Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 #4 – James Tynion IV, Ryan Ferrier, Writers; Freddie Williams III, Artist; Jeremy Colwell, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Four issues in, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, a sequel to Tynion and Williams’ first Batman/TMNT crossover mini, is lacking the dramatic momentum of the first. Part of this is due to the fact that the series has a cowriter now – Ferrier, while a capable writer, lacks the proven dynamic dialogue when it comes to the Bat-family – but the bigger problem is the choice of villain. While Ra’s Al Ghul and Shredder were masterminds with a weird science vibe, Bane is simply brute force, something that is never clearer than in this issue.
When we last left off, the Turtles, Batman, and Robin were facing off against Bane and his newly Venomized Bebop and Rocksteady. The opening fight is more brutal than I expected, with Bane delivering a curb stomp to Raphael and eventually putting him in the position for Bane’s famous back-breaker move – until Splinter jumps in and takes on Bane himself.
That goes…about as well as you’d expect. Splinter is talented, but he’s not about brute strength, and all it takes is one hit from Bane to take him out of commission. By the end of the fight, Bane’s escaped, the building has collapsed, and Splinter is in a coma with severe injuries. The Turtles are all hit hard, of course (except Mikey, who wants Pizza), and Batman sort of takes control of the team in the aftermath, but no one is taking it harder than Donatello. He’s so angry and filled with guilt, in fact, that he thinks the group should take Venom and bring the fight to Bane. Batman and Leonardo shoot him down hard, and they begin planning a resistance to Bane (who has taken over the Statue of Liberty in a ridiculous scene), but Donatello makes a solo choice that may send the rest of the series down a much darker path. Overall, I’m not really sure about the direction this series is taking with the smartest turtle.