The Ninja Turtles and the Foot Clan come to Gotham City in the crossover we never saw coming… but secretly always wanted: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1!
DC and IDW have teamed up to give us a mini-series that’s sure to bring plenty of awesome fight scenes, radical crime-solving and bodacious pizza-scarfin’. Hope Bat-dude likes anchovies on his pizza, bros. (Sorry, I forgot the Turtles don’t talk like ’80s surfers anymore.)
Is it good?
Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (DC Comics & IDW)
The comic opens with scientists being robbed by ninjas that get rescued by our heroes in a halfshell …only to be robbed by the Turtles in the end. Batman catches wind and doesn’t like this one bit.
Why does this book matter?
Batman is probably the most popular hero these days and the Ninja Turtles are a force in the nostalgia game. Plus they have a rather solid ongoing series at IDW. They both have wicked fighting skills and the entire premise is a fun in your face crossover. What’s not to love!?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Right out of the gate this book is gorgeous. Freddie E. Williams II has outdone himself as the layouts are fun, the characters the right amount of detailed and a layer of fine street-grit is applied to everything. When Batman appears your jaw is going to drop and he looks like he’s sporting a costume similar to the Arkham video games with seams and armor plating all over the place. The Turtles look striking as well with great detail on the shells and mutant musclature. A lot of care went into making them look right and all of their personalities shine through. From beginning to end this issue looks like some big beautiful movie that needs to be made yesterday.
Writer James Tynion IV lays out the plot nicely too with no groan inducing moments so many crossovers fall into. Instead of detailing what is happening there’s a bit of mystery and we’re left to piece things together. This helps keep your interest and make the characterization strong. There’s no boring plot or exposition so when the characters do stop and talk it’s fun and interesting.
There’s also an easter egg of sorts that Batman fans might get a little upset about. It involves the location of Gotham in the Ninja Turtles universe and it makes one question if Gotham is really located where New York City is found.
The pacing and layouts are inspired at times here too with one mega awesome reveal of all four Turtles you don’t want to miss. Bats and the Turtles all get glorious opening pages, humorous moments (thanks Alfred) and we even get a nice flip of villains as both sides take on the others’ respective rogues. With nothing to grumble about plot wise there’s really nothing to not enjoy here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Okay so obviously if you’re against “meaningless” crossovers like this one (because we all know this isn’t in canon) this isn’t for you.
While there are a few action scenes I did notice most of the actual fighting takes place off page. It might be a stylistic choice but it did seem odd, aside from a few panels of the Turtles swinging weapons, that the issue kept cutting away then back again to reveal the bad guys beaten.
Is It Good?
The fact is you need to join this party knowing it’s all about action and fun. Get over that hump and enjoy this beautiful ride.