Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are hot on the trail of Bane, who has taken over the Foot Clan. The Caped Crusader thinks Bane will be easy pickings since Venom is in short supply in this dimension. That was the case until the hulking villain got Baxter Stockman to create more of the deadly concoction. Now he’s more powerful than ever and there’s an army of super strong ninjas and mutants backing him up.
I mentioned it during my review of the previous issue, but it bears repeating here. Bane is terrifying in Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. He’s unbelievably large, appearing like a giant in a world full of tiny people. He’s literally twice the size of Baxter Stockman. Bane could crush the scientist’s head in one hand like it was a grape. This might sound a little over-the-top, but I assure you, it works perfectly. Bane is an intimidating foe and this design is fitting for the character. You get the impression that if you were to hit him, you’d come back with a broken hand. This is a man made of muscle.
Knowing that Bane is that big and menacing, imagine Bebop and Rocksteady hopped up on Venom. While they’re pretty dumb, they are two of the toughest mutants around. Remember that time they killed Donatello? Or what about that time a building fell on them and then they just got back up like it was nothing? Batman and the Ninja Turtles were probably evenly matched going up against Bane, Bebop, Rocksteady, and a bunch of Foot Clan ninjas. Now that they’re all hooked up with Venom, the odds are definitely not in their favor.
Several of these shots are framed like epic movie posters. The heroes and villains prepare to battle by striking action poses and getting ready to strike. This adds to the larger-than-life quality of the book. That’s what comes from merges two gigantic pop culture franchises. Artist Freddie Williams II sets up every scene in an exciting manner that makes them feel like a widescreen, cinematic experience.
As cool as all of this is, what almost steals the show in Batman / TMNT II #3 is the fight between Raphael and Damian. These are two headstrong individuals suddenly thrown together and there is not enough room for both of their egos in the Turtles’ sewer lair. They go back and forth trading quips and insults before throwing fists and feet in a very evenly matched brawl. At times, I figured Damian would gain the upper hand as he could say or do something to push Raphael into a blind rage, but the Turtle who is rude, but crude managed to keep his cool.
That cinematic quality comes through here too as Williams II keeps the scene varied and interesting. He pulls in the other characters who are watching from the sidelines in a way that makes it feel like they’re watching the main event at Wrestlemania.
The one person not joining in on this fun is Donatello, who is still beating himself up because he caused this whole mess. His self doubts about his fighting ability led to Bane invading his world and taking over the Foot Clan, turning New York City into a warzone. There are some rather somber moments as the Turtle reflects on his actions and what he can possibly do next. Fortunately, April shows up to give the guy a much needed hug in a really touching scene.
Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II is a crossover for the ages. It’s exactly what I would want from a comic like this. Writers James Tynion IV and Ryan Ferrier deftly handle both properties with respect. The clash of personalities is fun and sure to bring a smile to the face to any fans, new or old. I have no idea how the Dark Knight and the Heroes in a Half Shell are going to get out of this, but I can’t wait to find out.