This is the first issue of a six-issue crossover miniseries.
There are multiple worlds and interpretations of Batman. This is not the Frank Miller Dark Knight, nor is this Adam West’s TV show version. This is the Batman of Batman: The Animated Series. While this is not the Batman of The Killing Joke or any of the Christian Bale movies, this version of Batman is laudable. Purists will note that this is where Harley Quinn really got her start.
Likewise, there are several different versions of the Turtles, from the B&W underground-looking Original Eastman and Laird to the kiddie Cartoons. This is the Nickelodeon cartoon version of the turtles. These are not the Turtles who crossed over into Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, but they are also not the Turtles who danced with Vanilla Ice, either.
Overall, while these are not the best possible choices for a crossover, this is far from the worst possible pairing.
As readers know, Batman lives in Gotham, and the Turtles live in the sewers of New York City. While Gotham definitely looks and sounds a lot like the Big Apple, it is most definitely not New York.
In Batman’s Gotham, many of the villains in Arkham Asylum have vanished. Batman is tracking them down. He Finds Two-Face, who gives up without a fight, but his comments cause Batman to re-think the missing criminals. He comes to the conclusion that this is not an escape in any regular sense.
Meanwhile, The Turtles have become aware that the Kraang have activated some extradimensional portals. While looking for the Kraang, then encounter an unexpected enemy. Meanwhile, elsewhere in New York, two familiar faces are meeting the Foot Clan…
This issue is a delicious example of teasing exposition. With each turn of the page, readers expect shurikens and batarangs to fly—the grim Batman to match grimness against Raphael, gadgets against Donatello, or strategy against Leonardo. Mikey can probably out-do Batman for goofiness, but the point is still valid. People want to see Gotham’s Bat/Ninja inspired vigilante against the equally ninja-trained chelonian crime fighters of New York.
Despite a wide range of variant covers showing them all together, that does not happen (YET). This issue is a set-up, explaining how these heroes all come together, and who they will have to fight.
It promises to be a great miniseries.
Written by: Matthew K. Manning
Illustrated by: Jon Sommariva