Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 (of 6) (DC Comics/IDW)
It’s safe to say with this final issue that Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been one of the strangest intercompany crossovers in the history of the Dark Knight’s career. It’s featured the Dark Knight eat pizza with four oversized turtles, and battle a Bane that has been transformed into a Mastodon. But at the same time, James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II’s miniseries has a ton of heart, and nails what makes both Batman and the Ninja Turtles so beloved by many. It’s that heart that helps elevate this awesome, but rushed, finale.
This issue finds Batman and Robin finally squaring off with Ra’s Al Ghul and Shredder. With an army of Foot Clan and League of Assassin ninjas, as well as the mutagen infected members of Batman’s rogues gallery, the fight isn’t in Batman’s favor. Lucky for him, the Turtles and Splinter arrive to help even the odds, leading to some spectacularly geeky moments, like Michelangelo facing off with a Polar Bear version of Mr. Freeze and Batman and Shredder having an absolutely devastating fight. Of course, as awesome as the fights are, they cut into the other motivation of the series: getting the Turtles back to their dimension before their mutagen reverts. Tynion’s script has to rush into getting the Turtles back home, and that’s the flaw with this issue.
Actually, it’s the flaw of this miniseries as a whole. The relationship between the Turtles and Batman comes very quickly, and the villains’ master plan is never really that well established. In the end, there’s simply too much ground for Tynion to cover in this miniseries, so much so that I’m surprised it was kept to only six issues. Eight, nine, or even ten would have given Tynion plenty of time to have the Turtles and Batman form a more believable bond, and it would’ve also fleshed out Shredder and Ra’s plan more.
More issues in this series would’ve also given Freddie Williams II time to hone his style. While he started off as a better Turtles artist than a Batman one, by this issue Williams has finally hit his stride and delivers some truly awesome panels. There are still a few weird panels and poses here and there, but it’s nice to see Williams deliver on the potential he showed in the first issue.
While Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ final issue is a little rushed, this is still the best crossover of the year so far. For all of the weak moments, Tynion and Williams really nail the characterizations of all the players involved, and deliver some of the coolest moments in comics this year. While there wasn’t as much time for this miniseries to cover, as much as it wanted to, I have no doubt that we’ll hear of a sequel coming soon.
Vision #7 (Marvel Comics)
Tom King’s Vision series has been one of the strangest All New All Different Marvel titles. Telling the story of the synthetic android that creates a family and moves to the suburbs, it’s part family drama, part psychological thriller. And it’s pretty damn spectacular. The latest issue focuses on the Vision’s long history with Scarlet Witch, and touches on different moments throughout their relationship.
Tom King creates an interesting look into just how the Vision has gotten to the point of creating his own family, something that, as this issue reveals, he and Wanda Maximoff had not only done, but had a huge blow out argument over. King brings out the stages of being in a relationship beautifully here. There’s the initial infatuation, the first fight, the heartbreak of breaking up, and the coming to terms with the relationship you have. It’s all done so well that you’ll forget that the two lovebirds are a woman and a robot.
Michael Walsh fills in for series regular artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and while Walsh’s style is very similar to Walta’s, he offers a lot more detail in his environments and faces. Not only that, Walsh effortlessly mixes up his character designs to show the passage of time in Vision and Scarlet Witch’s relationship. You get a ton of different eras of Avengers in this issue, and Walsh depicts them wonderfully.
I was hesitant on the Vision at first, and it’s admittedly a VERY slow burn, but Tom King is doing things in this book that defy expectations. Vision is taking a look into what it’s like to actually be this character, and brings up a lot of interesting questions about the Vision. Since this new storyline is building up to a confrontation that’s been hinted at since the beginning of the series, I don’t recommend starting here. But I highly recommend that you seek out the first collection when it hits. It’s guaranteed to be unlike anything else you’re reading.
X-Men ’92 #1 (Marvel Comics)
The 90’s X-Men cartoon holds a special place in my heart. It was one of my first introductions to the X-Men and their place in the Marvel universe. The Secret Wars miniseries from the summer was a pretty big success, so it’s not surprising that Marvel would expand upon it with a new ongoing series. What is surprising is that I found this starting issue from Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, and Alti Firmansyah to be much more entertaining the opening issue of the previous mini series. Read the rest of this entry
At Saturday’s Wonder Con panel, DC Comics unveiled the creative teams behind their upcoming “DC Rebirth” event, the line-wide relaunch that will help put DC’s universe back on the right path. Like with any relaunch, there’s a lot of cool stuff, and some disappointments (*COUGH* Scott Lobdell). But let’s not focus on the bad. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the titles that I’m most looking forward to in the relaunch. Read the rest of this entry
Doctor Strange #1 (Marvel Comics)
All New All Different Marvel has begun, and with it comes Doctor Strange, which brings the Sorcerer Supreme back to a monthly series. With the team of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo (and the fact that there’s a movie coming out in a about a year) there’s a lot riding on this first issue of Doctor Strange. Thankfully, Aaron and Bachalo’s debut issue is a lot of fun., and the perfect book for people who are looking to be introduced to the character. Read the rest of this entry
It’s a sad day for me folks, because this week brings the finale of one of my favorite series on the stands: Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man. While I’d love to see this title continue into infinity, the truth of the matter is that it’s amazing that this book even saw the light of day, let alone made it to seventeen issues, and Spencer and Lieber certainly send it off in style. Read the rest of this entry
A weekly comic series is always a risky endeavor. Storylines could peter out, interest may wane, or, god forbid, the series could be canceled before it even finishes. I’ve never been one to follow them before.
But then I read the first issue of Batman Eternal, the first of three planned weekly series from DC. With a crew of storytellers with the names Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, and John Layman, and with an opening arc featuring art from the fantastic Jason Fabok, THIS is how you start off a weekly series, and fire up interest. Read the rest of this entry
Yes, this is the second Superior Spider-Man review in a row, but with this being the start of the final storyline, I figured you’d all forgive me for allowing a repeat appearance of OckSpidey. Yes, this is the first part of Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncolli’s “Goblin Nation”, where we will finally see the Superior Spider-Man face off with the Green Goblin (or Goblin King, as he’s taken to calling himself now).
Taking place 31 days after the previous issue, we find Otto trying to understand how his all-seeing Spider-bots could have allowed the Goblin army to ransack New York City. After uncovering the flaw in his designs, Otto manages to make his way to the Goblin’s underground lair, where….nah I won’t spoil it. All I’ll say is that Dan Slott is clearly having a lot of fun with this final story arc, and I’m glad that we didn’t have to wait too long for Otto and Norman (?) to meet up. There’s also some more time with Peter Parker attempting to piece together his memories, but with only 31 of them left, he’s going to have a pretty rough time trying to rebuild himself so he can get his body back. Read the rest of this entry