Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Batman Europa #4 review and *SPOILERS*

Veleno, Burlone, e il Pipistrillo

Written By: Brian Azzarello, Mateo Casali 
Art By: Gerald Parel
Layout: Giussepe Camuncoli
Cover Price: $4.99 
Release Date: February 5, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom* 

Here we are! The end of Batman and Joker's lackluster road trip across Europe. When we last left our heroes, they failed to save Nina, and a man who dressed as the amalgamation of Joker and Batman had left them a clue in the form of burning coals. This leads Batman and Joker on the road to "where all roads lead"...Rome.
To say I haven't liked this series would probably be a HUGE understatement.  The story is bland, the Joker just stands around and looks pretty most of the time, and we don't get one friggin' hint at who is causing all this trouble. I wouldn't even be surprised if we got NO answers this issue and were left with some kind of ambiguous ending!Is that what happens? Let's finish this...

After, hey big shock a minature history lesson of Rome, We find our main characters going back and forth about WHO could have possibly sent them down this path of insanity. Joker quips on how having the villain reside in italy makes perfect sense, as some of the worlds greatest villains such as Nero and Mussolini resided there. Batman shuts him up as they enter the colliseum. Thats where they find the faux Batman costume burning, and the white haired man across from them. He is shocked to see the pair ask who he is, as they know him....thats when he pulls out his mask, throws off his coat...and reveals his identity.

At this point, I realized how much sense this would have made if they just hinted it more. Bane hates the Batman and Joker almost equally. He tries to break the Batman physically, and in this he tries to break his spirit the one way he could having Batman basically babysit a psychopath...Great concept, it should have been executed better.

The fight begins, and Batman pieces it all together in his mind as Bane begins to beat down the pair. After playing a hunch, he begs Bane not to kill Joker, and he laments the fact that Batman cannot live without his greatest enemy. He then reveals that Joker LET Nina die, which I suppose would have tried to turn Batman on Joker...if Batman trusted him at all. As Batman gets his turn for the beating,  Joker confirms the hunch by begging Bane to kill Batman...which Bane is confused about...I don't know why he is, this is the homicidal payaso after all.

In that moment of confusion, Batman clicks a sonic emitter which brings all the bats of Rome flying in to help finish the fight. Thats when he is left with one final choice. It turns out that our duo's blood is the cure for the other person. Batman needs to drink Joker's blood and vice versa. This part is my favorite as we see Batman actually considering death. He knows that if he dies, the evil of the Joker would die too...This would be a fantastic way to end the series. An ambiguous note on what will happen to the two monsters of Gotham....but Joker decides to take that away and just wipe some blood off Bats' face to drink. We end the series with Batman taking down the Joker, without worry of any disease killing him...claiming he has a smile on his face...creepy.

The art this issue definitely took a huge step up from last issue. This had the color that made Giussepe Camuncoli's issue look great, but also had the scale and shadows that made Diego Latorre's settings look amazing. I'll admit it, I thought this book was going to look like garbage after Jim Lee leaving the first issue, but the art really is the draw to this story....because the story ain't that good to begin with.

Bits and Pieces
The ending of this mini-series can be summed up as "Okay". We had a kick ass battle with the surprise twist of an antagonist and Batman questioning if he should just let go and die. However I kept finding myself asking "Why did this have to take place in Europe?" and "How come we didn't get any hints on the antagonist until now?" The art once again compliments and gives the feeling of Europe, but thats not enough to make this story, and this series fun

Series Score

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