I threatened this before with my GB/TMNT reviews. The other great crossover that IDW‘s grown-up, yet still fun, TMNT has pulled off. A full-blown inter-company crossover as DC’s Batman is all in for me.
And make no mistake folks, this is more on the DC-side than the IDW-side. The story takes place in Gotham City and is all about what happens when the Turtles and Splinter try to exist in Batman‘s universe. The reasons why is that Kraang decided to end the three-way war between Turtles, Kraang, and Foot Clan by setting up his enemies and teleporting them away to DC’s Gotham.
The problems come in when Shredder decides to build a new portal via a mad Gotham Scientist. The reasoning: Shredder’s small Foot Soldier gang can be his full army; Shredder can be Emperor of both Gotham and IDW’s NY. So, the Turtles try to stop this and put Shredder down. Except, they run into Batman due to the Foot stealing the equipment from various labs (including ones owned by WayneTech).
We have the good guys battle to a draw. This is only worth it as Batman swipes Raphael’s sai, and he gets a Turtles blood sample to play with. Lucius Fox then reveals the real problem for our Shelled Saviors. The weapon and biology is reverting to something that would be in DC, which means the weapons are standard DC metal but more importantly, in a universe with no Mutagen there will be no more mutants.
Splinter does his wise old sensei thing and makes peace with Batman. This leads to the Turtles geeking out in the Batcave. This is seen especially with Donnie over the tech. Alfred is grumpy as his cooking is rejected for Pizza Delivery. Raphael and Batman bond over Batman’s tragedy. Remember kids: you can be a grumpy jackass sociopath, but if you have a childhood-based tragic past with a Lawful alignment attempt? You are a good person, probably. Personal note: Please remind me not to let Raphael (the muscle head) be the voice of moral reason.
Shredder gets stymied by the Bat/Turtle alliance only to be taken in by Ra’s Al Ghul who prefers his League Of Assassins be the only ninjas in Gotham. Shredder also takes advantage of Casey Jones bringing in fresh mutagen to help the Turtles survive, and he takes it for his own ambitions. Damian Wayne shows up and plays smart ass to the Turtles before Batman fills him in on the problem.
David Note: (I don’t like Damian Wayne as a regularly appearing character. He’s not god-awful, but on the Robin Rankings, he’s number 3 behind Tim and Dick who will always be Best Robin. Stephanie would be 3rd but she wasn’t Robin long enough to get a good measure. Plus, the whole Gang War thing was bad call. But I give Damian this: His Robin V suit is my favorite design-wise.)
This gives us Batman and the Turtles dealing with an Arkham full of Batman’s villains with more enhancements. Mr. Freeze, the Polar Bear, was amusing. Cobra Joker, though, not as much. It reminded me of bad Batman toys from the early 90s.
With the nature of these mutated rogues, Batman grabs his Intimidator Armor to be extra badass enough to take out Shredder and Ra’s. Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD arrive to calm things down and make formal arrests. (Yes, this is standard fare for the GCPD.)
With everything back in order, the TMNT takes Shredder and the Foot back home. They also cement their bond with Batman by promising they’ll fight by his side again should the need arise.
This was a good mini. The biggest problem with it? It leaned more on the Batman-verse, so the Turtles felt like guest stars instead of equal co-conspirators. Because it was an inter-company crossover, it doesn’t really fit neatly into either continuity. If you are wanting to follow the Grand Story of either franchise, this is actually totally secondary. The GB/TMNT crossovers are basically essential reading for the GB Lore. TMNT lore, not as much, but it is referenced in the regular book.
This story? Total Standalone. You have some spare money and like both series? Go ahead, give it a shot. It’s a fun read.