Thursday, November 10, 2016

Batman / TMNT Adventures #1 Review

What if 90’s Batman met Nickelodeon’s Ninja Turtles?

Written by: Matthew K. Manning
Art by: Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, & Leonardo Ito
Publisher: IDW/DC
Review by: Branden Murray
Were you a fan of the first Batman/TMNT comic crossover that wrapped up in the middle of the year? Oh good, because that’s exactly what you’re getting more of in their latest mash up, presented in partnership by IDW and DC Comics. While this title, called Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1, isn’t a continuation of the previous crossover, I still looked forward to the title because of the quality of its predecessor. Early bonus points are also awarded for pulling off art styles from iterations of two different cartoon eras, based on the preview pages anyway. I mean this looks so damn good I’d whistle at it walking down the street. So without further hesitation let’s get into this book and see these various ninjas do their ninja thing.

This crossover starts with the Turtle brothers on the hunt for bad guys, as the issue is running us through some standard introductions, while Mikey does his best interpretation of some Batman-ese. Meanwhile on a separate world, Batman hunts down a recently escaped Two-Face from world famous Arkham Asylum (as if people escape from somewhere else in Gotham). Both the Turtles and Batman end up stumbling into clues involving a triangle on these adventures … a triangle of DOOM!

The Turtles and Batman, separately and still without knowledge of each other, investigate this symbol that’s appearing mysteriously throughout their respective cities. Batman quickly picks up on something he doesn’t particularly enjoy, asks Alfred to call Robin, and heads off to his destination. 

Meanwhile these same clues end up getting our Renaissance nicknamed friends into a little hot water leading to this issues main confrontation. As the Turtles follow a signal that Donnie picked up on into the depths of the sewers of New York they eventually stumble onto an active portal. The group investigates the area but poor Mikey receives a surprise nobody deserves and is pulled underwater into the sewers disgusting TP filled depths.

Leo, Donnie, and Raph panic as they scour the sewer floor only pulling up mud. Before long Mikey pops up on his own with the look of an evil cartoon villain. What comes next is mildly telegraphed but still very enjoyable … not to mention Jim’s favorite thing in all of comics. This Mikey with a dirty smile ends up being none other than a pre-reformed Clayface which inevitably leads to a giant poo fight and some excellently rendered fight panels in this issue.

The Turtles finally combine their efforts to “booyakasha” and “cowabunga” Clayface back to where he belongs, through the newly discovered portal, and the brothers take a second to regroup. Our issue ends with a nice little cliffhanger as a giant group of Foot Clan Ninja, lay around defeated, at the feet of Batman’s two most famous villains. Who could they be? Pick it up and find out people there’s plenty to enjoy here.

Needless to say I enjoyed the story we are given despite the obvious initial similarities to the first outing. One of the new elements to this series, which is also something worth picking it up for uniqueness alone, is how the art styles from the early 90’s Batman cartoon is meshed and combined with a current iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, airing on Nickelodeon. The Batman pages hold a very Bruce Timm feel, which may sound like it would contrast with a CGI iteration of TMNT, but isn’t jarring at all especially proven so by the cliffhanger splash page. The story is very entertaining and doesn’t waste must time in the beginning stages getting off to a quick start. While our heroes haven’t met each other yet it feels like it’ll be happening very quickly as these events unfold and I can’t wait for more.

Bits and Pieces:

I personally like to have one mini-series on my pull list as a casual read, with characters I’ve traditionally enjoyed, and this series undoubtedly checks all those boxes. Fantastic art, by Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, and Leonardo Ito, to go along with a creative premise, by Matthew K. Manning, makes this a must buy for any fan of the classic properties meet genre.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with the 8. A very enjoyable read, but I think I like the first crossover series better. Would like to revisit that timeline/reality/universe/whatever.