Batman/TMNT has been one of the biggest surprises in recent comic book memory. It’s been one of the most out there yet fun and tension building comics currently available, but would that all change in its third installment?
The story of this issue was split more evenly to focus both on Batman and his Turtle compadres and on Shredder, who is still using Penguin to his own gain. The expectation may have been for James Tynion IV to focus more on the heroes as they try desperately to find a way home but this split narrative is far more effective and allows the audience to see more dream encounters, one of which should have been seen coming but managed to be a true shock.
Let’s deal first with Shredder and his nefarious plot to kill off the Turtles and Splinter leaving him without opposition. At least that was the plot before this issue, now though he seems more interested in conquering Gotham as events transpired to destroy the portal that would allow them all to return to their universe.
Tynion has done such a good job of making Shredder into a formidable foe who fans cannot wait to see clash with Batman. It was always going to be a hotly anticipated encounter but now it will have readers on the edge of their seats as the build towards it continues. Freddie Williams II’s depiction of the bladed baddie only adds fuel to that particular fire as he has made him look more dangerous than ever before. Shredder cuts an imposing figure as he looms large over his subjects and foes alike.
Batman is depicted is a similarly impressive way as he is bulkier than in most other titles and looks as though he could be the only match for Shredder in the whole series. This is further affirmed by the way that he so easily defeated The Turtles in the last issue.
The tentative relationship between Batman and the green interlopers is as entertaining as ever. They are by no means friends but there seems to be a great deal of respect held between Bats and Splinter. As stated in the last review, they are somewhat similar in many ways and this appears to be creating a small bond between the two of them. As for The Turtles themselves, well they are not going to be hanging out with Batman anytime soon but he doesn’t appear to totally hate them. It makes for a funnier book that way as Batman once again finds himself playing the straight man to comedic fools.
Tension is key to the success of all titles and Tynion has dished it out in spades here. Last time it was made clear that Splinter and his protégés would revert to normal animals if they remained in this alternative universe for too long. Now with their transport home lying in ruin it seems more likely than ever that they will succumb to that fate. Such brave and captivating moves were wholly unexpected of this book but they are making for a highly enjoyable series that shows no sign of slowing any time soon.
Perhaps the biggest surprise came at the end. No spoilers as to what exactly that was but suffice to say there is one hell of a team up on the horizon and it is not good for Batman or anyone else for that matter.
This crossover continues to impress all who are reading it with incisive humour and explosive action. There are three more issues still to come and you should do everything in your power to pick them up. You don’t want to miss out on this.
Score: 5 out of 5.
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