Crisis in a Half Shell comes to a close as Batmen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from multiple worlds fight to stop Krang and the Anti-Monitor before all of the multiverses are destroyed. This final issues consists primarily of a massive fight scene held across several fronts. All the while, a message of hope, family, and friendship runs through the comic.
Artist Freddie E. Williams II draws his heart out in Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #6. This battle is epic in the truest sense of the word. The stakes are high and Williams underscores that with how reality is coming out of phase. There’s a chilling shot where April goes to open a door and her hand goes right through it. Time is running out to get everyone where they need to be.
Krang makes one final attempt to have his way and he inadvertently creates something that will haunt my nightmares for some time. The whole premise of this series rested on the two worlds coming together. Well, that happens literally to Batman and the Turtles, making a grisly lump of flesh and teeth. It was unexpected and nothing short of terrifying.
The original Turtles, drawn by Kevin Eastman are in the mix of the fight. It’s so cool seeing them drawn this way again, in black-and-white too. There was already a nice clash of personalities in this series. Have the Turtles of the past speaking with the Turtles of the present was a lot of fun. The two Michelangelos are the real stand out, especially when they start a robot-fighting competition with Damian.
Letterer Tom Napolitano further distinguishes the OG Turtles with a different font for their dialogue. It’s scratchier and more rugged which works well with their design.
The space above the battle is a fiery red. Colorist Jeremy Colwell drives home the world-ending feeling with this ominous tone. These explosions in the sky could tear both worlds asunder. Through it all, there’s this sense of hope from Batman and the Turtles, shining through in their brighter costumes. Yes, I realize I just described Batman’s outfit as “bright.” It’s still black and grey, but it’s a more vibrant color than the doom and gloom that surrounds the fight.
While this mega battle is going on, Batman and the Turtles are realizing what is most important in life and what is worth saving. They lived a lifetime together as a family in this merged world. Even though this was all a fabrication, it was real to them. It made an impression. Between the two sides, Batman definitely gets more from this relationship, bringing his adopted family like Nightwing, Alfred, and Batgirl, closer and valuing them more.
While this issue brings this massive pop culture crossover trilogy to a close, it sits as a solid tale that can be experienced individually or as a full three-parter. Writer James Tynion IV uses the family element of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to teach Batman how to be human. This chapter ends with a fun line and a smile and I could not have hoped for a better finale. My inner child is super happy right now.