Perfection in three colors
Who knew that using only three colors could produce unique, interesting stories? The “Black, White & Blood” series explores a variety of superhero stories through only three colors: black, white, and red. My first introduction to this style was “Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood,” but I also managed to get my hands on a copy of “Wolverine: Black, White & Blood.” It also just so happens they are my two favorite Marvel Superheroes!
Each issue in the series contains three different stories by different storytellers and have minimal connection between each other, besides some shared elements. I think this works to the benefit of the stories; the unique art styles aren’t bound to a consistent story, so they are free to explore whatever they want to fully take advantage of the unique series.
The “Moon Knight” series starts off with a sci-fi story that is co-written by one of my favorite Marvel writers, Jonathan Hickman. I’d say it’s pretty standard Hickman work, but I felt like the art was a bit weak in this story compared to the rest of the series.
The lackluster start, though, immediately makes way for some really interesting stories that involve other characters. Spider-Man and Deadpool make an early appearance in the second story of issue one and really fit in with the color scheme (given they are red and black). Doctor Strange makes his appearance in the first story of issue two as a minor character.
One of the things that stuck out to me almost immediately was the stark contrast between some of the stories. At times, a story makes a joke about space spaghetti being soggy while another has Moon Knight trying to free himself from being Khonshu’s Avatar. This is only possible because of the jumps between stories.
One of my favorites from this collection is the second story from issue two, “A Hard Day’s Knight.” It depicts the bleeding Marc Spector showing up to Ruby’s Diner and having himself a nice meal with the other personalities that live inside him. I love the art style used in this comic and the color scheme really stands out. It’s an equally light and dark story and highlights what I feel to be every aspect of Moon Knight and why I like him as a character so much.
Similar to its “Moon Knight” counterpart, “Wolverine’s” stories are also independent of each other and feature characters from other Marvel stories. One aspect of “Wolverine” that I really liked is how it tells stories from a variety of points in his life. The first story is when Logan was still part of Project X, his origin story, and another story focuses on the time of his life when he called himself “Patch” in Madripoor.
One of the initial things that scared me about getting into comics is the sheer volume of stories that are out there and the prerequisite knowledge to get into them. “Black, White & Blood” excels at making things approachable. While some of the stories take place at important times in other stories, this series feels relatively well-contained, which I really like.
Another difference from “Moon Knight” is that these stories feel a lot more action-driven than story-driven, which I feel suits the respective stories very well. Like other “Wolverine” stories, these stories have some priceless action panels — I’m a sucker for Wolverine’s claws protruding from the top of some bad guy’s head. The colors do a really good job of highlighting the action; the artists really went over the top for these stories, and I absolutely love it.
Overall, the “Black, White & Blood” series is one to check out regardless of how involved you are with Marvel Comics and the character stories. They’re easy reads and just look really, really good. If you get a chance to read any of them, give it a shot!