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Review: Batman Europa #1

EUROPA_SKETCH

“Strange Deadfellows”

Ok, so this book has been an 11 year wait but was it worth it? Yes. Now I know that’s a lot of expectation to have but it met mine. Essentially this is a team up book. It just so happens to have the most unlikely arch-enemy team of all time: Batman and the Joker.

What could make these two team up you say? Well how about a situation where both their lives depend on it. Literally. Now this won’t play out like Beverly Hills Cop or any other buddy drama, but it should be interesting enough. Especially if it’s played right we should get some good entertaining moments.

We start our tale on the streets of Gotham, where amidst heavy narration, Batman is kicking the scales off Killer Croc. (Is it me or does Jim Lee love drawing Killer Croc in every Batman story? Plus he’s looking more and more like the Daemonites from WildCats here) It’s a battle he’s had time and time again but this time it’s different. This time it’s tougher. Only Croc knows it. He can sense Batman slowing down. Despite his sluggishness, Batman finishes the fight and heads back to the Batcave to regroup.

When he gets there he sees that Alfred (good to see he has both hands) has dire news for him. Apparently there is a virus called Colossus that has infected the Batcomputer and Bruce wonders how it could be. The message on the screen says you are infected and you have one week left. Alfred wonders if it’s a computer virus at all because Bruce is coughing heavily and is looking gravely ill. Bruce wonders how he could have contracted such a disease and who could have possibly infected him? He sets out for Berlin to find answers.

When Batman gets to Berlin, he wastes no time looking for information and roughs up some of the local riff raff to do it. Meanwhile we get the Joker who is already in Berlin and Batman bursts in on him just in time to save a young girl the Joker was going to kill. Or so he thought. It turns out that the Joker is in the same boat as our hero and has been infected as well. Which leads to a very unholy alliance…

Overall: Like I said this was a very long wait. I’m just glad it’s finally here. Despite being highly anticipated, the creative team here offers up a fun out of continuity tale that shows a lot of early promise. The art is gorgeous here with the great (and DC Head Honcho) Jim Lee doing the pencils. What I really enjoyed though is the watercolor style (thanks to Alex Sinclair) used instead of crisp digital colors. It gave the book a more gritty and serious tone and I would like to see this technique explored more often. As for the plot, while it isn’t the deepest I’ve seen it moved very well and has me very interested in seeing who is the mastermind behind this evil scheme. Is it a classic or all new bat foe? Brian Azzarello always crafts a good mystery and I don’t think he will disappoint this time. Hopefully the rest of the chapters come out on time. Till next time it appears the cave is going to get a little crowded and I hope Alfred doesn’t wash Bruce’s tights with Joker’s purple suit…

Story: Brian Azzarello  Art: Jim Lee and Giuseppe Camuncoli 
Story: 7.5  Art: 9.9  Score: 9  Reccomendation: Buy

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