Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #4
TRAINing day! Batman and The Joker’s ability to function as a team is put to the biggest test yet as they are dropped out of the sky and into a moving train! Will their alliance hold together, even if the speeding locomotive does not?
Meanwhile, the Dark Knight has enlisted the help of Nightwing and Catwoman to help with his investigation, but with more pieces of Gordon being shipped to GCPD headquarters, by the time they find any clues, will there even be enough of the commissioner left to save?
I’m a sucker for a good train story, and Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #4 is just that. The series is now halfway in, and I’d say it’s found its rhythm, or at least Batman and Joker have. I enjoy that Batman and Joker do have to work together, or at least they both need to contribute to solving the problems. However, the body count is piling up, and Batman’s hands aren’t entirely clean. I would think that this would be a bigger deal, but as of right now, it’s not. In issue #4, Batman and Joker must choose between saving a train full of people and an entire train station. The train must lose a certain amount of weight, and Joker expedites the process by throwing some passengers off the train. You would think Batman finds a way to do both, and he nearly does, but it’s clear that Simms has paired Batman with the Joker for a reason.
It was established earlier in the series that Batman can’t “Batman” his way out of everything, and I like that. The train signifies so much for Gotham’s history and the Wayne family. Bruce’s parents were engaged on the train and recreated the moment every year. Bruce is reminiscing about this as he is literally ripping apart the train. Despite all the effort he puts into trying to save the passengers, people still die. I think Simms planned it that way. We learn a little more about Donald Simms, the villain behind it all. The opening of the issue appears to be where it all began. His daughter’s wedding is crashed by the Joker, Harley Quinn, and their goons. Batman and the GCPD attempting to take down the Joker triggered explosives and killed Simms’ daughter. We don’t see the aftermath, though, which is interesting because Batman later checks on her grave and seems surprised. We’ll have to wait for issue #5 to find out what he found.
The art has been consistently fantastic. Silvestri’s style is incredible. The amount of time and detail that went into this book is astounding. Arif Prianto’s talents are perfectly utilized, too. I can see how color could overpower Silvestri’s pencils and inks. I would read this book if it were just the inks in a heartbeat, but Prianto’s colors bring things up a level, and the result is a gorgeous-looking book. Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo does feel right at home in the prestige format of DC Black Label.
Things are starting to become clearer in Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #4, but things are certainly getting messier. The bodycount is adding up and Batman’s hands aren't clean, but its apparent that he’ll do whatever he has to in order to save Gordon. The title of the series feels so appropriate because the dynamic between Batman and Joker really is deadly.
Batman & The Joker: The Deadly Duo #4: Off the Rails
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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