Batman Black & White: Perpetual Mourning
DC Comics (posted to comiXology June, 2010)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ted McKeever
The framing is Batman doing an autopsy on a woman who was murdered. I’m not sure even Batman could get to do that alone but that’s not the point of the story. The point is to see Batman’s mind during the autopsy, looking for clues because he’s primarily a detective, not a coroner. There’s an attempt to connect this with a ballroom dance but at first I thought she had been dancing with her murderer prior to said murder. I think it’s supposed to be symbolic of Batman’s investigation or the dialog he has about keeping the memories of the ones he didn’t save with him, but it didn’t really work for me. And of course we again don’t get to see how the story plays out.
I think that’s my only problem with this series. I know that the point are these little moments fleshing out the Batman’s world and sometimes even Batman himself, but I keep coming away feeling the story is incomplete. Outside of a visit to a diner that provides her identity we don’t see Batman or anyone else bring the killer in. Most of the story is either the autopsy or the symbolic dance. Critically speaking it’s well done and McKeever did what he wanted to do. The art is mostly good but there is one panel where the waitress identifies the woman, a regular patron, where it looks like her face disappears in the mid-shot.
.From a critical perspective I can’t really say anything bad about it and it might be worth a read if the concept of this series intrigues you. From a personal perspective it’s just not what I’m looking for and it leave me feeling like part of the story is untold, which has been the case of most of these stories. Still, if it sounds like your thing, check it out.