Batman and Joker’s European tour is coming to an end. In Batman: Europa #4 we’re going to learn who poisoned the two unlikely partners with a killer virus and tour Rome to boot! Sounds like a win-win situation, but is it good?
Batman: Europa #4 (DC Comics)
Batman and Joker’s blood is filled with a killer virus that’s slowly killing them and they’ve been tracking down the culprit across Europe. Last issue the virus hit them both so hard they couldn’t even see straight. They’ve been led without much in the way of definitive answers along the way and Batman knows the true villain wants to reveal himself this issue.
Why does this book matter?
Originally supposed to be published years ago this series is finally getting the proper conclusion it deserves. So far the art has been top notch and the story has been able to make the Joker/Batman teamup work. Let’s see how this thing ends shall we?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A satisfying conclusion is hard to come by but Batman: Europa serves up an extremely gratifying one. Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello not only introduce the city well as they’ve done in every issue, but they manage to make the Joker and Batman dynamic work splendidly. There’s even a solid message about their yin and yang/perpetual need for each other relationship that makes a lot of sense; in fact the virus itself ties into this and it’s satisfying to say the least. I was also surprised by the reveal of who poisoned them both and I’d love to know if anyone saw that coming.
Artist Gerald Parel does a fantastic job with the art as well. There’s a painterly quality that’s slightly hazy and weathered and gifts everything with a sense of storied importance. Batman himself looks chiseled and grizzled which suits the story given his weakened and dying state; at times he almost looks old, but that suits the scenes since we’re focused on the history of him and Joker coming to a head. Frankly there are panels that are worth putting up on your wall (for instance a walloping punch Batman delivers to the big bad with his cape flowing).
It can’t be perfect can it?
I don’t think enough attention was given to why the culprit of their virus was made. An all too brief reason is offered up but I just don’t buy it. I guess the main motive is jealousy? I was left wondering why which is unfortunate since Batman and Joker were sent around Europe just to be told they deserve each other.
Head 2 head!
Is It Good?
A satisfying conclusion with fantastic art and a solid point made about the everlasting equilibrium between Joker and Batman.