IDW Publishing/DC Comics 2016
Written by Matthew K. Manning
Illustrated by Jon Sommariva
Inked by Sean Parsons
Coloured by Leonardo Ito, John Rauch, Zach Atkinson & Sean Galloway
Lettered by Shawn Lee
One of the best things that have happened in comics lately is the cooperation between companies to put out these crossovers. Last time around the team-up was done in a more traditional manner and that this one revolves around the animated series makes it all the more fun. Matthew takes the best of both franchises in terms of their bad guys and all the humour that gets infused into them to make this an all-ages read. Aside from the fact that the Batman family keeps teaming up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this reminds me of the eighties when books put out for the sole purpose of pure entertainment.
With the Joker and Harley Quinn meeting with Shredder the rest of the escaped inmates of Arkham Asylum are out and about still wreaking havoc. It’s hard to imagine the pure joy of seeing a giant preying mantis made up of plants attacking the combined heroes at the behest of Poison Ivy.
Both of these sequences are full of the expected and unexpected witty banter that the characters are known for. Gone is the overly dark feel and instead it’s replaced by the personalities that made the cartoons such a success. Harley fully in love Mister J, Shredder as this no-nonsense kind of villain and the mixture of the two sets make for some of the most joyful reading experience. It’s also a clear reminder that no matter who he goes up against the Joker is not someone to be underestimated.
Equally as fun is when our heroes defeat Poison Ivy and have a moment to get to know one another better. In the sewers the Turtles call home the dialogue is superb. Even the appearance of Master Splinter, which was fun to see, doesn’t phase Batman or throw him off the leadership game as they learn what they are going to be facing next, or should we be saying whom.
The way this series has been structured is fantastic. It feels like we’re in the midst of an actual animated episode. The tone, feel and mood that’s set by not only the writing, dialogue and characterisation but by the interior artwork as well really makes this as successful as it is.
Jon, Sean and the Colourists really manage to bring the fun, adventure and cartoon feel to this in the best ways possible. The use of page layouts are superb through their angles, perspective and that sheer amount of backgrounds in use. I think the way the characters are nailed, mainly the Batman Family, really make me long for watching their cartoon adventures all over again.
Pure, honest and fun this is why we love the franchises and why inter-company crossovers are among the most popular stories in stands today!