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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.