Writers: Ryan Ferrier, James Tynion IV / Artists: Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell / DC Comics
Once a month I engage in my weekly ritual of looking up the comics being released. I’m typically in a bed littered with Magic: The Gathering cards and irresponsibly unbagged, unboarded comics. For shame. Suddenly the ground shakes and the heavens open to release divine music, opera-metal in case you’re wondering. I double check in case I’ve read incorrectly. No, it’s happening. Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II comes out this week.
The benevolent comic gods grace us with the fourth installment of Ferrier and Tynion’s most recent tale of the Dark Knight and the Shell Shocking Reptilian Brothers. The writers give us some heavy monologuing from Bane, reminiscent of Mojo Jojo from the Powerpuff Girls. The Bane of this story is purposefully brazzen, confident and verbose. At a couple of points, Michelangelo and Raphael articulate the reader’s frustration with his long-winded bellowing. There is a (sweet?) moment when Bane admires Raphael’s crude fury during the fight. In this comic, Donatello has been breaking my heart dealing with issues of inferiority and guilt. I want to give him a hug and tell him, “It’s okay Donnie. You do machines”, but I get sadder knowing the words of a stranger from a different plane of existence would mean little. Don is approaching a breaking point where he may take drastic measures to attempt fix his mistake and increase his strength.
This book glows in no small part because of Williams’ art. I look forward to it every month. This fight-heavy issue really lets him fly off the handle with some dazzling action scenes. The gold star of this book is actually the unique use of panel boxes. Several of the panel outlines use a stylistic, non-symmetrical design akin to an ink-covered calligraphy brush. Choices like this make the book dynamic and a treasure to read. Who can be upset when there is an off panel stare-down between Batman and Bane among the chaos? This title continues to be one of the most fun books being created right now and I don’t know if I’ll survive an entire month before the next one.
Reading Batman/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.