Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Freddie F. Williams II
Published by DC Comics
Crisis in a Half Shell continues with part four in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #4. The third volume in the Batman/TMNT crossover franchise shifts away from Eastman’s drawings this issue but he does provide the variant cover.
Krang has the multiverse all mixed up, bringing in this story’s Batman with this story’s TMNT gang, all the while they have reached out to an uneasy ally in Shredder against The Laughing Man.
You guessed right, folks, The Laughing Man is actually just the Joker in a new costume, but the poor Jack Napier doesn’t realize that he is not where he should be in space and time, and his Joker persona may need to be revealed to him!
Honestly, much of comics is letting go and going along for the ride. Working on the assumption that readers of this book are fans of both franchises, and toying with the Crisis on Infinite Earths model makes for some fun splash pages, an interesting (if not very thin) through line to the story and we are treated to a Batman that was raised underground with Splinter and the rest of the gang. Fun stuff, though, don’t try to think too hard on it if you grab the trade.
Freddie F. Williams II is a great artist, but not everyone’s cup of tea, more Bisley than Bolland, but the style works well here. Tynion, a gigantic Bat-fan, and writer of some of the best stories in the past few years from the Bat Office, isn’t getting the attention he deserves in my opinion. Hopefully one day he moves from backups and co-writing credits to the Batman title proper, and I’m sure he is being groomed as such.
We’re treated to some good supporting characters you may expect to see such as Gordon, April O’Neal and in this issue, Casey Jones makes his debut. Batman and Splinter chase The Laughing Man to Ace Chemicals and out of nowhere, strong leading lady Harley Quinn get rescued by our heroes before a Mother Box unleashes its wrath.
On our podcast this past week when discussing Hobbs and Shaw, my co-host Dursin described it as boys playing with Matchbox cars. And he’s right, and that’s not a bad thing! Tynion, Williams and Eastman have gotten their toy chests mixed up and we get Batman/TMNT III.
I like it … but wait for the trade or try to track down the earlier issues in your digital reader. Issue #4 won’t make any sense if you pick it up on a lark!