The best part of crossovers is seeing how much respective character lore the creators can stuff into the series and still make it work. In a way this series doesn’t have the most enduring repercussions since it’s not part of either entity’s continuity — so why not bring in every villain and cool idea you can?
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 seems to be going in that direction, but is it good?
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 (DC Comics & IDW)
If the cover is any indication Batman is going to be bringing up his childhood loss with the Ninja Turtles this week. Last issue Batman made peace with the Turtles even though they broke into his cave. It was good timing too because a major Batman villain has just joined forces with Shredder. Plus, the Ninja Turtles are racing against the clock to get back to their dimension or they’ll turn back to normal turtles!
Why does this book matter?
Writer James Tynion IV delivered one epic issue last month with a cliffhanger that should have had you craving more. One question though: Where’s Joker? Since Shredder is bouncing between villains (he got rid of Penguin last month) who’s to say Joker isn’t next? Meanwhile it’s fun to finally see Batman and the Ninja Turtles working together as this is the first real issue of that happening.
Look who it is!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Surprisingly Alfred gets some major moments as Tynion sticks him and Michelangelo together for comedic relief. It makes sense since Alfred is so stuck up and it’s good for a few laughs in this issue. While the plot slows down considerably in this issue there’s a major surprise guest appearance that should get TMNT fans excited. That directly leads into a major cliffhanger that should make for a wildly fun and interesting 5th issue.
Artist Freddie E. Williams II blew me away with his art this month. From the funny moments between Alfred and Michelangelo (don’t ever underestimate comedic timing!) to the Batman/Leonardo sparring session we knew were coming — the art is incredibly beautiful. The Turtles all look great and unique from each other and Batman doesn’t look too shabby either.
One of the best scenes in the issue takes place during a rainstorm that is jaw droppingly good. In fact whenever there is rain you’ll wonder how much time and effort they put into the panels. Along with help from colorist Jeremy Colwell, Williams made what one could argue is a rather expected scene (Raphael quitting) dramatic and meaningful.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the plot hits the brakes one has to wonder what is going on with the story. While there are fun moments for fans and new readers alike it doesn’t make much sense why the Ninja Turtles would be hanging out in the Bat Cave when they could literally turn into puddles of ooze (or worse regular ol’ turtles) at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile a new element is introduced that’s kind of perplexing and seems to be there simply to bring in the appearance I mentioned above. While most issues have fantastic character moments to save the plot holes this issue has confusing or inexplicable ones.
Is It Good?
TMNT and Batman fans need this for the amazing art and fan service moments, but casual readers can skip it and not miss much.