ComiXology offers a bunch of free comics, some samplers, some teasers, some promotions, some just free for the heck off it. Batman Black & White started in 1996 as an anthology of short stories by comics luminaries all in black and white, and then ran as a backup in Gotham Knights, and was resurrected in 2014. Mark Chiarello edited most of the stories as a throwback to an era when 8 pages was enough to make a great comics story. I think it was also a way for Chi to work with everyone he ever wanted to work with – and who can blame him because everyone wants to draw Batman.
Anyhoo, ComiXology has five of the short stories online for FREE.
Batman Black & White: A Black and White World by Neil Gaiman and Simon Bisley, a meta tale of characters who know they are in a comic book.
Batman Black & White: An Innocent Guy by Brian Bolland, about a devoted Batman fan.
Batman Black & White: Good Evening, Midnight by Klaus Janson, a spotlight on Alfred.
Batman Black & White: Perpetual Mourning by Ted McKeever, an unsettling tale about Batman performing an autopsy. (This story was nominated for an Esiner; it didn’t win although Batman B&W has won several including Best Anthology)
And Batman Black & White: Two of A Kind by Bruce Timm in which Harvey Dent has facial reconstruction surgery but things go terribly wrong.
Here’s a sneaky screencap of the Gaiman/Bisley story.
I should add trigger warning for violent themes and violence against women. Because it’s Batman. But if you can get past that, this is a nice little sampler of one of the best superhero anthologies of the last 20 years.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.