CONTENT WARNING: SPOILERS AND DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT As a …
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.
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.
What makes the Joker such an exciting villain isn’t just his diabolical deeds, but the way he acts as the perfect foil to Batman. The Caped Crusader is a dark and brooding shadow, bound by morals, rules, and logic. The Clown Prince of Crime is a manic, posturing madman, ruled by chaos, entropy, and a disregard for anything…including himself. Everything the Joker does is to make a point, or deliver a punchline even if it comes at his own expense. He knows no limits and pushes Batman to his own limitations like no our villain. The Joker is to Batman as Kurt Cobain was to Axl Rose, or as Aaron Burr was to Alexander Hamilton, a perfect antithesis in every imaginable way. Here’s a look back at 13 of the most iconic Joker moments. These are the moments that made the Joker the one of the most memorable and recognizable villains in all of fiction, across any medium.
Batman #40 features the battle to end all battles between Batman and the Joker drawn in gory detail by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki, but the scraps of dialogue between the blows and explosion are occasionally weighed down by exposition. Snyder does punch things up in the third act and leave Gotham and the Batman title as wide open as it’s been since the dawn of the New 52. He and Capullo make “Endgame” the dark mirror of Batman Eternal, and it’s interesting to see this storyline fit in the larger context of their run on Batman and the weekly series, which preceded it. Questionable plot devices aside, Batman #40 concludes the “Endgame” in a brutal, personal manner that really shakes up the status quo on this book.
Batman #39 is headed towards another meeting of greatest foes. The Joker has been ahead of Batman at every punch in this arc. To save Gotham Batman must prove again the Joker underestimated him. When it unfolds, Batman will have to become the aggressor and improviser that the Joker has been. If he fails, he’ll become the bat hanging upside down. The Joker has promised his best trick of all, Snyder will deliver.
Batman Year One was the first Batman (and DC) comic I read back in 2010. The things that stood out to me were the poetic nature of Frank Miller’s writing (mainly the caption boxes), the parts that Batman Begins homaged, and how Jim Gordon seemed to have more page time than Batman. After rereading this story a few times over the year, I realized that Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli could have named this story “Jim Gordon Year One” and his ups and downs as he goes from a do-gooder cop from Chicago to an overworked Gotham policeman who has an affair with one of his co-workers to an ally of Batman. His character arc is just as compelling and more down to earth than Batman’s. Letterer Todd Klein shows this more grounded story by using more traditional letters in contrast with the fancy cursive script he uses for Batman’s caption boxes. However, both characters have their share of great moments in “Batman Year One”, which is also a little bit of an origin story for Selina Kyle’s Catwoman too. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this highlight reel of the best parts of “Batman Year One” in chronological order.
After Bruce Wayne’s death in Final Crisis, DC Comics gave legendary comics creator and novelist Neil Gaiman the chance to pen one “last” Batman story in the vein of Alan Moore’s What Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, which was the last Superman story before Crisis on Infinite Earths. Equal parts love letter and thesis statement, Gaiman and artist Andy Kubert open the comic showing the usual Gotham City skyline, but with the names of important Batman creators, like Bill Finger and Jim Aparo in the background.