Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Batman/TMNT Adventures #5 Review

Batman/TMNT Adventures #5

Writer: Matthew K. Manning
Art Team: Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, & Leonardo Ito
DC Comics/IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 22, 2017
Cover Price:  $3.99

The Adventures of Bat-Angelo and Robin

In the penultimate issue, of most crossovers, usually what occurs is a villain begins a monologue, before the inevitable fight, and start to the final conflict. This is the same path I expected Batman/TMNT Adventures to take since we were finally provided a glimpse of the mastermind behind this whole ordeal last month in the Mad Hatter! Well, here we are, issue in hand, with surprisingly all our heroes already assembled into various working groups, and the ‘bad guy’s’ “giant machine” armed and ready to fire. It sounds to me like we’re setting up, to wrap this early and head home. That couldn’t be the case right? A comic book publisher wouldn’t leave $3.99 on the table would they? Join me inside for some Batman & Turtle Adventure team-up action and let’s see what tricks, if any, are left for this mini-series to achieve.

The issue starts off by quickly filling us (the readers) in on the who, what, where, when, and why of the Mad Hatter’s created ‘portal generators’, which have been popping up throughout the first four issues of this story arc. Hints are shown of how deep Mad Hatter’s tentacles have stretched to organize his plan, which has set him up in direct conflict with two different groups of heroes in this story. More bad news for Hatter Batman and Donnie are also beginning to uncover his greater plan.  

Robin and Bat-Angelo (which is Mikey in a spur of the moment Bat suit) are sent to the last trans-dimensional portals, or at least where the rest of the heroes anticipate them to be. In the meantime the Mad Hatter is attempting to put the finishing touches on his “giant laser” preparing to fire.  Somewhere in the Multiverse Doctor Evil will read this and smile.   

On Robin and Mikey’s quest to reach the Mad Hatter we are treated to some beautiful art in an epic call back to Batman’s the Animated Series and its opening credits sequence with Bat-Angelo taking Batman’s normal place. These panels are pretty much worth the price of admission if you ask me.  There are a few other hidden call backs in this area as well, be sure to take a minute and try to spot a few of them on your read troughs.

Eventually our two castoff sidekicks, turned heroes, reach the Mad Hatter and what feels like our conclusion to the mini-series starts firing on all cylinders in a fast and furious fashion. Mad Hatter calls his goons into defend himself while firing a giant mind control laser into New York City, the laser is quickly shut down by Robin and Mikey, who are then quickly joined by the rest of the group of Turtles. And Batman characters as they put an end, once and for all, to the Hatters nonsense. Things appear to wrap up even further as everyone of course says their goodbye’s, as new friends, and eat pizza, in that order.

 At this point I was a little confused and scouring the internet for hints of news that I missed this would only be a five issue mini-series.  It took me a minute to realize I had missed a page, an epilogue at that, after the pizza scene which highlights the Scarecrow up to something he shouldn’t be as the issue concludes.  However with the Ninja Turtles and Batman/Robin all headed to their own universes’, we’re left wondering who will deal with this Scarecrow fella and how this will play out in the final issue. 

Overall the art and humor continue to be the main selling points of this crossover.  The story had what felt like a little bit of a throwaway feel to it previously, since our heroes weren’t ever threatened for a sustained period of time over the series, however Matthew K. Manning does a great job this issue of pulling all the loose threads together, that have been seeded in previous issues, to make the story make sense and throw in an added treat at the end.  Also, +1 for the Ice Cream Kitty cameo, how can you hate that?

Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, and Leonardo Ito deserve credit again for pulling off what is a beautiful comic book to look at.  The way the two drastically different styles blend and work together is a treat to take in. 

Bits and Pieces

The penultimate issue of Batman/TMNT Adventures is the most fun in the series I’ve had so far.  The story finally came together, the homage and art style was spot on, and it’s truly a book parents can appreciate for nostalgia, while sharing and reading along with their kids.


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