Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Batman: Europa #1 of 4
Casali, Azzarello, Camuncoli, Lee & Sinclair
"Batman: Europa" is a four-part mini-series that partners Batman with The Joker. The initial issue is well written with a great artistic presentation but ultimately feels like just another Batman comic book. The good news is that this book takes a more classic view of Batman and doesn't seem to be tied to any continuity. Overall, I enjoyed this comic book and I am looking forward in seeing how it evolves.
The book opens with Batman and The Joker in a fist fight that seems to be on the verge of settling everything once and for all. This quickly ends and we seem to be in a flashback to how this story starts. Weak, Batman returns to his cave to find his computer has been infected. He and Alfred quickly determine that Batman is also infected. They trace the code in the computer to Germany, which puts Batman on a road trip.
Batman discovers that The Joker is involved in this deadly infection and he confronts the clown. They realize that they are both infected and they both have distinct pieces of information to potentially solve the case. The clock is ticking as they have less than a week to live.
The comic book uses a lot of caption boxes to tell the story. This actually plays out okay because it removes the setup aspects of the finer points of the story. One could argue that it takes away a lot of the detective work, but that has been going on with Batman in general at DC for years. I'm not sure a detective Batman book would fly these days. The book also brings the two sides quickly together. This could have easily been drawn out over six or eight issues but it is a much more condensed story.
The artwork is good. The comic has a painted look to it and it renders The Joker as a fearsome, but still clown-like figure. Overall, the art presents timeless looks to the characters, their surroundings and the objects they use, such as the Batmobile and Bat-puter. The comic has a very dark, but classic look to it.
"Batman: Europa" kicks off the four-part mini-series with a classic rendering of Batman and The Joker. The pair are infected with a deadly disease and appear to need each other in order to solve the case. The comic book has a painted, but classic look to the artwork as the book has a timelessness to it. The comic book doesn't break any story barriers and does feel like any number of other Batman stories that have come before it. If you are looking for a more classic version of Batman that is continuity free and involves The Joker then this comic is one to check out. I recommend giving it a look.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles