Once again, DC teams up with IDW to unite two long-lived franchises. The Knight of Darkness once again teams up with the Turtles of the Ninja variety for inter-dimensional dangers. Let’s get a couple things checked off before we get into the detailed summary.
With this story, it’s clear these crossovers are out-of-canon for the IDW TMNT series. These are free-floating tales. The good news is you don’t have to feel invested in the bigger comic lines to understand what is going on here, and it doesn’t feel like it’s setting you up to read other books. That’s good, it’s a gateway drug. One where you don’t feel like you are dealing with some shady guy in a back-alley who wants you hooked for life from the first dose.
This story is not for kids. There are heady plots and psychology abounding all over the place. This is a story you have to be a bit older than elementary school age to really embrace. Much like the IDW line (And let’s be honest, here.) and most Batman books have been for the past thirty years. Thankfully, there is no blatant fan-service either though.
Look I’m a pervert, too. However, there is a time and a place. Your April O’Neil/Barbara Gordon slashfics don’t belong here. (Well, maybe if it’s well written you can send it my way after-hours.) What I’m saying is this is the happy medium, this is a story older readers can get behind without the cheesecake marketing tactics.
What is the story actually about? Let’s recap. After Volume 1, Shredder is in Riker’s Island, everyone’s favorite prison that actually works (Sorry, Arkham.) This leads us to a leadership vacuum among the Foot Clan. The Elite, including a skull-faced jerk who never gets a proper name, is warring with Karai. Both leaders have to watch the lower pawns. Which the lower pawns end up following the idiotic, but double-tough Rocksteady and Bebop.
The TMNT get involved with their new rocket-skateboards to save Karai, only for Donatello to find his tech-toy taser rifles don’t do jack, and Donnie gets his shell kicked hard. Go ahead and cue the self-esteem issues when Donnie feels like his brain doesn’t make him a good ninja. But Batman does it both… because he’s The Goddamn Batman.
Not listening to Splinter, Donnie fires up the portal to try to talk to Batman, but the opportunistic Foot Clan ninjas screw it up royally. Donnie switches places with Bane, the man who broke the Bat. Make no mistake, this is Bane at his most main-event Heel epic monster. This is Bane The Warlord, the man who conquers any prison he is put into, and he sees IDW New York as another prison to run. Bane is, pardon the phrase, Bat-Shit Crazy.
Taking multiple days to re-build the portal from Gotham-Side, Donnie returns home with Batman and Damian. Writer’s note: Damian is still intolerable as a person. The bad news, Bane took no time in taking over the Elite faction of the Foot. He joined with them in tearing NYC apart. Donnie gets shit on some more by Raph. Bane finds Baxter Stockman and gets mutagen-boosted Venom for himself and his troops… This eventually includes Bebop and Rocksteady. Baxter turns into a fly-man again…
The Turtles and Bat/Robin lose big, and Splinter gets near-killed by Bane. Batgirl tries keeps the portal safe from her end with Lucius Fox, and Casey Jones with April O’Neil try gather information on Bane. Desperate and lacking all confidence, Donnie takes the OozeVenom himself going nuts and tearing through the Foot Clan, one hideout at a time.
With Splinter revived by a Lazarus Pit, thanks to Damian being useful for a couple pages for once…The good guys calm Donatello down, and they convince him to use his brains and concoct a cure. Raph and Damian bond over the fact they are both jackasses who love their father.
Bane has the Foot set up HQ in the Statue of Liberty, which gets a new Bane Luchadore Mask. April and Casey have newly rebuilt super taser rifle guns for taking out Bane. Nightwing shows up to add some warrior-power. Lastly, Batman has a secret weapon: He released Shredder from prison to get his Clan back. Mad, Crazy Ninja Action. Good Guys Win. The surprised: Shredder willingly goes back to jail out of respect for Batman. Bane goes back to Gotham in defeat. Donatello has renewed faith in himself.
Is it a good story? Yes, it is. The idea that you aren’t the best fighter, yet you’re still essential to a team is a good moral to learn. The art of fixing a problem you made yourself because you acted out of bad emotions instead of patience and wisdom is being an adult. We got to see more of the wider cast and this was a story more about the Bat-crew invading the TMNT-verse, which is the opposite of the first mini.
Bane was scary and effective. Damian still needs a pimp-slap so hard that it rattles his teeth for a week. To be fair, so does Raphael. You take what you can get. Was it a needed sequel? Sure, the crossover needed more TMNT feel than we got the first go-round. It provided equal star power. Go read it if you liked the first volume, it’s just as good in it’s own way.
A third one? That might be too much. Maybe, the next cross-company crossover can be like Ghostbusters/Deadman or a Casey Jones/Nightwing spin-off. I’d read that. Get on it, IDW and DC!