Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I remember hearing about this hypothetical comic book crossover wet dream becoming a reality over a year ago. Naturally, I wrote about it as soon as I heard. How more perfect could it be for me? My two favorite comic/movie/television franchises of my lifetime uniting for what I was certain would be an epic series and storyline. I’m only mad at myself for not thinking of it sooner and creating my own storylines for it. (But who’s to say I won’t even after this?)
The first (of the six-part issue) released in December of 2015 and the final issue of the series released in May of 2016. Back in May of 2015, I called every comic book store I could find in Los Angeles. No one had them and/or they would sell out within hours of receiving them. So I looked to eBay and the individual issues would sell for anywhere from $20-$45 each!! As much as I wanted to read them, I knew that it was more important for me to be able to eat and pay rent.
So I made an executive decision:
Minor storyline spoilers ahead.
I would completely cease my search for individual issues and await the graphic novel with the whole storyline in one hard-cover collection. I avoided all reviews on IGN and other sites that I followed on Twitter. It sucked that I had to wait an additional three months from the date of the final issue release (and over a year in all) to be able to read the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover storyline. But all good things come to those who wait.
A joint publishing of DC Comics and IDW Publishing (Batman and TMNT properties, respectively), the story is a layered one. The turtles (and Shredder) have found themselves in Gotham City (repeatedly referenced as “another dimension”), thanks to a portal opened by Krang to rid them from interfering with his plans once and for all.
The Shredder utilizes the Foot banished with him to steal equipment from Wayne Enterprises to try to rebuild the portal from inside Gotham City to go back to the New York City of their dimension, while the turtles and Batman-independently at first-try to stop Shredder’s crime spree. The turtles and Batman’s first meeting is a hostile one. After Batman easily defeats the four turtles simultaneously, Master Splinter steps in.
Over the course of the graphic novel, there is a big riff between Raphael and his brothers over whether or not to trust Batman. No surprise there. But the lengths at which Raphael goes to show his disdain and rage really pushes his character from a selfish grouch to a full-fledged insubordinate rage monster.
Cross-world villain rivalries also play a huge role in this storyline with twists and double-crosses along the way. The connectivity of familiar characters, storylines, and personalities from both universes melds so well, I’m surprised it’s taken so long to make marriage of bat and turtles happen. The last pages of the graphic novel also includes various variant cover arts from Kevin Eastmen (original TMNT co creator himself) and other veteran artists along with character study sketches.
My bias is obvious. I loved this graphic novel and highly recommend it to any avid fan of TMNT and/or Batman.
November of 2016 will be when the next series of comic crossovers start in the animation/design of the 90’s animated series of Batman with the current Nickelodeon TMNT cartoon. I’m sure that will have it’s own unique flair.
Now all I need to have happen is for Guillermo del Toro to write, direct, and do creature design for a Batman/TMNT live-action movie and I can die happy.