What’s a more intriguing team-up than Batman and the Joker? How about Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee? The good news: We get both team-ups with the highly-anticipated debut of Batman: Europa, DC COMICS’ four-issue epic-to-be.
This book features a promising premise. It pulses with potential. Batman tracks the person responsible for infecting him with a deadly virus, only to find that his greatest nemesis, the Joker, has not only been infected, too, but actually ahead of Batman in regards to tracking down the culprit.
Joining Azzarello is writer Matteo Casali. The pair has produced a lean Batman script. Casali and Azzarello write economically. They capture the voices of Batman and Joker as well as anyone has in recent history. These just aren’t classic incarnations of Batman and the Joker, they are timeless reiterations.
Lee’s pencils and finishes flash with brilliance, but it is Giuseppe Camuncoli’s layouts and Alex Sinclair’s colors that steal the show. This cinematic experience may be found on the page, yet it will live and breathe in your mind. Lee and Camuncoli are a dynamic pairing. What Azzarello and Casali do with their writing, Lee and Camuncoli do with the art – knock it out of the park.
Although the structure and pacing of this story begs questions, this is definitely a book worth picking up. You will be hard-pressed finding a more beautiful book on the shelves. A straightforward, yet cerebral continuity-free Batman narrative. This book is a breath of fresh air.