Well ladies and gentlemen, the crossover that I’ve been looking forward to since it was first announced has finally hit shelves. So, here we are today to discuss the unlikely pairing of The Dark Knight (Batman) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This issue is written by James T. Tynion IV and illustrated by Freddie E. Williams II (cover and issue). 

Summary of Batman / TMNT #1

We open with a Gotham City scientist describing the events of an attack on her lab by The Foot Clan, the enemies of the Ninja Turtles, to Batman. The scientist in question believed that she was a goner, but the clan were only interested in some kind of generator. She describes how suddenly, the lights went out and all she was able to make out four vague humanoid shapes accompanied by flashes of red, blue, purple and orange. When she saw the eyes of these creatures, she could tell instantly that they were not human. Batman, mistakenly thinking that the Turtles and The Foot are working together, vows to stop them.

We then cut to a pizza man on a delivery discovering $20 pinned to a lamppost accompanied by a sign that reads “Leave it on the Street.” When the pizza guy is safely out of sight, the turtles reach up from the sewer grate and grab it. This scene really has nothing to do with anything, I’m just a sucker for any scene that involves the Turtles screwing with the pizza guy.

In the Bat Cave, Alfred suggests that the ones who attacked the lab are connected with R’as Al Ghul and the league of assassins, but Batman shoots that suggestion down. If it were R’as they would have made a play against Batman himself by now, these ninjas were far more deliberate in their goals. Bruce, seeking to gather more intel, departs in the Batmobile.

Meanwhile, Killer Croc and his goons, thanks to a tracer Croc had planted on the Batmobile during a previous encounter, are tracking Batman through the sewer when they stumble upon the turtles hide out. Croc, being the jerk that he is, smashes their Playstation. Also implied in this scene: Michelangelo may or may not be a brony.

Back with Batman, he has arrived at the scene of another attack by the foot clan demanding answers; what follows are two very well done parallel fights, the first between Batman and the clan and the second between the turtles and Killer Croc. It’s a nice scene and a great moment for any crossover, showing the two sides of the team up fighting the enemies of their opposite. It’s also worth noting that, during the Turtles side of the fight, Mikey scares the bad guys by referring to himself and his brothers as aliens, a scene which serves to both poke fun at the infamous original plan for Michael Bay’s TMNT movie and exposit that the Turtles are indeed from an alternate reality.

Anywho, Batman has all but taken out the Foot. While interrogating the one of the Foot minions, the ninja manages to say something about turtles before he is killed by a throwing star. The star was thrown by none other than The Shredder himself who warns Batman to stay out of their way before vanishing.

Back with the Turtles, now joined by Master Splinter, the five realize that their hideout is no longer safe and must locate a new one. However, when they emerge from the sewers they find Batman waiting for them.

What Works

I already discussed the fight in detail, so I won’t exposit further except to say it was a welcome addition, especially considering the fact that, in most crossovers such as this, the first chapter is usually pretty light on the action.

Personally, I actually really liked the description of the Turtles at the beginning by the scared scientist. Obviously, we as the reader know that the Turtles are the good guys, but hearing a description of them from that perspective is actually really cool and conjures up some cool imagery. Finally, this may have been unintentional, but I think it’s cool that Raph’s mask is drawn to resemble a Bat-logo.

What Doesn’t Work

While for the most part the artwork is pretty good, I do not care for Williams’ Batmobile design. It really doesn’t resemble any Batmobile design I’ve seen. Instead, it more closely resembles a cross between a rat and a cockroach with some ugly looking tinted red windows.

Overall: 5/5 Pizza Slices, Dude

This crossover is off to a phenomenal start. So far, Tynion and Williams have done everything right. Batman and the Turtles have gotten equal screen time. Villains from both sides have squared off with the opposite heroes. A confrontation between Batman and The Shredder is teased and a fight between The Turtles and Gotham’s own sewer dwelling reptile man is delivered upon.

There’s still much that has yet to be revealed, such as how The Turtles got to Gotham and what The Foot intend to do with the stolen technology, but those are all questions that are sure to be answered later on. For now, we have the incredible start to what is sure to be an incredible crossover.

What did you think of this DC / IDW crossover comic? Let me know in the comments!

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