Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 Review

Turtles in Time

Writer: James Tynion IV
Art Team: Freddie Williams II, Kevin Eastman, Jeremy Colwell, Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 5, 2019

Batman/TMNT III started off on the right foot by throwing us head first into a world we had no previous knowledge of and did a great job of getting me invested into what was to come.  By the end of the issue and its callouts to the original TMNT run I was completely sold and ready for issue two yesterday.  So let's not beat around the sewer hole any further and discuss Batman/TMNT III #2.

The issue begins with the teleported, old school, black and white Raphael confronting the family-team of Batman and the Turtles. Of course, before we get along in comic books we must first fight it out, which Raph happily does, you know to stretch after all the dimension hopping (in his words not mine).  After these few brief pages of fun, we get down to business.  Now, I think how much of a fan you are of the original Turtles run/art will impact how much enjoyment you get here for some, however with that said, those aspects in-particular, made this my favorite issue of the entire trilogy thus far, and by a lot, if that makes sense (if it doesn't I'll elaborate more in a bit).

Where the last issue was a lot of world building about where the story takes place this issue centers on being exposition heavy, but in a good way. See OG Raph essentially gives us a tell all of "what the heck is going on in here", why he's here in this universe now, and how they must come together to stop what is happening.  My favorite scenes are when Raph starts with a re-telling of the OG Turtles origins, complete with Kevin Eastman taking over art duties, and it's amazing. From there we get to more pressing needs, as he goes on to elaborate how everything has come to be the way it is now, eventually leading him to the doorstep of this Lair, begging for help to stop the ultimate evil ... KRANG!

Speaking of the devil, off to Krang we go. We see Krang in the body of the Anti-Monitor, playing with the multiverse, in order to construct the perfect universe where the rules, and there is nobody like the pesky Turtles, or well-trained Batman to stop him.  I can't say enough about the art in this issue, Freddie Williams and Kevin Eastman are seemingly sharing panel and page space throughout the book, and it never looks off-putting or weird in a color-form sort of way, that cheapens either's work. Now if Freddie is doing a Kevin impression here I pass out even more kudos but either way, I love the look of everything.

OG Batman makes an appearance as well on the visit to KRANG country, but we discover only Raph was able to escape, which brings us all full circle to where we are currently.  The issue begins its conclusion (entirely too soon because I want more, more, more) with a scene of Krang confronting, in an effort to recruit, the Shredder-Joker amalgam we saw in issue one, and I couldn't be more pumped to continue. I usually get all over comic books for keeping a story running in place to recap past events, or origins, I'm familiar with. However, here Tynion handles that all well, in combination with his art team, they take it a step further to reintroduce what's old and make it new again. This issue does it all, knocking it out of the park, for the patented Eric Shea 'Over the Plate Home-Run' and I couldn't be more excited to continue.

Bits and Pieces:

Overall, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 is a comic book I think you absolutely must be reading, even if you haven't read the previous two iterations yet.  James Tynion is putting together multiple different universes, and art styles, into a creative blender, then using that for a story that is altogether different, and a unique to close out a trilogy. The entire art team is working in collaboration flawlessly as well, with Williams and Eastman really blowing me away artistically. All in all the third volume in a crossover between two companies properties is shaping up to be my book of the summer.


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