The penultimate issue is here which means the big setup for the even bigger climax is upon us! It also means we could be in for a so-so issue as the creative team saves the best for last. Or do they? Is it good?
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 (DC Comics & IDW)
The Ninja Turtles have entered Gotham and with them they’ve brought Shredder, but only by accident. Shredder is working with a certain ninja centric villain from Batman’s rogues gallery, Casey Jones has recently entered the fray and the Turtles are racing to find a way home before the ooze that made them wears off and they become average turtles.
Why does this book matter?
Writer James Tynion IV has infused this series with fun elements for fans of both Batman and TMNT, but also a story that’s summer blockbuster fun. It’s not overly complicated and allows the characters to do and say things we can geek over. This is improved upon by art that’s incredibly eye catching and fun as Freddie E. Williams II keeps it bombastic and pretty. Even when the plot isn’t blowing you away the fun will.
Someone print this poster NOW!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Case in point if you ever wanted to see Ninja Turtles crawling over the Bat signal you got it in this issue! Or how about some Ninja Turtle hijinks in the Bat-Cave? There’s a mondo fight sequence, more Michelangelo humor (that works!) and most importantly a cliffhanger that will blow your mind. I’m not kidding. Turn to the last page and I dare you not to buy this comic book!
This issue is bookended a bit by the Penguin and that allows Tynion and Williams to play up their much more classic rendition of the character. He’s got the top hat, a monocle and plenty of attitude but more importantly imparts the significance and urgency of the situation in Gotham to our heroes. Tynion manages to ramp up the stakes with Leonardo not doing so well too.
The art… my god, the art! How about a fantastic panel showing us Batman, Leonardo and Raphael swinging through Gotham? How about some epic low angle shots of Batman in costume (the costume is detailed and looks actually practical with all the grooves and seams)? There’s also a fantastic fight sequence running about four pages that’s masterfully choreographed and downright fun. All in all this is fun action comics with all kinds of fan service that wouldn’t work half as well with another artist.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue does suffer from the classic penultimate issue problem of biding its time for the conclusion. There’s a fight sequence in here that’s fun, but it doesn’t serve the plot and instead gives us the customary heroes fighting heroes sequence because of a misunderstanding. In equally twiddling the thumbs fashion Casey Jones stumbles around with nothing to do but throw out details to serve the plot. Heck even the opening scenes are pointless when you remember Batman doesn’t need to be told by Commissioner Gordon when trouble is brewing at Arkham.
Oh, that’s nice.
Is It Good?
Another beautifully drawn issue with moments only a real fan could dream up and a cliffhanger that will make you lose your mind. Seriously. Still though, the entire plot is biding its time for the big finale.