This week saw the start of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, the latest team-up between two of comics's most storied (and most successfully adapted) franchises under the creative team of writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II -- but this time around, Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman is here for more than just variant covers, with the original Mirage Turtles appearing in the comic, and being drawn by Eastman in their pages. Unlike previous outings with the Turtles, though, this time Batman faces changes to the fabric of reality itself, creating a new world within the DC multiverse that blends his world with that of the Heroes in a Half-Shell. Spoilers from here on out for Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #1, so be warned.
Secretly, although somewhat predictably perhaps, there was a villain -- or villains -- behind the change. Seen in one of the final pages of the story was Turtles nemesis Krang -- except instead of the typical robot body he has used in previous iterations, here his body looked like that of the Anti-Monitor, one of DC's most powerful and fearsome villains and the destructive force behind Crisis on Infinite Earths. (We can hope, but won't hold our breath, that the Turtles will cameo on The CW next season, right?) During our chat with Tynion and Williams last week, ComicBook.com asked about the villain, how he came to be, and what it was like for Williams to redesign two horrific and bizarre characters as one.
"Over the course of about a year, year-and-a-half, something like that, James and I would run into each other at different conventions. James had these ideas simmering in the back of his mind, and my memory was that we were at a the San Diego con and there were all these people in front of us, and James already had story ideas kind of in his mind. He had this anchor point that he had popped into his mind like a light bulb that was the Anti-Monitor, but Krang in his stomach," explained Williams. "He was right in front of a bunch of people, but he was telling me very quietly with his head kind of moved more towards my shoulder, and I was like, 'That is a great idea.' It's just, the visual works so perfectly, and really, there's not a whole lot that I did differently. It's very much the Anti-Monitor with just Krang in the belly. Although I did look at some of Krang's robot suits. There are some elements that I ported over. There are some sort of Frankenstein monster-type rivets and stuff that the Anti-Monitor did not have."
What he will do next is anybody's guess. You can find out next month. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #1 is available now at comic book shops and digitally via the ComiXology app and other e-readers.
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