Monday, December 14, 2015

'Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' No. 1 review

Imagine the Dark Knight hanging out with Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello eating pizza while Master Splinter and Alfred shake their heads, possibly sharing stories about the heroes they consider sons. Couldn't you imagine Alfred turning his nose up at the discarded pizza boxes and pop cans, not to mention the chaos of video game paraphernalia?

OK, none of that has happened in the BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES limited series. But already in issue 1 of the six-issue series Batman has confronted The Hand and Shredder. (That sentence sounds more interesting than the reality was).

The new DC Comics-IDW Publishing series features pencils, inks and coloring that reflects more of a TURTLES title than a BATMAN one.

Penciler Freddie E. Williams II draws a massive Batman in a New 52-style costume that resembles an armor, especially because of his massive gauntlets and football/hockey player-like knee pads — not a great look, one that's better for Shredder than the Dark Knight. Williams does much better drawing the Turtles and while the Batmobile he designed is massive, it's passable but not overly impressive. (Unless you're a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, that is!)

Not much happens in those aforementioned confrontations as Shredder warns Batman to "let us be and your city will be safe. Cross us and you will burn with the rest of your people" — and then disappears amidst a Dark Knight-like use of a smoke bomb. Issue I ends with the Turtles finding the Batmobile parked on the street and then Batman finding the teen ninjas and Splinter.

High-tech gadgets and inventions are going missing or being stolen from research labs in the issue with the cute title "Knights in a Half Shell." The Hand and Shredder somehow are involved, Batman has eliminated the League of Assassins as suspects and Killer Croc and and his gang found the Turtles' sewer home.

Other than that it's hard to tell where writer James Tynion IV is heading with his story. The second issue is titled "Batfight," so I gotta guess there will be the age-old cliche of heroes fighting each other before they start working together. I look forward to seeing how the story progresses and for some fun ninja fighting scenes. Grade: B 

For more CCC coverage of the Turtles, check out this link, "Turtle Power" writer-director talks shop — an exclusive Cary's Comics Craze interview with filmmaker Randall Lobb about his documentary, "Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."


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