Donatello went looking for a new mentor and ended up switching places with Bane. Now the Ninja Turtle is hanging out with Batman and Robin while Bane is terrorizing New York City as the new head of the Foot Clan. Next, the Dynamic Duo is heading to the Turtles’ world to stop their enemy before he can wreak further havoc. The crossover I’ve always wanted continues!
Of all the heroes that could have crossed paths with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman is perhaps best suited for it, if for no other reason than his extensive and wacky rogues gallery. Think about the long list of super villains Batman has fought and now think about all the crazy enemies the Ninja Turtles have faced over the years. Is Calendar Man any stranger than Leatherhead? This goes the other way, too, as their more serious villains serve as nice counters, as we’re seeing Bane fill the void left when Shredder was sent to prison at the end of the last crossover series.
I will read anything Freddie Williams II draws. Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II is gorgeous from beginning to end. His pencils are so expressive, giving every action and facial expression more meaning. I particularly like his designs for Batman and Bane. Both characters look larger than life. Batman stands taller than just about everyone, but especially the Turtles. He’s like a super evolved form of a human being with muscles bigger and a back that’s straighter than anyone that’s come before him.
Then there’s Bane, who looks like a tank with legs. He is inhumanly large, but not to the point where it’s comical. Instead, it’s terrifying. His fist is larger than a normal person’s head. His legs are as big as tree trunks. This is a creature made entirely of muscle. His face is covered by a mask, but you can tell that he’s looking down on everyone around him with disdain. The Foot soldiers’ uniforms mimic Bane’s look with the same design appearing on their masks, which is a nice touch.
The detail on the Turtles is impressive. You can see each individual line on their shells, creating unique patterns. Colorist Jeremy Colwell creates a nice blend of green for their skin and even mixes it up so each Turtle has a different shade. They’re energetic and full of life, which contrasts well with the dark blues and greys of Batman’s costume.
Writer James Tynion IV brings the right mix of comedy and drama to the book. Much of this comes through in just about everything that the Turtles’ say, however the interaction between the Heroes with a Half Shell and the Boy Wonder ups the ante. Damian has such confidence that he doesn’t consider the Turtles as worthy allies just yet. You can imagine how angry he gets when Michelangelo refers to him as “Bat-Boy.”
Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II could have skated by on that title alone. Instead, it rises up as a solid read with gorgeous artwork that’s sure to satisfy fans of either franchise. Of course, if you’re a fan of both, you’ll be in heaven.