Batman Black & White: An Innocent Guy
DC Comics (posted to comiXology June, 2010)
WRITER/ARTIST: Brian Bolland
This short story (see my previous review of a story from this series, a bunch more got released for free on comiXology recently) focuses on a man using an old camcorder to tape his plan to kill Batman for no other reason than to see if he really wants to be good or evil. His thought is that he does one act of evil to prove to himself that he isn’t, as the title says, an innocent guy just because of the law or avoiding hell. We don’t see if he actually attempts it but at least he isn’t going to do the crime he planned to a little girl (nothing sexual though given what he was considering you’ll have to judge if it’s worse).
My personal thoughts were I didn’t enjoy the story. The man’s motivations are different than a usual Batman villain but it’s no less disturbing what’s going through his head. He somehow believes that he needs his evil act to be real evil and real big, even admitting he’d miss Batman when he’s dead but still considering going through with it. I would have rather seen it end with him rethinking it, realizing his own conscience was what was keeping him from killing Batman, or the Pope, or leaving a little girl to die in a sewer. Instead it ends with him saying he’d just go about his life. Again, this is my personal thoughts, I wasn’t a fan at all.
From a critical perspective however the story is brilliant. It’s just a short tale of a guy plotting to kill someone big just to see if he’s truly choosing of his own free will to be a good guy. The artwork is fantastic. Whatever my personal distaste is with the story as a critic I wouldn’t talk someone out of reading this one unless I know they’d have the same problem with it. On it’s own merits it really is a good story and otherwise worth checking out if you have the chance.