Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Freddie Williams III, Artist; Jeremy Colwell, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: The Turtles’ Story
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!
Ray: The most successful inter-company crossover since DC vs. Marvel, the fact that Batman/TMNT got a sequel isn’t a surprise. This sequel, by the same creative team, looks to expand the scope, bringing in a new main villain and several major players from both universes. The issue seems to take place on the side from the IDW universe – the major players seem the same, but the Turtles are younger and Splinter is still one of the good guys (unlike the IDW book, where he’s now the reluctant leader of the Foot Clan). The issue kicks off with the team doing their best to keep the peace in the aftermath of Shredder’s arrest in the last mini, as Karai battles a group of masked supernatural ninjas for control of the Foot Clan. The Turtles manage to save the day with Donatello’s tech, but Donatello gets beaten pretty badly by the ninjas in the process.
This mini’s focus on Donatello seems to be a strong move. The idea of him being the smartest Turtle but the physically weakest is a long-running trait, but here it’s actually causing him a bit of concern, and that sets the plot in motion. As the rest of the Turtles and their allies plot to keep the peace in New York, Donatello utilizes experimental teleportation technology to travel back to Gotham to get help in combat training from Batman. The only problem is, Batman and Robin are currently dealing with the aftermath of Ra’s Al Ghul’s plot from the first mini, which includes a stray Lazarus Pit, and a Gotham breakout by Bane – which ends with the villain becoming more powerful than ever, and getting ready to invade the Turtles’ universe. It’s a crossover that delivers on its promise right out of the gate, featuring great character moments and action, from a creative team that clearly loves both universes.
Corrina: Whereas the first crossover was centered in Gotham and Batman’s universe, this one obviously begins in the Turtle’s world, and those unfamiliar with any but the basic concept of TMNT may find themselves a bit lost, especially given that the coloring of the fights in the sewers is a bit murky.
I like the focus on Donatello and how each Turtle is given more of an in-depth personality than in the previous crossover, especially when it’s clear that big changes may be coming due to the crossover villains. Still, I’m not as instantly sold on this as the first one, as it’s more jumbled at the start. But that could be perhaps because I’m a Batman reader. TMNT readers should love it.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.