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Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3

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By James Tynion IV, Freddie E Williams II & Jeremy Colwell

This high-profile crossover hits its climax with this issue. The exposition in the past two books has not necessarily lived up to the potential that this title would have one believe. Shredder has formed a shaky alliance with the Penguin to create an inter-dimensional portal. As this takes place in the background, the Ninja Turtles break into the Batcave and encounter the Dark Knight. Batman and the Turtle family ultimately come to an understanding and become a “totally awesome team-up”!

Since the debut issue, this mini-series has been uneven. James Tynion IV, despite having written Bat-centric stories, seems to have a better sense and voice for the Ninja Turtles than Batman. All the Gotham characters so far seem off and bring the material down. Fortunately, all the set-up has been taken care of and the plot can hit the ground running. This issue reads far more smoothly and is much more enjoyable. Tynion does make sure that there aren’t plot holes, which is admirable and appreciated, but the pseudo-science he has written still seems far-fetched…even for this comic.

The action really delivers in this issue; it’s what one would expect from this event. Freddie E. Williams II has some stunning action beats throughout. What continues to be in top-form is how he illustrates the Turtles. They’re always vibrant and dynamic. There is a double-page splash that is a stunning mural depicting the TMNT-verse and it’s absolutely breathtaking. There seems to be a thin, white outline around a lot of the figures in the artwork. It was present in the past two books, but it’s very apparent in this one. Intentional or not, it’s very distracting. Jeremy Colwell continues to be a strong coloring collaborator and brings an interesting impressionistic style to Williams’ pencils.

Since this is a major crossover, it merits close scrutiny and appreciation. This series has been an uphill battle, but it is finally bearing fruit. The comic still has a long way to go to reach its maximum potential, hopefully it will be able to do so in the final two issues. With the cliffhanger Tynion left readers with, the story is definitely on the upswing and has great possibility. Those invested so far or are still intriguing by the concept/content, should continue giving it a shot. Readers should continue crossing their fingers; there is light at the end of the sewer tunnel.

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