DC Comics/IDW Publishing 2016
Written by Matthew K. Manning
Illustrated by Jon Sommariva
Inked by Sean Parsons
Coloured by Leonardo Ito
Lettered by Shawn Lee
Last issue saw the Scarecrow coming to play and this issue we see that full on. Meanwhile the Joker and Harley are still doing their thing and Shredder is under the control of the Joker’s laughing gas so what dastardly deed does he have up his sleeve?
Well now as we open up this issue I have to say I’m guessing that making his fear gas on this Earth has made it a tad more potent, either that or Bat’s gasmask is defective. I was a little surprised by how easily he fell into the Scarecrow’s clutches and then of course with him down the Turtles running with him don’t stand a chance, or do they?
Actually I am really enjoying the dialogue and the storytelling here. Matthew does an incredible job in bringing the fun and zest of the classic animated Batman Adventures to the page here. The cutesy and funny banter with Harley or Mister J. really bring things back to a time when they were more fun, deadly and psycho but fun nonetheless.
I do also very much like that April and Batgirl have each other to talk to. So having April as a more active fighter and member of this team is new to me, also she’s much younger than I was expecting so it’s a nice inclusion in these male dominated franchises. Again the whole rooftop scene played out perfectly and with the major differences in characters and how they act and behave on display really makes this as enjoyable for kids as it does for the adults in the room.
The interiors here are just brilliant. I do think the Turtles look weird but hey it’s an animated style. When we get to see the Scarecrow's gas in full effect it’s great it’s creepy without going too far and demonstrates its effectiveness beautifully. Great use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds as well.
What Matthew does with the story here is pretty unexpected for me. I thought that the Joker and Shredder would take up the bulk of this run and with the rest of the Arkham inmates still running loose on this Earth that might not be the case. Joker’s always been thought of as the worst of the worse but what if some of the others feel like challenging him for that title. There’s a few out there that could do some interesting things in that regard.
Also the big fight scene this issue was utterly fantastic. I like how the loyalties played out here as well especially with Bebop and Rocksteady. There’s something about this team-up in this style that makes it so gosh darned good. The way things unfold and the triggers for certain characters that we see really do make some strong stand out moments and make this both sheer fun and a little inspirational.