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Batman motion comic impresses, but is it worth your 99 cents?

Anyway, I finally got a chance to check out the first five episodes and my initial reaction after watching all five is bring on more. Now.

The Joker takes over the Gotham underworld

I first mentioned the Batman: Black and White Motion Comic a couple weeks back and went on bit about how much I'm in love with ol' Bats and how we're getting married and planning our lives together. Hmmm, actually I may not have mentioned the whole marriage and lives together thing...until now.

Anyway, I finally got a chance to check out the first five episodes on iTunes and my initial reaction after watching all five is bring on more. Now.

Black and White is a motion comic developed by Warner Premiere, and is a direct translation of the Batman: Black and White comic book anthology from the 90's which featured superstar writers and artists, like Paul Dini, Alex Ross and Dave Gibbons. They've basically taken the art and added subtle and not so subtle animation here and there to mostly great affect.

My favorite episodes are "Good Evening, Midnight" (from episode four), which includes narration by Thomas Wayne (Batman's dad) and is juxtaposed with Batman's actions from that night. This episode makes me wonder if Blizzard was inspired by it to make the Wrathintro. Then there's "Two of a Kind" (from episode two) starring Two-Face in an interesting love triangle with twin sisters. Two-Face has always been one of my favorite Batman characters, and he's used brilliantly here. My favorite of all, though, was called "Case Study" (also from episode two) and focused on the Joker. It has a great back story and asked the question of whether he really is insane or not.

I have to put in the good word about the music here. Each story had its own score, and each does a great job at establishing the mood.

Each of the episode includes two stories and the episodes range from a little over 6 minutes to over 11. Unlike Watchmen, there are multiple voice actors used, including thankfully, real female actors. The voices are fitting for the most part, although Batman's voice did take some getting used to it as it sounded a bit too sinister at times. Also, I'm more a Kevin Conroy and Christian Bale man myself. It wasn't until another great episode, "Perpetual Mourning" (included with episode five) that the voice really started to grow on me.

Like I said, I can't wait for the next episodes. These are very well-done short pieces of entertainment. Perhaps a little too short, however. Some episodes are as short as 6 minutes, and although they include at least two stories, $0.99 may not be worth it for such a small morsel. Doing the math however, $0.99 per six minutes works out to be about the cost of a $20, two-hour DVD.

If you're a Batman fan, get them. All of them. Now. If you're just curious, I'd say the second episode is worth trying and if you like that, you'll at least like the others.