Written by Matthew K. Manning
Art by Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, Leonardo Ito, Shawn Lee
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 9, 2016

Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back to team-up once again in a zany clash of two worlds. While earlier this year we saw the original TMNT pair up with the slightly grittier Batman world we’re used to, this week sees the release of the crossover between the two animated versions of the two. Matthew K. Manning brings us an epic meeting of cartoons, mashing together the current TMNT animated series with the Batman Adventures of nostalgia’s past. Published by IDW and DC Comics, with Manning on writing duties and Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, Leonardo Ito, and Shawn Lee on art, Batman/TMNT Adventures #1 is chock full of fun for the family.

This first issue heavily features the four teenaged turtles, true to their Nickelodeon selves, as they come across villains strange to their worlds. However, Batman, ripped straight from the animated series many of us fondly cherish, begins to notice villains escaping from the dark fortress of Arkham Asylum in mysterious ways. It won’t be long before some of Batman’s heaviest hitters and the Turtles’ evilest foes cross paths to destroy New York and Gotham, but luckily, some of the most radical and intelligent heroes are hot on their trail.

Matthew K. Manning certainly has a solid handle on the turtles from the Nickelodeon series. He captures their youthfulness, goofiness and focus well. The dialogue is solid and feels like it has oozed out of the TV show, and I generally enjoyed the narrative arc of this first issue in the mini series. I wish that the writing was a little more mature at time, though I assume this comes from capturing the tone of the new animated turtles. However, this comic is likely going to appeal to adults due to the Batman Animated material, and it would have still worked for both a younger audience and an adult audience if the Turtles slightly adolescent attitudes had been dialed back a notch.

The tone of the story aside, the writing flows pretty quickly and moves the story forward well. The introduction of the characters from both worlds will be fun to watch unravel, and the last page got me excited for the next issue. Nothing groundbreaking is happening here, but the overall thrust of the story and quality of the writing is solid and provides a fun romp through Gotham and New York.

Jon Sommariva has captured the essence of the Nickelodeon turtles perfectly. They feel true to the cartoon. He marries their bold cartoony style tot he more subdued, but iconic Batman Animated world smoothly. While Batman himself wasn’t 100% Batman Animated accurate, his cast of rogues looked wonderful laid out across the pages. The overall art direction felt like a fun partnership of the two animated worlds, a feat I can’t imagine is easy to achieve. Sean Parson’s inks are clean denote the cartoon origins perfectly, favoring bold lines to turn up the punch quality on every page. Leonardo Ito’s colors also do well to blend the two worlds together, opting for slightly more brightly colored panels on the side of the turtles, and a darker, but still lively palette for Batman. The two look great side by side, and I’m looking forward to seeing these universes come together more.

Overall, Batman/TMNT Adventures #1 provides exactly what you think it would: a fun bit of silly action and an unlikely meeting of two worlds and two iconic sets of characters. I’m excited to see more of the villains on both sides and what this story has to offer.

The Verdict: 8.5/10


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