Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #3 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Freddie E. Williams II, Kevin Eastman, Artists; Jeromy Colwell, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
The most bizarre and fascinating crossover event in years continues as James Tynion IV explores the strange shared universe where Batman and the TMNT grew up as brothers in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #3. The opening segment finally shows us the night where they met, involving Joe Chill hijacking a truck filled with mutagen and hitting the Waynes just after Bruce had bought four baby Turtles from a street vendor. I’ve always loved “fusionverses”, from the famous Amalgam Comics to the recent Infinity Warps storyline at Marvel, and this is a great use of the idea.
As the memories of the real world before Krang (combined with the Anti-Monitor) merged them start creeping back for both Batman and the Turtles, Bruce sets out to solve the mystery of his missing past with the help of the one person who knew him back then – Alfred. Yep, the original is still around, a bearded old man in a destroyed Wayne Manor, even though Splinter seems merged with him.
That reunion is the most powerful scene of the issue, but the storylines involving the Turtles are also excellent. The team is clashing with their mysterious black-and-white visitor – especially Raphael with his alternate self. The story finally starts bringing in more famous faces from the Turtles’ past, including their defining female character April O’Neil. She doesn’t seem to be merged with anyone, but she’s never met the Turtles – although her work with Baxter Stockman makes me think there might be some unexpected developments for her in the back half of this story.
The presence of Joker as the leader of the Smile Clan also adds a new wrinkle, as the Turtles seek out the original Shredder – now a seemingly unaffiliated martial artist with no villainous ambitions – to put things right. The twists and turns of this series are easily making it the best installment in the trilogy.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.