Batman/TMNT Adventures #6 ComicWow! Review

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In addition to writing the first five issues of the series, Matthew K Manning has written a lot of Batman and a lot of TMNT. His Batman credits include Beware the Batman and Batman Strikes. He contributed a Calendar Man story to DC’s villain-centric one-shot Batman 80-Page Giant 2010. He is a Batman historian as well, having written Batman: Arkham Universe: The Ultimate Visual Guide (a game reference book), Batman Year By Year: A Visual History (a 75 year retrospective), and The Batman Vault (Co-written with Robert Greenberger).

His TMNT credits are equally impressive, having written Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures Omnibus, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Amazing Adventures:  Meeting of the Mutanimals, and the (in)famous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Amazing Adventures:  Carmelo Anthony Special. 

Beyond that, Manning’s credits range from Mask & Capes work on Spiderman, Iron Man, JLA, Wonder Woman and more to franchise work like Looney Toons and Scooby-Doo.

Jon Sommariva has also worked on every issue of this series.  Aside from this, Sommariva’s credits include GoBoy 7, Gemini, Free Realms, Star Wars: Talis, Noble Causes: Family Secrets, Darkstalkers Tribute, Rexodus (one of the best comics you never read), Angry Birds, Killaroo, and more.

In addition to this series, Sommariva and Manning share many credits on TMNT, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Amazing Adventures:  Meeting of the Mutanimals and the Carmelo Anthony Special.  Their work on this series was lauded by IDW with a special release: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1: Directors Cut.

This sixth issue is something of a coda.  The main story was told in issues #1-5.  Villains from both universes had accidentally found a way to cross over, and it took the combined efforts of the Ninja Turtles and the Batman team (Batman, Robin, Batgirl) to set things right.

In this issue, The Kraang have found their way to Gotham.  They attack.  Batman and his team defend, and are assisted by the Turtles.

The story is simple but well-told.  In this issue, both young robin (Tim Drake) and Nightwing (Dick Grayson) appear, as well as Batgirl, the object of Donatello’s affections.  The threat from the invading extradimensional alien invaders is real, and the battle is heated, but there is never the feeling that the evil will triumph – in fact, it never looks like this story will go to issue seven.

The interest in this story is the interaction of these different characters.  Batman is alternately similar to Raphael (the warrior) and Leonardo (the strategist), and Donatello (the engineer/scientist). Mikey, the perpetual teenager, is in good company with the younger Robin.

Not to get overly technical, a coda is an end movement to music or dance, often a separate piece, and an opportunity to revisit leitmotifs, dancers, etc. one last time. This is Manning and Sommariva’s opportunity to take this unique collection of characters out for one last metaphorical spin across the floor. They do not waste the dance.

Written by: Matthew K. Manning

Illustrated by: Jon Sommariva