How has this series been so good? It seemed like it was destined to be an abhorrent mess, an ill-conceived hodgepodge of ideas that just didn’t mesh well together, but instead of that it has been a shining star in the world of comics for four straight issues. There had to be an end to that roll though and whilst this wasn’t bad it definitely wasn’t that good either.
So what exactly went wrong? Well it was a combination of things that, whilst individually not a massive problem, came together to create something of a disappointment.
The first and most glaring of these is the total lack of action in this book. Last month’s instalment had its fair share of slower moments but they all built to something more and furthered the story in a deeply satisfying way. The same cannot be said for what readers got this month. The plot was indeed furthered as The Turtles began to degrade due to the mutagen in their systems breaking down, but it didn’t justify having so little occur for the entire length of a title that features two sets of characters that rely so heavily on confrontation to carry their narratives.
James Tynion IV kept the pace at a slow plod long after the weight of what was happening to Leonardo set in. Yes, a short fight scene involving Damian did break up the monotony for a brief moment but that too was soon quashed in favour of more talking and posturing, all of which ultimately was to build towards the most ludicrous reveal of all time.
As you will likely remember, last month Shredder and his new pal Ra’s Al Ghul took command of Arkham Asylum. Most will likely have been expecting an in depth look at their action once inside the imposing building, it certainly would have made for the most entertaining book possible. Alas that is not what happened and instead you never get any sort of peek at what the pair have been doing since entering the Asylum until the very end of the book and that moment is just idiotic. Of course there will be no spoilers for the specifics of that particular misfire as some of you may not have gotten to it yet.
Not everything went wrong, you’ll be glad to hear, and the book did retain some of its initial charm through the loyal portrayal of all of the characters involved. Once again every one of them is presented in exactly the right fashion with Batman staying the imposing crusader that he is supposed to be and The Turtles being the happy go lucky lot that audiences grew to love so long ago.
On top of this you have the advancement of the plot which, despite the aforementioned mistakes, did move much closer to a fitting finale. The stakes are still unbelievably high for everyone involved and it looks as though issue #6 will feature a showdown to remember that includes the entire Batman rogue’s gallery, albeit in a slightly altered state.
Freddie Williams II and Jeremy Colwell also come to the rescue to some degree as they turn in yet more beautiful artwork that continues to define this series. There is so much that could be, and in previous reviews has been, said about their work but it seems far more effective to just let you take a look for yourselves.
Ultimately this wasn’t a sterling entry into the series and a great degree of course correction will be needed to steer the finale back into classic territory. That being said this is still a fun book and one that you should definitely pick up given the chance.
To keep up to date with ‘Up For Review’ you can like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/upforreview/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
You can also the author on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shaunpond1994