Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 Review: “New Friends, Old Ghosts”


Batman  / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 – “New Friends, Old Ghosts”

Script: James Tynion IV / Art and Cover: Freddie E. Williams II / Colors: Jeremy Colwell / Letters: Tom Napolitano / Variant Cover: Kevin Eastman with Tomi Varga

Emotional, exciting, and escalating — those are the keywords for Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4. James Tynion IV brings another enthralling issue that’s both classic Batman and classic Turtles. Along with Freddie E. Williams II’s art, this is another can’t miss installment for this dream-of-a-crossover.

Where do we even start? Well, let’s go right into the humor. Batman is not known to be a very humorous fellow — not that he doesn’t enjoy a good joke here and there — but his world is usually dark and brooding. The Turtles, though, are another story. The weird, wild, wacky world of our green friends have always been a bit off-kilter. What better way to show these two worlds collide than to … ahem … literally have these characters collide!

There are no better pages to sum up this mash-up than the ones where Alfred greets the arrival of the pizza deliveryman — which also signals the arrival of the Turtles’ main source of sustenance. As the Turtles jovially grab their favorite food, they crash into the famous butler. In the Batcave, the Heroes in a Half Shell gleefully have Batman try a pizza. It’s a veritable mini-United Nations of superheroes.

However, the celebration is quickly ended when Rafael snaps them back into reality. And snap them back he does. Unleashing a tirade against Batman and his brothers for not taking their dire situation seriously, the most temperamental of the Turtles takes off in a huff. Batman later picks up Rafael and gives him a quick rundown of what all readers already about the Dark Knight’s biography. It’s this sort of clean quick writing from Tynion that allows the pages to move quickly. Conflict and resolution — done and done.

Meanwhile, Shredder has been solidifying his partnership with Ra’s al Ghul. They also see the arrival of a close Turtles ally. I’m not going to say who it is, but it’s good that he’s here because they’ll definitely need him.

The issue ends on another escalating event. And one that’ll make every reader go “uh-oh!”

Williams’s art, as always, is clear and shows its best features during action sequences. Jeremy Colwell’s colors complement the pencils nicely and give everything a nice dynamic feeling. The two working together really strike a great balance where both essences of Batman and the Turtles are still retained, yet they’re mash-up doesn’t seem thrown together or out of place.

Next: Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 Review

Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 is another great installment in the crossover series of two great comic properties. Now that they’ve got the formalities out of the way — meeting each other and resolving any suspicions and conflicts — we can look forward to #5 and #6 to be an all out battle with the bad guys.