Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III has delivered on what this trilogy series has been. This particular series has upped its level from the previous two team-ups as we gotten a Crisis On Infinite Earth-style story with Krang and Anti-Monitor’s merger. This led to an interesting set up for a world were Batman became one of the disciples of Master Splinter and raised alongside the rest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Over the course of this series we’ve seen this new reality break as everyone in both Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ lives have started to remember their original continuity. How will things go now after Joker recently awakened? Let’s find out with Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Freddie E. Williams II and Kevin Eastman
Colorist: Jeremy Colwell
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Batman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Casey Jones, Master Splinter and Shredder battle the Anti-Monitor Krang’s Utrom robots that Joker unleashed from the Multiverse by using a Mother Box. During the fight Batman gives Michelangelo some taserangs to use on the Utrom robots.
As the fight gets more intense Batman is able to get to Joker. Batman quickly gets the Mother Box that Joker was holding and tosses it to Donatello. Joker makes a mention about a crowbar. This causes Batman to remember when Joker killed Jason Todd.
Batman realizes that they can’t win with things as they are. He tells the Turtles that there is something he needs to do and swings away.
Master Splinter tells the Turtles that Batman is likely going to get another break another piece of the world so that everything can be set right. He then tells the Turtles that they must go to the other side and defeat Anti-Monitor Krang.
As the Turtles activate the Mother Box Splinter asks Shredder if he can hold off the Utrom robots on his own. Shredder says that will not be a problem and calls on the Foot Clan to back him up in the fight against the Utrom robots.
Meanwhile Splinter joins April O’Neil and Alfred Pennyworth in the Batmobile to search for Batman.
At that same time the Turtles all jump into the portal Joker created using the Mother Box.
Inside the UltraTechnodrome Anti-Monitor Krang is freaking out that things aren’t going as he planned. He sends more of his Utrom robots to keep his plans together.
As Anti-Monitor Krang continues his freak out the Turtles sneak their way through the UltraTechnodrome.
Back in Gotham City, Alfred and Master Splinter contacts Batman to find out where he is. Batman reveals he did not run away from the fight. Instead he went looking for help. Alfred and Master Splinter then see the Bat-Signal lighting up the sky.
Inside the UltraTechnodrome the Turtles have been able to break the original black and white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles free from Anti-Monitor Krang’s device.
At that same time Alfred and Master Splinter find Batman atop the Gotham City Police Department standing next to the Bat-Signal. Batman reveals that when he started remembering his original memories felt like he was sacrificing the life he had with family in Master Splinter and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Alfred reminds Batman that he is there for him. Batman says that is why he turned on the Bat-Signal.
Before Alfred can get a full answer from Batman the UltraTechnodrome appears in Gotham City. Alfred what the three of them will do. Batman reveals that they are not alone. From the shadows Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, Red Hood and Robin appear ready to provide Batman some back-up.
Inside the UltraTechnodrome Anti-Monitor Krang discovers that the Turtles have released both the original TMNT team and an alternate universe Batman (wearing the yellow oval logo) he captured. He tells his Utrom robots to get the Energy Emitter ready to destroy Gotham City as he plans to rebuild everything from scratch.
Meanwhile Donatello and the others work on using the Mother Box to stop Anti-Monitor Krang. Batman contacts Donatello to use the Mother Box to create a new portal. Donatello isn’t fully sure how to use the Mother Box. Batman reveals he has someone that can help walk Donatello through the process.
As Donatello works on opening a portal Anti-Monitor Krang finally finds them all. Right when Anti-Monitor Krang is about to attack everyone Donatello is able to open a portal using the Mother Box.
From the portal Batman leads Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, Red Robin and Red Hood in joining all the Turtles and the alternate universe Batman into the final fight against Anti-Monitor Krang. End of issue.
The Good: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle III #5 continues all the development that has been going on. In the process James Tynion, Freddie Williams and Kevin Eastman are able to build an issue that builds the maximum hype with how this “Crisis In A Half Shell” event is going to end.
