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We here at AiPT! pretty much loved every installment of the original Batman/TMNT crossover and are excited for the sequel which starts today. Given the cover, it looks like Bane is going to be the big bad to mess up the Ninja Turtles’ lives, but how can the creative team make it work given the Turtles Four live in an alternate dimension from Batman?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The team behind the smash-hit crossover series is back to reunite the Dark Knight and the Heroes in a Half-Shell. When Donatello goes looking for a new mentor to help him improve his fighting skills, he opens a doorway to another reality, hoping to summon the Turtles’ one-time ally, Batman. But instead, he gets sent to Gotham City and someone else comes through the open portal–Bane! Suddenly, there’s a new gang boss in New York and he’s out to unite all the other bad guys under him. Can Donnie get back in time and bring Batman with him to help his brothers before Bane causes irreparable destruction? Co-published with IDW.
Why does this matter?
Writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II are out to have a little fun. The first story wasn’t a thinker by any means, but it was filled with action, staples and dialogue we love from both properties and big surprises. If you’re a fan of either Batman or TMNT you’re going to find something here you’ll love.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Sick tech Donnie!
This is a Ninja Turtle first issue setting up an arc for Donatello that leads to the eventual interdimensional connection and a promise Donnie will be getting some interesting character work. This first issue starts off about where we left off for both Batman and the Ninja Turtles as they reflect on the first series and there’s clearly some plot progression from there. It makes a lot of sense to focus on Donatello since he’s the techie of the bunch and a lot more like Batman in that respect since they’re both good with gadgets. Tynion IV creates a juxtaposition or at least makes us think about the similarities between the two characters, which helps convey the approach they’re taking with Donatello. Given this is an elseworlds tale it’s nice to see effort in the character work department and it’s a good sign there will be an emotional tether to Donatello for readers as the story progresses.
The art by Williams II is as solid as ever with an awesome double page layout showcasing the Turtles flying on rockets in the subways. The detail on the tech is quite nice and the extra gizmos on Donatello help remind us he’s the techhead of the bunch. In a key sequence showcasing Donatello’s lack of fighting ability, Williams II shows Donatello losing in battle and his facial expressions and eyes help sell the fear he’s going through. This pays off later since it’s his inability to fight as well as his brothers that drives him to seek out Batman. Action packed highlights include Batman and Robin taking on ninja Man-Bat creatures and the reveal of Bane.
You may want to read the first series to get every ounce of enjoyment out of this one.
It can’t be perfect can it?
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This issue could have used a bit more Batman. He and Damian do a bit of detective work to connect the dots to Donatello’s new gizmo, but they’re more b-plot than featured players. It doesn’t help Batman reacts to what is going on rather than getting any meaningful character moments.
Is It Good?
A good start, although heavy on the Ninja Turtles and light on the Batman aspects of the story. It’s nice to see strong character work done on Donatello and the connection of these two dimensions is explained well enough.
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