Thursday, February 16, 2017
Batman/TMNT Adventures #4 Review
Batman/TMNT Adventures #4 Review
Writer: Matthew K. Manning
Art Team: Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, & Leonardo Ito
Letterer: Shawn Lee
DC Comics/IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99
Wanna know how I got these bumps?!
Our beloved team-up involving Batman and the Ninja Turtles has been a fun all ages affair blending two distinct and classic styles of art perfectly. We’ve witnessed our heroes trying to solve a mystery involving multi-versal teleporting triangles while fighting off classic rouges from each universe. So as we the readers hit the home stretch of this series I’m wondering what characters are left to throw at us, if any, and when is our twist coming? Do we get lucky in issue four here? Let’s find out.
The events start immediately in the spot we left off last issue with Batman, Leo, Raph, and the citizens of New York right in the thick of Scarecrows fear gas. Everyone ends up feeling the effects, even Batman despite a mask, which plays right into Scarecrows hands as he kidnaps the three heroes with ease. The middle panel on page three steals the show for me personally; it’s a beautiful throwback to all the villains of Batman the Animated Series.
Checking in on Joker and Harley show, who if you remember have managed to take possession of Shredders operations in New York, we discover the dastardly couple are using their new found resources to attempt and unleash Joker gas on the city as well. Nobody better light a cigarette in this New York or the whole town may go up in flames at this point. The villain power couple has also sent a group of Joker altered Foot Clan after our second group of heroes (Robin, Batgirl, April, Donny, and Mikey), who after dispatching of the problem, decide to track Joker/Harley tandem down to Shredders lair … Mikey knows right where that is, which comes as no surprise to Robin. (Review Note: Robin continues to be the zinger master in this series and works extremely well with Mikey when they’ve been paired together.)
Our issue jumps back to Scarecrow taunting his kidnapped victims Batman, Leo, and Raph. This scene quickly goes south for the seasoned villain, when Batman head butts the shit out of him, forcing the one trick pony Scarecrow, to go running for the nearest glowing triangle, as get the hell out of dodge.
‘Crew two’ reaches the Shredders lair off Mikey’s directions, where they’re quickly meet by Harley and her pet Hyena’s, who Joker has so kindly mutant-ized for the occasion. Needless to say a giant fight breaks out in the following pages, while Batman and his ‘crew one’ also join into the fray. There’s also some key story points that begin to unfold in the background as Shredder starts to overcome his Joker poisoning, sneaking up on a distracted Joker, all to quickly reclaim his helmet and empire in the blink of an eye. Shredder, getting his groove back, then demands everyone present listen as he declares; “It’s over. Go. Take your clowns and get out. Our fight is for another day”. When Shredder talks everyone listens as they all kindly get the hell out.
As the issue winds down the heroes gather the captured villains for transport as Donnie spills some mandatory tech babble about what ‘his lead’ has unearthed. We discover our big reveal this issue is that someone is ‘commanding’ these portals to open and close, while also mind controlling these villains who’ve appeared, all from afar. The heroes calculate the signal is coming from Gotham as we’re left with a cliffhanger reveal of Mad Hatter smiling with obviously nefarious intentions.
Overall I am one hundred percent as shocked as the Turtles appear to be this issue that our big bad reveal is Mad Hatter and not Krang who I admittedly thought it would be at first. I like the curve ball in a crossover of this type because so far it has felt very by the numbers and this brings a fresh hot meal to the table. The art continues to be exquisite and I’ve said it three times so far but it warrants a fourth mention the seamless blending of these two distinct styles is amazing. Id love to see a real life cartoon crossover done like this and I cant be the only one.
Bits and Pieces
There were a few unexpected surprises in issue four I personally enjoyed that brought some new life into a paint by numbers crossover story. The art continues to be carry the book and make it worth the price of admission especially for fans of the cartoon property its borrowed from.