What makes Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5 such a standout issue is how it is able to provide a payoff for Batman’s character arc in this event. Throughout this event we have seen how having a family has been deeply important to Batman. This is something we’ve seen be part of Batman’s character for a long time and cuts deep into his origin as an orphan.
As with the other character’s triggers Tynion does a fantastic job using the death of Jason Todd at the hands of the Joker as Batman’s trigger to remember the Batman Family. This is by far one of the most important moments in Batman’s history. It was one of Batman’s biggest failures that he has held onto even after Jason Todd was resurrected and became Red Hood. Using this event also emphasized how important Joker is to Batman’s history, continuing the thread from the previous issue.
Making Batman’s family arc better was how he came to terms with it. Batman admitting to Alfred and Master Splinter about how he was feeling about his memories returning was an extremely honest moment. It elevated how important Batman’s family is to him. Which in turn made the moment when Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, Red Robin and Red Hood appeared behind Batman to back him up a memorable moment in “Crisis In A Half Shell.” Having the Batman Family appear in the shadows was a smart decision as it made the final page with the full reveal of everyone a strong conclusion to build hype for the final issue.
Tynion did a great job in using Master Splinter and Alfred to elevate Batman’s arc in this story. Both characters, thanks to the merged world, have a strong connection to Bruce Wayne. Master Splinter has joined Alfred in being a father-figure to Bruce. Both showed a deep concern that Bruce may have hit a breaking point. That concern came from a good place as they both view him as a son. Their development made Bruce’s speech to them before the Batman Family appeared an even stronger scene.
For as much attention Batman got in this issue all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also shined in this issue. As the ones who took the fight directly to Anti-Monitor Krang they were a big difference maker. Tynion did a great job using their ninja skills to have them sneak into the UltraTechnodrome and free the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the alternate universe Batman without even being noticed. It all put over home skilled all four Turtles are at this point.
With most of the attention in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5 given to the title characters Tynion made sure to maximize Shredder’s screen time. His confidence in being able to handle the Utrom robot army with his own power showed how much of a badass he was. It also gave the Foot Clan an opportunity to come across as a big threat rather than just a bunch of grunts like they normally do in the TMNT comics.
With how much both Batman and the Turtles had going on Tynion made sure to keep Anti-Monitor Krang as the major threat he has been since the first issue. Tynion does a great job presenting Anti-Monitor Krang as a powerful villain even has the character has over-the-top reactions. The way Anti-Monitor Krang freaks out actually provides some much needed comedy in the middle of a lot of serious and badass moments other characters receive in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5.
Even with both the Batman Family and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles united there is still the question as to how they will be able to defeat Anti-Monitor Krang. Adding the UltraTechnodrome’s appearance in Gotham City adds a sense of urgency to how things will be resolved. It is all or nothing for Batman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all the other heroes involved in his Multiverse-level crisis. Which is exactly how a final boss should be built up heading into the final issue of a big event.
Joker was also a good secondary villain in this conflict. He served his role of giving Batman the final necessary trigger to get all his memories back. In the process Joker showed how he adds such a chaotic element in every situation he is in. Since he has been such a big part of this story, Joker hopefully plays some role in the final issue of this series to wrap up his arc as well.
Freddie Williams and Kevin Eastman once again provide strong artwork throughout Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5. Williams puts over how chaotic this Multiverse-level crisis is as Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles race against the clock to stop Anti-Monitor Krang. Williams artwork shines best in all the action scenes.
Eastman also did a great job adapting the classic black and white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles design to fit in the world Williams created. No character feels out of place which makes the final page an even more exciting cliffhanger as we see all the Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle characters ready for the final fight against Anti-Monitor Krang.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5 does a fantastic job building the maximum amount of hype for the finale of “Crisis In A Half Shell” event. James Tynion, Freddie Williams and Kevin Eastman combined to further all the character arcs that have been in development throughout this series. Batman’s arc in particular is the standout of this scene as we see how important Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, Red Robin and Red Hood truly are to him. It all works to deliver an ending that will get every Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan excited for the final issue of this series.
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