A limp episode ends with a twist that may inject enough energy to jolt the next episode to something more closely resembling entertainment.
With clever dialogue and rapid plotting of Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, the fierceness, cuteness, and sadness of Babs Tarr’s art, and the battle of genres and tones created by colorists Lee Loughridge and Serge Lapointe, Batgirl #48 is an excellent outing for the title, and there are more cool reveals to come. There is definitely a lot of darkness to endure before the colorful fun returns. If it ever does.
Batman Europa #3 is stunning and fun. When I reviewed the last issue, I stated that the art was the reason to pick up the book. This issue really turned around my view of what writers Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello were trying to accomplish with the arc. They’ve really found their footing, and I am anxiously waiting for next issue’s conclusion if it finishes anywhere near as strongly as this issue.
With the clock winding down and with only 3 issues in the War to go, not all of the characters are at the forefront in Justice League #47, but it works lest the already packed title become overstuffed with players. With the main artist back on to finish the event, the “Darkseid War” should begin to wrap up character arcs and pick up steam to change the landscape of DC Universe in issue 50.
The Dark Knight III #2 has some wooden dialogue and a chase scene that is a little too similar to last issue’s magnificent one, but it does a great job establishing the characters of Carrie Kelly’s Batman and Lara while setting up the conflict between humanity and the Master Race. The Wonder Woman backup story is a real treat and positions Diana as a wild card in the issues to come in her roles as both warrior and mother. (Risso nails this part of her as she swings a sword with a baby slung on her back.)
The art of Batman Europa is visually stunning. The artwork of Giuseppe Camuncoli takes center stage for the majority of the book. Camuncoli has a bold, artistic style that really carries the story. The story leaves a little something to be desired. Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello take a simple premise and take it global with major cities in Europe. While the first 2 issues make the arc a slow burn, the art alone makes the book worthy of picking up.
Like Barbara Gordon’s agile mind, writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher tend to balance several plot threads in each Batgirl issue, and this one is no exception. The three main ones are real estate developers using teenagers in various street gangs to drive out tenants so they can gentrify Burnside, Stephanie Brown aka Spoiler getting a bounty put on her because she witnessed Eiko Hasigawa (Catwoman’s lover during Genevieve Valentine’s run on the book) executing mob leaders, and also her continued lapses of memory, which might have led to a scientific breakthrough. Although, Stewart and Fletcher’s plot has a lot of moving parts, it comes organically out of character relationships and the dark, lovely world they have crafted through thirteen issues with artist Babs Tarr, colorist Serge Lapointe, and other collaborators.
The heroes seem to stack up well against the villains of their counterparts. There is a nice scene in which Shredder threatens Gotham, and the Turtles dispatch of Killer Croc and his goons rather quickly. Splinter also makes a brief appearance right before Donatello geeks out over the Batmobile. All in all, the book is fun. Williams’ art is amazing, and every page pops. The characters all look like they’ve been hand painted, and the style is so unique that you can’t quite place the story in either world. The plot is simple enough, but the character interactions and interesting art is why this book is a must read. There is enough in the book to sate both the Batman and TMNT fan in everyone.
The Dark Knight III #1 is bombastic in its themes and scale and type of art drawn by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson. There are ideological differences between gods and mortals, the law and citizens hinted at or show vividly on the page with blood flowing like red wine on the Gotham rooftops leading to the kind of conflict that spawns one of the biggest, final page cliffhangers in recent memory.