TURTLES IN A BAT CAVE – 9.5/10.
There is a moment in issue 3 of the TMNT/Batman crossover when Leonardo refers to their newly formed alliance as a “totally awesome team-up!” He’s not wrong, it’s been nothing but fantastic since the very first panel, combining great writing with stunning artwork to deliver a massively enjoyable mini-series. After being thrown through a dimensional portal by Krang, the turtles, Splinter, Shredder and the Foot Clan are forced to relocate their blood feud to Gotham, much to the annoyance of Batman. While Shredder kidnaps a brilliant scientist named Dr Kahn, the turtles find themselves easily taken down by a Dark Knight determined to defend his territory.
Despite their rocky introduction it seems like our heroes are well and truly on the same page at the start of this issue, launching a combined attack on Shredder who has formed an uneasy alliance of his own with Penguin. In the time since their first encounter (which was pretty awesome to be fair) the turtles and Batman have taken the time to study each other, coming to the realisation that they are actually on the same side. While Splinter easily deduced that Batman was Bruce Wayne, Batman had discovered that remaining in this dimension would cause the mutagen in the turtles’ DNA to destabilise, causing them to revert back to their original, less ninja-like forms.
Splinter and the turtles break into the Bat Cave with alarming ease, where Splinter convinces Batman to help them take on Shredder, although not before Batman has to get Michelangelo off of his stuffed dinosaur and Donatello away from the Bat Computer. It’s a lot of fun to see how the turtles instantly turn into Batman fanboys (aren’t we all?). All except Raphael, who points out how insane a person would have to be to go around beating people up while dressed as a bat. He gets even grouchier when Batman begins dishing out orders during their attack on Shredder; he likes it even less when Leonardo responds to those orders by saying “yes sir.”
Meanwhile, having decided to keep Dr Kahn’s portal machine open so he can rule over two dimensions, Shredder forces Penguin to beg for his life. But his plans are foiled when Batman and the turtles arrive, easily defeating the Foot Clan and rescuing Dr Kahn. Not to be outdone, Shredder destroys the portal machine and assassinates Dr Kahn before escaping via helicopter. With the machine destroyed and Kahn dead the turtles are stranded in this dimension, which is essentially a death sentence for them. As shredder escapes he is surprised to discover that his men are dead and his helicopter has been commandeered by R’as Al Ghul, who claims to be his new partner.
If you’re not reading this comic then stop what you are doing right now and get yourself to a comic shop. It is quite simply fantastic, everything about it works; James Tynion’s dialogue is absolutely perfect for every single character and Freddie Williams’ artwork is simply stunning, with the action sequences really jumping out of the panel. While Batman may not look as good as the turtles this is quickly forgotten as the totally engrossing story draws you in. Some crossovers work better than others and this team-up of icons has managed to hit the target with every issue thus far, I’m actually hard pressed to find any criticisms for it at all.
This issue was filled with as much comedy as it had action and it was a delight to see the turtles react to Batman, both positively and negatively. It seems as though Tynion and Williams are going to make us wait a little longer for the Shredder/Batman showdown that we have all been desperate to see since this title was announced, but with Ra’s Al Ghul now in the mix as well it looks like we can expect a huge ninja showdown in issue 4. Truthfully, this may be Batman’s most enjoyable non-DC crossover since Judgement on Gotham teamed him with Judge Dredd. I’m hoping that they will announce a sequel and there are still 3 issues left on this run. Put simply, if you want to read something that’s original, fun and well made, buy this comic.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Raphael is right, only a crazy person would wear a cape and mask and drive around in a car that looks like them. No one has ever accused Bruce of being the most stable of people.
- Absolutely loved Michelangelo’s squeals of delight while riding the dinosaur, I think that’s what we would all want to do if we saw it.
- It’s funny that Raphael and Batman don’t get along as they actually share a lot of the same character traits.