Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1

IDW PUBLISHING/DC Comics – @DCComics @IDWPublishing

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Matthew K. Manning
PENCILS: Jon Sommariva
INKS: Sean Parsons
COLORS: Leonardo Ito
LETTERS: Shawn Lee
COVER: Jon Sommariva
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Kevin Eastman with Tomi Varga; Ciro Nielli; Hilary Barta with Jason Millet; Ty Templeton; Ben Bishop; Alex Kotkin; Ken Haeser; Steve Lavigne and Peter Laird with Ben Bishop; Tony Fleecs; J. Bone; Ian Nichols; Dario Brizuela; Eddie Nunez; Derek Fridolfs with Heather Breckel
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2016)

“The Face of Two Worlds”

Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (also known as TMNT and Ninja Turtles) are a media empire that began with four fictional characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  The comic book, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (cover dated: May 1984), introduced four teenage anthropomorphic turtles (meaning they walk and talk like humans).

Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael were adopted by an anthropomorphic rat, Master Splinter, who was their sensei and who trained them in the art of ninjutsu.  The Turtles live in the sewers of New York City and battle every bad guy from petty criminals and overlord-mastermind types to alien invaders and mutated creatures.

DC Comics and IDW Publishing united last year to publish the crossover comic book, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Now, IDW Publishing has just released the second such crossover, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures.  It is written by Matthew K. Manning; drawn by Jon Sommariva (pencils) and Sean Parsons (inks); colored by Leonardo Ito; and lettered by Shawn Lee.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1 (“The Face of Two Worlds”) opens in the Turtles' New York City, where we find them fighting crime in their own unique way.  Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Batman is trying to find out why select denizens of the infamous prison, Arkham Asylum, are disappearing and sometimes returning... and telling strange tales.

When I first heard about the first Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover comic book (published by DC Comics), I wanted to read it, of course.  However, I was and still am cynical about crossover comic books, so I did not expect much from Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I was more than pleasantly surprised.  It is one of the best inter-comic book company crossover comic books that I have ever read.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1 takes its leads from those “Adventures” comic books.  Back in 1992, a syndicated animated television series named “Batman” debuted.  Commonly known as “Batman: The Animated Series,” it featured Batman in a visually striking manner that recalled the art and design of the 20th century's early decades and also the early years of Batman comic books.  DC Comics published a comic book based on “Batman: The Animated Series,” entitled “Batman Adventures,” which was also friendlier and more open to younger readers than regular Batman titles.  Since then, other comic books based on animated TV series have followed the lead of Batman Adventures, including IDW's (which has the license to publish TMNT comic books) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures is certainly an “Adventures” comic book.  Honestly, I have mixed feelings about such comic books, so I am not as excited about this new comic book miniseries as I was about Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was darker in tone and more like Eastman and Laird's early TMNT comic books, with their raw, edgy, DIY aesthetic.  However, I want to give Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures a chance.  I want to see where this is going.  Truthfully, I would like to see Batman and the Ninja Turtles crossovers past this new series

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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