Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Batman Europa #1

Is this the Jim Lee Didn't Make His Deadline So Just Print Whatever He's Done So Far Variant?

I have no idea what this comic book is about but it says Batman on the cover so I was obligated to buy it. Plus it's a Joker story! This will probably be one of those stories that will define the Batman/Joker relationship for the current generation of comic book fans in much the way all of those other super important Joker stories defined it for previous generations. You know those stories? The ones I can't think of right now? I think one had a smiling goldfish or something? And one of them redefined Batgirl pretty seriously. And one of them was Cesar Romero! And one of them was voiced by Mark Hamill! And probably some other ones that you're screaming at your computer screen right now and adding, "Grandmaster Comic Book Reader my grandmother's asshole!" You're so filthy!

This issue begins with an ending because that's totally clever and post-whatever. It's the kind of thing a writer comes up with while sipping his white mocha with a hint of raspberry and staring at the ceiling of his non-Starbucks local coffee house while chewing on the end of a pencil that the writer only uses for thinking. Then the writer goes, "A-ha! I've got it! I'll begin the story by saying, 'This is how the story ends!' Fucking brilliantly clever! Over the top! Grade the best! Where's my pat-myself-on-the-back machine?!"

When I turn the page, The Joker and Batman had better be engaged in really rough sex because I'm pretty sure that both Batman and Joker knew their relationship would, at some point, end in violence.

Batman mentions that he can hardly breathe and The Joker is laughing. Apparently they're both dying but I'm not sure if it's because they were fighting or fuckfighting. Crossing my fingers for the fuckfighting twist!

I will give all of my money to Azzarello and Casali if Batman and The Joker kiss passionately on the next page!

Dammit! I have to keep my money!

What Batman/Joker story has yet to be told that this four issue miniseries was too important not to publish? Does everybody have to write a "Last Joker Story" or a "Last Batman Story"?! It must be a rite of passage. And since Batman will never die because DC Comics loves money (who doesn't?!), everybody gets to write their take on a final Batman story. And usually that story includes The Joker because he's Batman's funhouse mirror image.

The Batman and Joker dying part was one of those false starts comic books love to use because they know most comic book readers will grow bored with a story if they don't feel anchored to a scene deeper in the story. Now after reading the part about Batman and Joker dying, readers will feel comfortable as they plod steadily along thinking, "Oh boy! Oh boy! I can't wait until that part where Batman and The Joker are about to die! It's so exciting! When it happens, I might pump my fist in the air and yell, 'Yeah!' Then I'll find somebody to high five and point out how awesome the moment was because I knew it was going to happen and then it happened and I was all, 'I knew that was going to happen!'"

The real beginning is a fight between Batman and Killer Croc. And even though Killer Croc is far stronger than Batman, Batman beats him down yet again. Because--as Batman points out early so readers don't sit there thinking, "Wait a second! How come Killer Croc isn't breaking every single one of Batman's bones with every punch? This isn't very realistic at all!"--Killer Croc has no skill! He's just a brawler without any experience! He punches like a guy who needs a coach to teach him how to punch.

But Batman barely wins because there's something wrong! No way! What could be wrong with Batman?! I bet it's food poisoning. Alfred is fired.

It turns out it isn't food poisoning. Or, if it is, Alfred doesn't want to be fired at all so he made up a fake virus called Colossus that will kill Batman in one week. That should distract Batman long enough for Alfred to clean up the kitchen.

No way this virus hasn't given Batman diarrhea. And no way Killer Croc didn't hit Batman hard enough to have an accident. Batman definitely shit himself earlier.

Alfred suggests that the virus must be from The Joker and that it originated in Berlin. The kitchen must really need to be hosed down!

Batman travels to Berlin and sees everything through the lenses of World War II and the Cold War. Hey, Batman! The wall fell twenty-six years ago! Maybe the Germans are tired of everybody seeing Nazis around every corner and Soviets lining every Straße in the east! Why can't Americans move past equating Germany with World War II? Yes, Berlin was a divided city that defined the Allies utter failure in resolving the war and freeing all countries from tyranny. I guess as long as the European countries that Americans could name were free, the war was over and everything was good! Plus, I don't think you can be a sane country with a perfect record and decide, "You know what? Let's go to fucking war with Russia to make sure Eastern Europe remains free!" You really have to consider your perfect record up until that point. And looking back on it, it was probably a good decision because America had another two or three decades to bask in their undefeated status before bringing home the loss from Vietnam. Korea was, at best, undecided but undecided enough for America to talk it up like a win.

It's actually too bad America lost the Vietnam War because after that, we had nothing to lose. We could get into conflicts willy-nilly and not give a shit how much of a boondoggle the war would become because we weren't risking our perfect record! Stupid Vietnam!

Batman's detective work in Berlin amounts to following a low level criminal around the city. He winds up in the east side of Berlin because that's obviously going to be the wurst neighborhood. Ha ha!

Alfred's instincts didn't cause this, World's Lamest Detective.

Batman continues with his history lesson of Berlin and what the city means. I think the point is that Berlin is two cities in one. Most notably West and East although historically Cölln and Berlin. Get it? Two halves of one whole! Like Batman and The Joker! West Berlin is rich and prosperous and sort of pretends to care about Easterners while East Berlin is full of death and gas and morbid laughter! I think. That's what my shitty American text books say.

Batman tracks down The Joker by beating up a bunch of Germans. When did the title "World's Greatest Detective" begin to mean so little? Instead of doing actual detective work, all Batman does is beat the shit out of people to gain information!

Batman discovers that The Joker is sick with the same virus. Which can only mean one thing--if I'm doing my mental arithmetic correctly: Batman and The Joker had sex!

Or, um, this other stupid thing that isn't as good.

Batman Europa #1 Rating: This was decent but not much better than any average comic book. Maybe if I were more visually stimulated (which I should be seeing as how I'm reading comic books!), I'd think it was better. Who knows?! Time to speculate on how this series is going to end! Batman and The Joker both have the same deadly virus! But I bet it isn't the same at all! I bet each virus is actually the cure for the other! So the way to save Berlin was to bring down the wall for a unified city! So the only way to save Batman and The guessed it! Unsafe anal sex!

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