When comics' writer Grant Morrison assumed authorship of the Dark Knight's legends in 2006, he stated in a Newsarama interview (which I can no longer access from their site, sadly) that he "wanted to see a psychologically 'healthier' Batman... [one that] combines the cynic, the scholar, the daredevil, the businessman, the superhero, the wit, the lateral thinker, the aristocrat." Batman: The Black Glove occurs midway through the run in which he accomplished that and much more. His approach to the character, that has undergone serious deconstruction throughout the eighties and nineties, is to reconstruct him; bringing to light Batman's best parts, while reconciling his paradoxical contradictions.
The subtlety is breathtaking for anyone familiar with the 70-plus year history of the character. Morrison seamlessly invokes the "Batman fighting space aliens" stories of Batman in the fifties alongside the "Bruce Wayne as corporate philanthropist and socialite" elements of the Steve Englehart-Marshall Rogers era of the seventies. By faithfully restoring characters like Talia and Man-Bat into the modern age with powerful reverence for the source material, Morrison navigates the cul-de-sacs of our scrutiny and effortlessly appeases our demands for stories that fit within our (often over-zealous) need for logical continuity and "realism". This is what good comic writing produces: building new stories from antecedent, rather than ignoring them or worse, defaming them.
Perhaps the highest credit of Morrison's venerated run must be paid to the marriage of his words with the artwork of J.H. Williams III in the first half of the book. Williams is perhaps the best talent for evoking the emotional content of the Black Glove storyline. His work is as strong as anything he's done before (i.e. Alan Moore's Promethea), and it's unfortunately all the stronger against the less powerful work in the second half of the book, by artist Tony S. Daniel. This is not to say that Daniel isn't good. His work has come a long way since his early-nineties' X-Force run for Marvel, and it's in tight form here, but it brings the esoteric storylines back down to an almost procedural level, as if Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream had been directed as a televised episode of Law & Order, rather than for the cinema; both are enjoyable, but the approach does not necessarily best fit the other's intended audience. Regardless, Daniel does perform competently and it is not his skill that compromises the effect of his contribution, only that his work seems miscast against the complexity of the writing.
It's difficult to effectively review a book which sits in the middle of a series' storyline on its own merits but, nevertheless, even if you don't pick up the rest of his run (Batman and Son, Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul, and the final chapter, Batman R.I.P.) you still won't be disappointed by this peek at Grant Morrison's rich approach to one of comics' most enduring legends. Batman: The Black Glove is self-contained enough to be appreciated at face value by most casual readers, while giving Batman enthusiasts the concentration and depth of ideas we should be demanding from the entire comics' media, not just the superhero genre.