Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #3 Review

Raph v Raph

Writer: James Tynion IV
Art Team: Freddie E. Williams, Kevin Eastman, Jermy Colwell, Tom Napolitano
Release Date: July 3, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

The great philosophers named Powerman 5000 once said "this is what it's like when worlds collide", so Tynion, Williams, Eatman, and Colwell are doing their best to bring those words to life as two companies, two sets of heroes/villains, and two universes have been revealed to be mashed together. Thankfully a black and white Raphael is here to save the day but will his brothers from another fishbowl listen to his sage words of advice? Let's discuss.

As the issue begins we get a callback to the origins of Lil' Bruce Wayne in this 'new' universe as we see it echo a lot of what we already know, only throw in pet turtles after a show, and Joe Chill driving a stolen truck which is the demise of Bruce's parents.  That transitions into a talk Bruce is having with Master Splinter who tells Bruce he must look within himself to discover the truth of who he really is.  This leads Batman on a journey to understand just who he really is with the origins cleverly correcting itself by the end of this issue.

From there we see the Turtles dealing with a bit of the same drama Bruce was just discussing with Splinter, mostly centered on the two Raphael's having issues coinciding, with the modern Raph winning the stubborn-off between the two. Ultimately the group does agree they need to track down a woman by the name of April O'Neil in New Gotham City. I was waiting for a point in time to celebrate the art of this issue and now is as good a time as any.  The combination of past Raph into the present still looks fabulous on the page, how Eastman and Williams work together to make everything one seamless whole is just awesome. 

When the group eventually stumbles into April, they also run headfirst into the 'Joker' run Smile Clan, ironically on the same mission as the Turtles, only with much more dire intentions and at the command of Krang.  April initially has no idea what is going on, that is until Donatello acts as a 'lightning rod' of sorts for the relationship between everyone, however, old school Raph is lost in the battle taken back to Krang with his black and white brothers.

The issue ends with one predictable and one very unexpected surprise as the Turtles are forced to seek some additional help in their efforts to correct things to the way they should be.  As we enter the second half of this title I'm still heavily invested, love every second of the art in the issues, and have a feeling the crazy is only just beginning.  Continue to count me in. If I had to jump in with one complain here it would be that were not much further from where we were at the end of issue #2 but I'm having a bit too much fun for it to matter much right now.

Bits and Pieces:

Overall, Batman/TMNT III continues to be a very fun conclusion to the crossover trilogy and is so far shaping up to be the best of the bunch.  With everyone realizing what is at stake, what they have to do, and recruiting who they need to get there I look forward to how the creative team will bring this series home.  The entire creative team has brought some luster back to the old trilogy ending.


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