Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #1 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Freddie Williams III, Kevin Eastman, Artists; Jeromy Colwell, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: After two miniseries pitting the heroes of Gotham and New York against Shredder, Ra’s Al Ghul, and a Mutagen-addled Bane, the third outing of Tynion and Williams’ popular crossover series has gone bigger than ever with a game-changing twist right out of the classic Amalgam era. As the issue opens, Batman is on patrol in Gotham and things seem normal – but he’s talking to unfamiliar people on the communicator, and he’s wearing a different ninja-esque costume. And did I mention that Harley Quinn is now the second-in-command of something called the “Smile Gang”, robbing businesses with the help of her trained Hyenas and a mysterious assassin. That’s right, somehow the worlds of Batman and the Ninja Turtles have been fused.
Joker and Shredder are now one character, a masked grinning swordsman. Killer Croc and Bane have been fused with Bebop and Rocksteady. And Batman appears to have four younger reptilian brothers.
A lot of exposition comes from a black-suited Splinter, who apparently found Bruce in the sewers running away after his parents were shot. The Turtles came later, and the six have formed a unique family protecting Gotham. This is one of the strangest concepts for a comic book I’ve read in a while, but it actually really works.
Both Batman and the Turtles feel like themselves, but their worlds have been fused together in an organic way courtesy of a combination of Krang and one of the deadliest villains in DC history. It’s a compelling story on its own, but the last page brings in original Turtles creator Kevin Eastman for a cliffhanger that’s one of the best moments in recent comic book memory. This isn’t just a conclusion to this cycle of miniseries, it’s a tribute to the entire history of the Ninja Turtles property and gives off the impression that this could be the comic book equivalent of “Turtle-Verse”. Great, suitably bizarre start.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.