Batman/TMNT II has been a lot of fun that can be enjoyed by all ages. That’s a particular point you have to keep in mind when reading it, though, as it’s clearly geared towards a younger audience in its character and story. Approach this work as one that’s big and fun and you’ll be right as rain.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Batman and the Turtles go on the offensive in the belief that they can take Bane down while he’s weakened, due to a lack of Venom on the Turtles’ world. But that’s not true any more! The Turtles’ foe Baxter Stockman has found a way to reproduce the deadly substance that feeds Bane–which means the Dark Knight and the Heroes on a Half-Shell are in for the fight of their lives.
Why does this matter?
The first series was a big hit; why shouldn’t this one be? The villain is Bane and the fight is taking place in the TMNT universe this time (it was in Gotham for part 1). There’s also an interesting character arc going on with Donatello.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A fun scene.
This issue manages to progress three character stories. The first is Bane and his plan to take over everything. The second is Donatello’s continued depression and insecurity due to his mistake that brought Bane to his universe. The third is Raphael and Damian butting heads and scrapping over their egos. All three stories make for an entertaining book. You get action, character work, and plot progression. Bane gets to do a lot of talking and you get the sense James Tynion IV is revealing a mastermind who is a bit too evil for his own good.
Fans of TMNT are going to love the Damian bits. The issue opens with Damian seething over an argument he has with the Turtles, which helps reveal their personalities. This boils over later when he and Raph decide to go at it and that adds some fun action. Freddie Williams II draws an excellent fight scene and it’s clear these two are equally matched. It’s also fun to see how Tynion IV can throw out the barbs via Damian, who is a real brat.
The art goes all in with the big muscles. Freddie Williams II draws Bane as if he’s 20 feet tall, which is way over the top. His minions (and two new pumped up sidekicks) are equally huge. He’s got venom pumping through his veins, but boy is he ridiculously big!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Bane’s postulating on his plan is rather heavy handed and too verbose. There’s a lot of talk coming from a villain we all know will lose out in the end. He’s not saying much at all either. He’s waxing poetic about evil, but I’m not sure it needed to be so long winded given how simplistic his plan is.
It’s also strange to see how little Batman is in this book and the series as a whole. Once again, he’s not in the book due to some reconnaissance work; instead, the focus is on Damian and the Ninja Turtles. The plan they enact is also simplistic. The plot in general is rather basic, though you may not notice due to some strong character writing.
Is It Good?
This series has always been over the top in a fun way little kids may adore. That said, the plotting is rather basic and, save for some good character beats, this story drags.