Art by: Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 11, 2016
The issue opens up with a continuation of that great cliffhanger and I don't know about you, but if someone isn't busy making figures of an Elephant Bane and a Polar Bear Mr. Freeze than something isn't right in the world. Really, I can't begin to tell you how great Bane looks, but I guess I don't have to...just look below!
Awesome, huh? The scene isn't too shabby either as we see each of the villains use their new found powers to begin correcting some sins of the past. After a little A + B = 3, the villains' attacks lead to Batman being encased in ice and pretty vulnerable.
Before we see what happens to the Dark Knight, however, we head back to the Batcave where Casey Jones recaps what has become a desperate situation. If the Turtles don't follow him back to their own world, the mutagen inside them will become inert and they will just become Turtles of the non mutant ninja variety. This is what they call in the superhero biz a "hero's choice" and I don't think it will shock anyone what they decide to do.
Back in Arkham, Batman is trying all the tricks in the book to start a fight between Ra's and Shredder, but they are putting up more of a unified front then I would've imagined. The two are so confident in their eventual victory that they let Damian just run away and hesitate to kill Batman themselves. Shredder does offer the job to a pretty likely candidate, but that's when the Turtles arrive like the heroes they are.
The rest of the issue is a long fight scene and while I enjoyed it, I had a couple problems with it. First, the awesome Akham villains are dispatched quickly and easily which is so disappointing after waiting a month to see them in action. I wanted so much more! The second was the transition between Batman being stuck in ice to him rejoining the fight. I hope there is a director's cut of this issue coming out soon because there has to be a deleted scene somewhere that shows what happened.
It does lead to a thrilling fight between Shredder and Intimidator Suit Batman while the Turtles trade blows with Ra's. It was awesome to see Shredder finally get taken down and it was made all the sweeter by who delivers the final blow, but Ra's just escapes "because" and unfortunately, the issue and series ends in very forced way.
Fans do get one last cameo to get excited about as things wrap up nice and neat...somewhere a radio is playing Sister Sledge's "We are Family" and Willie Stargell is looking down on us all and he is smiling.
After the groundwork of excellent characterization and building tension , this finale was a disappointment. It really is one long battle scene, but at no time did I ever think that Batman or the Turtles would be defeated. That goes the same for the Turtles getting back home. Then it all seems to end because of page count and it felt really, really forced by the time everything was said and done. I still can easily recommend this crossover to just about any fan of either franchise, but this issue was a bit of a bummer to end with.
Freddie E. Williams' art was no bummer and it's just a shame we didn't get more mutagened Arkhamites because they were simply spectacular. Everything else looked great in a way that fit both franchises well and the fight scenes were nicely done. I can't complain at all about the art so I won't.
Bits and Pieces:
While this event was great, it's a shame that the finale was the worst issue of the bunch. After everything that Tynion set up, this issue felt rushed and forced. I still liked it enough, I just didn't love it like the rest of the series. However, Freddie Williams' art was as great as usual and it all combined to finish a crossover event that I didn't think I needed, but found out I so desperately wanted. I hope this isn't the last time we see this awesome teamup.