Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 Review: “The Way Home”


The conclusion to the Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover is nothing short of exciting—a perfect blend of Turtles humor and weirdness, paired with Batman’s darker tone.

Batman  / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 – “The Way Home”

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

Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 concludes this insane crossover with wall-to-wall action. With all the formalities and world-building (yes, that’s still needed even though these two are established properties) out of the way, the reader is plunged right into the action. Though Batman is in peril most of the time, he gets to have his big finale via some help from his new half-shelled friends family (you’ll know what I mean at the end).

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The story doesn’t miss a beat and picks right up from where it ended in #5—Batman overwhelmed by his rogues gallery. Well, his rogues gallery has been augmented a tad bit by that pesky mutagen. We now see some familiar faces enhanced with the physical embodiment of their mutant “spirit” animals. Penguin is, of course, a giant bird; Joker is some type of reptilian creature; and Mr. Freeze is a polar bear. Yes, he’s a giant polar bear. I found myself laughing out loud when I saw that. Whoever came up with that idea deserves an award!

Getting perilously close to their “mutation” deadline, it’s Raphael who suggests risking everything to save the Dark Knight. Taking Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul by surprise, the Turtles launch an all out assault at Arkham Asylum and free Batman. Michelangelo has his moment when he calls out Mr. Freeze’s one-liner (it seems like an homage to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin).

Donatello then hands Batman the Intimidator Suit which was still a work-in-progress in the last issue. Batman immediately goes into action and fights hand-to-hand with Shredder. Shredder initially gets the upper hand, but Batman prevails, with Splinter performing the final blow. Ra’s al Ghul sees his defeat and retreats.

The only weak part of the story is the very deus-ex machina nature of the ending. The Turtles have no ability to get back to their dimension. But suddenly, April O’Neil arrives with Casey Jones because she was able to trace a large amount of active mutagen. I was hoping that the writing would be a bit more sophisticated in regards to this. Maybe they should’ve foreshadowed an object or an event in previous issues to make the happy ending more plausible. Then again, who am I to say what’s plausible or not. We have a man dressed as a bat, a kid fighting against dangerous monsters and adults, four talking man-sized turtles, and a talking rat who’s a martial arts master.

The ending is rather heartfelt and had a great character arc for Rafael—warming up to Batman and noting that the Dark Knight was now family. So this issue wasn’t short on emotional depth either.

Freddie E. Williams II goes out with a bang in terms of the art. I had hoped for more two-page spreads … you know … being a final issue for the crossover and all. But alas, we only had one mural-like panel. The action and fight scenes were beautiful and dynamic. Like I said before, Williams’s art has a sort of motion to it—it’s a living cartoon.

Jeremy Colwell’s colors again bring a new dimension to the already action-inducing lines of Williams. The shading and choices in either bright or muted colors were perfectly implemented. It was a great complement to the overall art.

Next: Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5 Review

This was a great conclusion to an exciting and humorous story arc. I was impressed by James Tynion’s ability to balance the weird and wacky world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with that of Batman’s. The tug-of-war between the two was perfectly tuned, and it made the crossover that much more enjoyable. The biggest weakness was the very end where the Turtles were able to get home to their dimension much too easily. I had hoped for more of a challenge or, at least, a sophisticated plot device to make it more believable. Other than that, Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 is still a worthwhile read. And if you’ve stuck with it for five issues, you deserve to get your hands on this fun finale.