Review – Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5: Return of the Family

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Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5
Batman/TMNT III #5 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Freddie E.Williams II, Kevin Eastman, Artists; Jeremy Colwell, Colorist


Ray – 8/10

Ray: While he hasn’t gotten the hype of Snyder or King, I firmly believe James Tynion IV is one of the best Batman writers in recent memory – because he more than anyone gets that the core of Batman is someone who used their personal tragedy to build not just a network of fellow victims but a family of survivors.

That makes him a perfect choice to do Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III because at the core of the Ninja Turtles is a very unconventional family as well. Too much of this crossover has been bogged down in a very cosmic story where a hybrid of the Anti-Monitor and Krang have sought to fuse and conquer the multiverse, but the creative team has used the plot to do some really interesting things. The decision of Joker last issue to join Krang for the lulz – why else? – was predictable, but it’s actually the other nemesis, Shredder, who’s been more interesting. Tynion seems to subscribe to the portrayal of Shredder as a ruthless but honorable rival who is able to put aside grudges for a common goal.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5
The rise of Joker. Via DC Comics.

This series has done a lot of work with the expanded Turtle family and its villains, but its use of the Bat-family has been limited. That makes sense, since Batman’s been brainwashed to subtly replace them in his mind with the Turtles. As we’ve seen from other characters, though, they’re out there – and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5 finally brings them back in a dramatic moment at the end of the issue.

I will say, given Tynion’s use of the less-known Batfamily members in his run, why aren’t they here? Just the four core Robins and Barbara show up, which was a bit disappointing, but I suppose he had to keep it accessible. There’s one more issue to go and it looks like we’re headed for an epic finale, but this series wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if it wasn’t for the humor, the family vibe, and the character development that happened alongside the action. A great use of both properties’ best characters.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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