Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1 (of 6) (DC Comics/IDW)
The original Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover was a massive success for DC and IDW, so it’s only natural that the two publishers would want to make a sequel. Bringing back original writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II is a welcome return to the worlds of these two mega franchises, but like the original series, it does take a little while to get the plot moving.
Taking place after the events of the original miniseries, the Ninja Turtles are hard at work dealing with the repercussions of putting Shredder in jail. After Donatello is defeated by a Foot Clan ninja, he decides that he needs a little more training to measure up to the fighting skills of his brothers. Knowing that Batman has both the intelligence and fighting skills that he requires, Donatello sets out to send the Dark Knight a message using a portal that jumps between dimensions. Unfortunately for Donnie, the message arrives when Batman and Robin and are fighting Bane, and a mishap causes Donatello to enter Gotham City, while Bane takes his place in New York.
James Tynion IV’s script spends a lot of time setting up the reasoning for this next crossover, and while it’s really good, it does take quite a while to get to the crossover. That being said, it is really interesting to see Tynion reflect on the events that happened in the first crossover and the ramifications of that conflict on both sides. Tynion’s characterization of all of the characters is in fine form, though there is more of a focus on Donatello in this issue than the other turtles.
Freddie Williams II’s art is actually even better than the previous miniseries. While his Batman still looks a little off, his designs for the Turtles, Robin, and Bane are fantastic, and he’s able to jump between the two different worlds with ease. There’s a ton of major splash pages that Williams plays with, ranging from huge action set pieces to quiet moments with the turtles in their lair. It seems to be that Williams II’s art is going to be even better here than it was the last time.
Usually sequels kinda suck, but Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II is a welcome return to the original series. The fact that these two franchises are interacting with each other is still pretty weird, but this is the third time they’ve crossed paths now (the second being the animated worlds tie-in), so it’s getting more apparent that this is a crossover that makes fans happy and sells really well. You’ll probably going to want to read the first miniseries before this one, but for fans of the original crossover, there’s plenty to enjoy here.