DC Comics/IDW Publishing 2015
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Freddie E. Williams II
Coloured by Jeremy Colwell
Lettered by Tom Napolitano
So we’ve had the obligatory first meeting fight and subsequent fact finding mission about each other. We’ve seen Shredder work and betray some of Gotham’s most notorious villains. We have also learned that without the mutagen that turned them into what they are being in this world will make the Turtles, and Splinter, regress into the animals they came from. Oh and the Turtles found the Batcave.
This issue opens up at Arkham where the captured Foot Clan have been sent. It’s also where we see the Joker for the first time and he knows something is up and wants out to play in the madness that’s happening. I like the characterization here it really is sublime though Freddie’s depiction of him is both artistic and kind of weird a totally different style than everything else we see and i’m not if it works or not.
There’s a lot things that happen this issue but none really advance the story much. That’s okay what James is doing is establishing trust, personalities and a working relationship between these characters. I mean Batman has to understand how the Turtles work and operate while they need to realize he’s there to help them. For example with one skateboarding down the staircase handrail might get on Alfred’s nerves it’s the training sequence that proves to be more illuminating.
For everything these characters have what they don’t have is a location of where Shredder is or whom he is working with next. It’s got to be agonizing to have to wait for your enemy to make a move before you can. It doesn’t help when the tension around your imminent regression hangs in the air as well. At least Raphael thinks that way. It’s also a chance to be reminded once again how Bats lost his parents, though this time it’s to make a point to Rafael so he understand why he does what he does, after what he said about Batman after all left quite an impression. The dialogue here is pretty spectacular and some if it is really biting but it’s also fairly on the nose.
We see one more character arrive from the Turtles world only to be hijacked upon his arrival. Also seeing who Shredder is working with now well that was bound to happen and where they end up well that’s a nice bit of foreshadowing from the opening. Still for a six issue arc we need issues like this one to help establish the story end of things and instead of one fight after another, which we love, this helps the characters and readers connect with what’s happening and each other.
Except for that something different with the Joker Freddie and Jeremy have a really strong and consistent interior showing. I am impressed with the way the story flows and the use of pages and panels to help with that is nicely done. The fight scene with Leonardo and Bats is particularly well done. I love how Splinter and the boys are shown alongside Bats it’s really visually one of the best looking crossovers in terms of artistic style.
Anytime DC wants to take the lead again in a crossover they are more than welcome to if this is the kind of result we can expect.