read giant letters, “This far shore, this farthest point of all. And then farther. Farther still. Into the mystery,” in SWORD #1, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti/Marvel Comics

Hey. SWORD #1 is a very good comic in which the X-Men are extremely cool and also break a bunch of cosmic laws to retrieve a tiny pyramid of black ... stuff. We have no idea what this means but I expect it’s gonna get real weird.

The Comic Book History of Animation #1

Four panels describe an early relationship with Walt Disney and Margaret Mintz, a rare woman with some power in the early animation industry, until her new husband took over her entire business, in The Comic Book History of Animation #1, IDW Publications (2020). Image: Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunalvey/IDW Publications

Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunalvey are back with another Comic Book History series, this time about American animation. I always appreciate their series for telling me things I didn’t know in fascinating ways, and not skimping on giving overlooked figures their due.

Marauders #16

Screaming, Sebastian Shaw leaps as he leaps out of a second story window and lands with a WOMP. “Oh my gosh! You okay, Mr. Shaw?” exclaims Glob Herman. Kitty Pryde phases through the front door of the building, “Oh, hi, Glob,” grabs Shaw’s leg, and drags him, groaning, back inside, “Bye, Glob.” Glob flees, in Marauders #16, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli/Marvel Comics

Readers have been waiting with bated breath for Kitty Pryde to finally enact revenge on Sebastian Shaw for trying to permanently murder her, and Marauders #16 did not disappoint. His fate is both deserved and horrifying.

Home Sick Pilots #1

In a double page spread that is also a cutaway diagram of a dilapidated house, two groups of teenagers converge on one another from their opposite points of ingress, in Home Sick Pilots #1, Image Comics (2020). Image: Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard/Image Comics

Brand new to shelves, Home Sick Pilots combines shitty teens, punk rock music, and a really haunted house. I really dug this first issue. Double page spreads like this? They’re catnip to us comics critics.

Guardians of the Galaxy #9

Peter Quill meets a duo of sexy blue aliens who live on the back of a flying turtle as it zooms through a magenta landscape, in Guardians of the Galaxy #9, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Al Ewing, Juann Cabal/Marvel Comics

In this week’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Starlord — who everybody thinks is dead — went on a cross dimensional journey for god knows how many years where he formed a sexy space adventurer throuple with these blue folks. They even had a kid. This all seems caught up in some Cosmic Destiny Thing Peter Quill is going through. Anyway, he’s done with all that now and got back to the main Marvel setting just in time for King in Black.

Venom #31

“Don’t let me die alone,” begs a nearly naked Eddie Brock as he falls from a NYC skyscraper in Venom #31, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Donny Cates, Iban Coello/Marvel Comics

Speaking of the big Venom crossover going on right now, Donny Cates and Iban Coello had Eddie Brock fall off of a building for an entire issue and I actually think it works pretty good.


Here’s your first look at season 2 of DC’s slice-of-life Batman family comic


Mad magazine returns to celebrate its 70th birthday


Batman’s alternate personality with terrible fashion sense is back with a vengeance

View all stories in DC

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