Friday, June 3, 2016

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (2016)

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (February, 2016)
"Knights in a Half Shell"
Script - James Tynion IV
Art - Freddie Williams II
Colors - Jeremy Colwell
Letters - Tom Napolitano
Assistant Editor - David Pina
Group Editor - Jim Chadwick
Batman Creators - Bob Kane & Bill Finger
TMNT Creators - Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
Cover Price: $3.99

Another weekend, another comic book movie I'm not going to see... man, it feels like I'm saying that a lot these days... 

Anyhoo... this week's offering is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, so I figure now's as good a time as any to finally dig the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover from DC Comics and IDW Publishing out of my "to read" pile(s) and give it a go!


We open as ninjas swarm a gaggle of folks in long white lab coats.  They are the Foot Clan, and their bounty is the lab's generator.  The research team's security bursts in, and during the skirmish the lights go out.  A witness describes what occurs next as inhuman eyes behind masks of blue, red, orange and purple... and the sounds of weapons making contact.

This is the story she shares with Gotham's protector, the Batman.

Later that evening, a pizza delivery man is instructed to leave the pie on the street and vamoose.  Once he's out of sight, the pizza box is speared with a sai and dragged into the sewer.

In the Batcave, Bruce is recounting the events of the evening.  Alfred enters and expresses concern of the timing of Bruce throwing himself deep into a project... we are apparently drawing near to the anniversary of his parent's brutal murder.  I feel like this anniversary often surfaces at the most convenient times... anyways, Bruce tells Alfie to cool his jets, and heads back out to the streets.

Back in the sewer we join... Killer Croc?  Okay, that'll work.  He appears to have placed a tracker on the Batmobile, and is able to trace the Batman's location (hmm, Batman really wouldn't know he's being tracked?).  As he chats with his crew du jour, they manage to wander into a section of sewer that looks like a teenager's bedroom.

They acknowledge that the pizza on the table is still warm, and even admire what appears to be a Playstation 4/Sega Genesis hybrid they have hooked up to a cracked television set.

Heartless Monster!
Back at the research facility, it appears as though it's business as usual.  The Foot Clan takes the opportunity to strike... only to find that the workers are all hologram images.  They've been set up... by the Batman.

Meanwhile, in the sewers a battle rages between Croc's crew and the Turtles.  It doesn't take long for the crew to go down, Killer Croc on the other hand... is a different story altogether.  The four brothers launch an offensive assault!

Would love a wordless version of this...
Back with the Bat, he's made short work of the Foot Clan ninjas.  While he attempts an interrogation, he manages to get as far as the word "turtles" before being interrupted by the leader of the Foot Clan... the Shredder, who offers a proposal.  Much to Shredder's disdain, Batman doesn't negotiate with ninja terrorists.  With that (and a smoke bomb) the Foot vanishes into the night.

In the Turtle Lair, the boys have managed to outfight Killer Croc.  As they discuss their victory, their Master Splinter enters, and suggests they change locations due to having been discovered.  The Turtles ain't happy, but appear to understand their Sensei's logic.

They emerge from a manhole, and find the Batmobile!  

Bad news for them, while they're admiring it, they also find its owner...

ten-year old Chris just passed out...

If I read this when I was ten years old, I think I'd have had a heart attack.  Batman and the Ninja Turtles?  I can't even begin to imagine how many times I made this team-up happen with my action figures.  This book is adolescent Chris' dream come true!  What does old and jaded Chris have to say?

He's less excited, but can say that this was quite good.  There's absolutely no reason why this crossover should work (outside of a kid's action figure machinations)... but, it really does.  The Turtles squaring off against Killer Croc while Batman stares down Shredder... it just works, and works well!  Just wish we saw more of the actual fighting.  I suppose they gotta save something for the next five chapters...

It had the usual contemporary comics crossover trope where the heroes don't meet until the final page of the first issue... which, I really can't hold against it... it's just the way things go.  Hell, even Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man and The Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans crossovers were over-sized and sorta segmented into "chapters" where the company-crossed heroes don't really cross paths until well into the tale.

Both the writing and art were very well done, as should be expected from talents such as Tynion and Williams.  I especially dug the coloring... for whatever reason it gave the art a Christmas kind of feel, as silly as that may sound.  Even if that doesn't make any sense, take my word for it (for all it's worth)... this is a gorgeous book.

I'm looking forward to continuing through this miniseries, and from what I read so far I'd lean toward giving it a solid recommendation.  If you're patient, there will be a hardcover collection of this series hitting shelves on August 23.  This book is so beautiful I just may have to double-dip myself.  This one will look so nice in my ol' library.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the film should you choose to go see it.  I must admit I have a morbid curiosity about Sheamus' (from WWE) acting range, but I suppose I'm content to get my information second-hand.

Before you head out, be sure to check out some more great Turtle-centric posts from some pals of the site:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet Archie, The Crapbox of Son of Cthulhu
Various TMNT Related Reviews/Postings, Comics Reviews by Walt 
TMNT Presents: April O'Neil, Coffee and Comics Blog


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  1. Great write-up! I READ the issue, and didn't remember half of that!

    I HAVE all 6 issues, but I'm not sure if I read #3; I know I haven't 4-6 (yet), but they're on the agenda for (hopefully) soon.

    I agree--there's no reason this should work, but it does. Even what I've read so far, it definitely feels more DC-sided than a Batman story with the TMNT more than a TMNT with Batman (and given 6 issues instead of IDW's slavish 4-issue arcs, and the pending hardcover instead of the 4-issue TPB).

    I'm not sure if I'll go for the hardcover or not...I find my tastes slipping to preferring "deluxe" oversized hardcovers or just sticking to paperbacks; and the bulk of my Batman collection is paperback, and shifting to the oversize hardbacks for the turtles, so...yeah.

    1. Oooh, this book would look amazing in an oversized edition. Just love the art!

      I agree, it does feel pretty DC-centric (granted this is the only issue I've read so far... this series was one of my "rainy day that never seems to come" buys). Really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out!


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