Donatello is on a roided-up rampage, and only Batman and his brothers can stop him. And they’ll need to, if they have any hope of stopping Bane from becoming the true king of New York!
Comic Review: Batman/TMNT II #5
(w) James Tynion IV (a) Freddie E. Williams II
Intercompany crossovers are great because they force the creative team to provide a pure, continuity-light version of characters. Not only does it make certain characters accessible to uninitiated or lapsed readers, it also reminds us why we fell in love with these characters in the first place. In the case of James Tynion and Freddie Williams’ Batman/TMNT books, readers are granted the opportunity to see both sets of characters at their absolute purest.
Of course, not everything in this issue is the Turtles at their purest. That’s because, as mentioned previously, Donatello is on a rampage. Feeling inadequate and guilty for the current situation, Donnie has injected himself with venom with unfortunate side-effects. Now, the venom has taken over, and he cannot control the rage coursing through his veins. This presents an opportunity for Tynion, who uses it to showcase the best traits of Leonardo and Batman. With Leonardo, Tynion demonstrates why he is unquestionably the leader of the team as he tries to get through to his brother with unrelenting persistence. Meanwhile, Tynion’s Batman draws clear inspiration from Batman: The Animated Series, as he has a warmer personality as evidenced by his empathizing with Donnie.
While this conflict is the main, driving force behind this issue’s narrative, the other core characters do have their moments – however fleeting – to shine. Whether it is Michelangelo, Robin, April, or Nightwing, Tynion does enough with each character to make readers feel comfortable in knowing who they are and what makes them tick. With that said, this issue does ultimately come across as a filler issue meant to pad the miniseries out to 6 issues. While decompressed storytelling is not inherently a bad thing, it can result in the narrative moving at a sluggish pace. Such is the case here. It is unfortunate, because there is actually a very interesting story to tell – specifically Splinter going through the Lazarus Pit – which is just glossed over.
At this point, readers should know what to expect from Freddie Williams’ art. For a more complete analysis, check out one of the other reviews for this series. I just don’t want to keep repeating myself, so here’s the main points: It’s dynamic. The layouts are creative. Overall, it’s very good.
Batman/TMNT II #5 is a very strong issue in terms of character development and examination. However, it is lacking when it comes to actually progressing the plot in a meaningful manner. Hopefully, the kinks are ironed out in the next issue to bring this miniseries to a satisfying conclusion.