Written By: Brian Azzarello, Mateo Casali
Art By: Jim Lee
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Well with the New 52 imprint gone, this story came out of the shadows, ready to tell the story of a desperate Batman traveling to Europe in an attempt to cure him of a deadly ailment...That's all I really know about the story itself. Jim asked me to review it and my first response was, "The %$#!'s a Europa?" But if Azzarello is writing and Lee is doing the art, It seems like the equation for a good comic!
Is it though? Lets dive in and find out...
We actually open up to Batman and Joker near the end of their tale, and we get a glimpse at how bad the actual virus that has infected them is. It's also a great visual to see both characters' reactions towards their demise. While Batman tries to fight, knowing that Gotham needs it's protector even though he's an ocean away, and Joker just laughs darkly at the scenario.
We then hop back to the beginning of the story, where Batman is fighting Killer Croc, but is noting that it's taking more time than usual. He soon is able to defeat the creature, but he begins to cough and Alfred calls him back to the cave.
When Bruce returns to see that his computer has come down with an infection called Colossus...but then sends the message that implies that its actually Bruce who is sick. The Colossus disease will weaken the infected till death by the end of the week. The visual symptom is that the skin will turn red and climb up the body until they look like an irish kid at the beach without sun screen.
Alfred backtraces the computer virus and learns that it was sent from Berlin in Germany, to which Bruce notes that it has been a very long time since he had been...to which I wonder what kind of adventures that he was on.
This is the part that is the only drawback to this issue. It is paced very slowly in terms of action. It takes twelve pages to get from the cave to finding out Joker is kind of on a crazy path in the city, and then finding him in Berlin. That entire thing could have been accomplished in two or three pages. So what was the deal with that? What took up twelve pages? It is actually a combination of lovely scenery drawn by Jim Lee and Batman talking about the history of Berlin. It made me feel like that I was getting a tour of the city....but I actually was interested.
I think the main reason why is the fact that Jim Lee is doing the art. His work makes the city of Berlin look beautiful and realistic. The characters are drawn well too, with the little lines located on the skin of the characters helping with little details.
Anyway when Batman arrives in Berlin, he tries to follow a criminal to a club where he could question about the virus that infected the bat-computer. Unfortunately he finds the club caught a bad case of the Joker gas, meaning the Joker is in town. He searches the city, finally finding him with a woman, who turns out to be the one who sent the virus...convenient.
We learn that the reason the Joker is in Europe is the same reason Batman is: He's infected with Colossus. He was told where the woman who sent the virus was, thinking it was the one who sent the sickness. Add that to the fact Bruce apparently knows how the sickness was spread, but not where the woman was, Bruce deduces what needs to be done. We end it with Joker confirming that the pair needs to work together to find the cure before it kills them.