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‘Batman/TMNT Adventures’ TPB (review)

Written by Matthew K. Manning
Penciled by Jon Sommariva
Inked by Sean Parsons

Colored by Leonardo Ito
Published by IDW Publishing
Released July 2017
Price: $19.99
ISBN: 9781631409097

 

As Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael discover Kraang technology is active in New York they rush to investigate.

Over in Gotham City, Arkham Asylum has seen a mass escape of deadly inmates. Batman tracks down Two Face who reveals to him that a mystery ally has given them access to portals that escape to another world.

In the sewers, the turtles encounter Clayface and narrowly manage to defeat the monster before sending him back through a portal.

As Batman, Batgirl and Robin are investigating another portal in Gotham, on its opposite side in New York, the Heroes In A Half Shell are doing the same.

Batman crosses over to New York (TMNTverse) with his team and the heroes are quickly forced to team up with one another to battle the combined might of villains from both worlds.

As the villains run riot through the Big Apple and they are all distracted, an evil mastermind plots to control both cities and it will take every hero (and maybe a few villains) working together to save the day!

* * * * *

Whether you’re a fan of the Turtles or the Batman: The Animated Series there is something for everyone to enjoy.

My synopsis is a mere skimming of the plot but you’ll find well over 140 pages of action and adventure across six immersive chapters that respectfully pay homage to both franchises.

For fans of the Batman cartoon, they know it went through some considerable upheaval during its run on the Fox Network. After Superman: The Animated Series debuted with more sophisticated animation, Warner Bros, then free from constrictions of the movies and Fox, changed the series in many not-too-subtle ways as it was ‘rebooted’.

To address this strange anomaly, Manning and Sommariva have created a tale that gave this behind-the-scenes turmoil a new meaning. It not only shows a deep respect for the source material but crafts a tale that redefines the mythos by becoming an integral part of it. I cannot think of the changes in the Bat Family or it’s rogues in any other way after this book, maybe one day we’ll see this animated!

Not many Bat Fans, I’d wager, would be familiar with The Kraang, Snakeweed, Rahzar or even The Foot and it is great that they share equal spotlight with the likes of Poison Ivy, Joker & Clayface (Mudbutt!!) and even Bart & Lou!

Neither universe is left without exploration and that is some very clever work from the creative team. Every interaction results in character progression, whether it be a new identity, evolution or enhancement of powers. I thought the character interaction was superb, I won’t spoil those for you but the Turtles have some of the best lines. There is also a scene with the opening credits to Batman: The Animated Series – it will make you cheer in appreciation.

The trade has trimmed some of the original comics to tighten the narrative, but it doesn’t spoil the overall story line and as an added bonus there is huge gallery included with the book. When I say huge I mean every variant cover is included and some new pin-ups too. It is worth every penny just to look as the art work of Sean Galloway, Jeff Matsuda, Tony Fleecs, Ben Harvey, Billy Martin, Chad Thomas, Hilary Barta, Valerio Schiti, Gabriel Rodriguez, Dustin Weaver, Erica Henderson, Ciro Nieli and even the legendary Kevin Eastman, Ty Templeton & Rick Burchett. It is actually breathtaking to see how they manage to mix both series styles but bring them together cohesively on the page despite their massively different styles.

This collection has very clever writing and some of the most brilliant ‘animated’ art I have ever seen. For new and old fans alike, this is a truly unmissable book.

If I were to change one thing it would have been to remove the final chapter and expand that as a sequel, still that is not off the cards considering what transpires in those last few pages.

 

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