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Comic Review: Batman/TMNT II #4

by Dan Gehen

The Turtles, Batman, and Robin have their hands full as they take on Bane’s army of venom-fueled warriors. Meanwhile, Casey and April discover a two-way radio is more difficult to use than an inter-dimensional portal device.

Comic Review: Batman/TMNT II #4

(w) James Tynion IV (a) Freddie E. Williams II

In my review of this crossover’s previous issue, I levied a criticism at the hilarious proportions of Bane’s body as rendered by artist Freddie E. Williams II. Apparently, the creative team was just as aware of how ridiculous the character looked, as in the midst of battle Raphael takes the time do deliver a long-winded insult to the venom-fueled villain. That alone makes Batman/TMNT II #4 worth the price of admission.

For the most part, this issue is one big action sequence. The line in the sand is clearly drawn, with our heroes on one side and the baddies on the other. After a few rounds of posturing, they converge on one another. The result is some of the most creative and beautiful looking action sequences in a TMNT comic. Freddie Williams’s inventive layouts don’t make Batman/TMNT II #4 something to just read, but rather something to experience. The opening sequence with Casey and April is solid, but once the battle takes over, he pulls out all the stops. Double-page spreads are just the tip of the iceberg. On multiple occasions he uses character faces to frame the action, or utilize an angle that is slightly off from comic norms. Once the battle ends, Williams continues his artistic tour de force, delivering memorable imagery such as Bane’s defacing of the Statue of Liberty.

This great artwork by Williams is bringing to life a solid script by James Tynion IV. If you’ve read his previous works, either from the TMNT or Batman, you know that Tynion knows these characters inside and out. More importantly, he knows what makes them great characters and what has made them endure over many years. He is able to bring these sensibilities to the book and strike a very balanced tone. There are instances with high stakes and grave situations, but there are also moments of levity and winking at the audience that do not feel out of place.

After the previous issue’s dip in quality, Batman/TMNT II #4 is a great bounce-back installment. Tynion and Williams’ collaboration is something truly special that has a wide appeal. Bring on number five!

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