Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 1.
- James Tynion IV-Author.
- Freddie Williams-Artist.
5 stars out of 5.
Graphic Novel Blurb:
DC Comics and IDW team up for the crossover event of the decade! Two of the most iconic entertainment icons meet for the first time in a tale that readers never imagined they would see. In Gotham City, a series of deadly raids leads Batman to believe he is up against a group of highly trained ninjas. As it turns out, the Foot Clan is on the loose. Somehow, they’ve crossed over to another dimension and are determined to take advantage of the situation while looking to get back home. But they haven’t come alone: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo are on their trail. Get ready for excitement as an assortment of characters from both worlds clash and team up in an epic battle that threatens the very fabric of reality!
The story while coherent and interesting, won’t win any awards for its originality. However, it more than ably serves it’s purpose as a vehicle or Bat Mobile if you will to get us from one plot point to the next moving things along at a fast pace with action, humour, story and even some slight emotion all thrown into the mix.
Without going into detail, during a battle with Krang in their own dimension Shredder, his foot clan, the Turtles and Master Splinter are all transported through a portal and end up trapped in Gotham City. At the start of the novel Batman is investigating the theft of various high-tech machinery by unknown persons, the Turtles are also investigating the thefts as they know who the culprits are. When the inevitable happens and Batman and the Turtles all meet, at first Batman is under the impression that the Turtles are also the bad guys and are working with the foot clan and are in-fact responsible for the thefts. Eventually the misunderstanding gets sorted out and are crossover heroes join forces to stop Shredder from enacting his evil master plan. You may ask, if Batman and the Turtles are teaming up, what about Gotham’s resident bad guys? Well, fear not as if our heroes are joining forces, then it goes that the bad guys from both dimensions would to! And, we get to see a veritable plethora of all the usual Gotham bad guys, even if for some it’s only for brief cameo appearances.
I really liked the writing in the novel, it’s fast paced and moves the story along well. Tynion brings to life the characters that we all know while adding humour into the mix with the clashing of personalities and the occasional bit of emotion to (Batman and Raphael).
Both Batman and the Turtles get enough page time to really get behind them and pull you into the fun-filled story. With lots of stand out moments of action, humour and one liners throughout, Michaelangelo and Alfred is priceless!
Some of you who are aficionados in either Batman, the Turtles or both may say that while all the personalities generally resemble the characters that we all know, that Tynion has made the attitudes slightly different. With Batman lighter than normal whilst simultaneously making the Turtles darker to get a better balance between the two. And, if that is the case then I say to you that it works exceptionally well.
For me, while this is my first foray into graphic novels, I am a huge Batman fan and loved the Turtles as a child. I am old enough to remember the original series when it was shown in the UK and it had to be renamed into Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles as ‘Ninja’ was deemed a violent word for children. I really feel that all the main characters stayed faithful to their classic attitudes and roles and all had the chance to shine.
Who would have thought that we would ever see Batman chowing down on Pizza with the Turtles?!?! No, me neither but it is awesome and a mark out moment for any fan of either of the sets of characters!
I really thought that the art was simply stunning, I’m very much new to the world of graphic novels (this is my first review of one) but I found the art direction of the novel to be awesome. Williams art has a bright and vivid colour palette that really brings to life all the characters and the story with just the right touches of added darkness to give Gotham and Batman the darker vibe that they are known for.
There is also some nice little touches throughout that add that extra little something when your reading. For example, The Intimidator Suit is mentioned by Batman and Alfred early on, when we finally get to see it later in the novel after Donatello has tweaked it, the suit has the bat symbol in the colours of the Turtles own ninja masks (Red, Blue, Orange and Purple) it’s only a very small thing but it stands out and adds that little extra.
Batman is Awesome! Ninja Turtles are Awesome!
The Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover is Freaking Awesome!
I guess that I should go into more depth, well, OK, on the surface it’s perhaps a weird crossover to even imagine. You have the colourful, easy-going and light-hearted Turtles and then the dark and brooding Batman and Gotham City. But if we look past the first impressions then it does make some sense and there are some similarities between the two.
The Turtles are animals that due to the mutagen have human tendencies while Batman is a human but channels his animatistic tendencies at times to. Raphael also has a similar personality to Batman, so the other Turtles have actually dealt with a brooding and moody companion before. Raphael is the darkest of the Turtles, being the most easily annoyed and aggressive with a moody broodiness that is reminiscent of Batman/Bruce Wayne.
The main factor surrounding my feelings on the similarity between the two though is family. The Turtles are a family, calling each other brother and with a father figure in Master Splinter. While they try to stop Shredder, Krang and the various other bad guys in their own world they also protect their family as well as the city and have brotherly bonds. Bruce Wayne on the other hand lost his family due to crime when he was a child, which turned him into Batman and the crime fighter he became. So, the main similarity is family and that they both do what they do because of it. The Turtles fight to protect the city because of theirs and Batman fights to protect Gotham, trying to make it a better place because he lost his.
A great fun-filled story that is the perfect escapism from the world and a must read for any fan of either Batman or the Turtles.
It’s pure fanboy nerdiness and it is highly recommended!
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