This was a definite improvement from the last issue, I can tell you that much. The five stories enclosed were written with a more convincing premise and a fairly justifiable resolution. Batman Black and White as a title is supposed to compose of self-contained stories or anecdotes revolving around Gotham's caped crusader and/or his villains, or even his interactions with the common man or the garden-variety thugs he hunts down at night. The last issue suffered the usual faults faced by writers when it came to the flash fiction formula where delivery is often a hit and miss because you are only given a short amount of space to properly convey a story with a precision and this could potentially reveal the weaknesses of your storytelling structure.
But this issue just shows that flash fiction, when greatly nuanced despite its brevity, can leave readers with a sense of contentment even if what they read only happen for five to six pages (since this is a comic book, the visual presentation is considered; but in mere prose writing, flash fiction can vary from one sentence to half a page of paper). With that said, the stories for this issue must therefore be commended, as well as their collaborators.
The reason the formula worked for the five stories in this issue is because they focused primarily on what-if scenarios that were delivered with an awareness of the Batman mythos; especially on how Batman operates both as a crime fighter and a man with a secret.
The stories all presented situations that long-time readers or fans of the Bat have contemplated or talked about at least once, like how does the presence of Batman affect your average gangster; what other tricks does Batman have under his sleeve in case of emergencies (e.g. having his secret location discovered and how he would deal with it); does Batman stand for more than just the punishment for crime--is there any other way he could make a difference even just as Bruce Wayne himself?
These are a handful of scenarios that the five stories were able to tackle, and that is why this issue of Batman Black and White was insightful in the best way you could imagine, and has left me with a lingering satisfaction once I finished. It's worth noting that therein lies the beauty and challenge of writing a flash fiction; the limitation of the literary style strips all the other gimmicks a writer could employ to make his narrative effective. And when done well, like in this issue, it becomes absolutely impressive.
* I'm reserving a perfect score for the upcoming issues but this one has raised the bar and set the standards for me.