This is the second of five issues in a DC/IDW crossover.
The versions of Batman and The Turtles in this series appear to be from the current animated series for both franchises.
In the first issue, the premise was established that unknown (possibly Kraang-related) fluctuations were causing portals to appear connecting the New York of the Turtles with the Gotham of the Batman. A number of Arkham villains have escaped into the universe of the Turtles.
In this issue, the Batman, accompanied by Robin and Batgirl, meet the Turtles and April.
Although there is the obligatory ‘getting-to-know-you’ fight scene, the real purpose of this issue is not Batman and the Turtles. It is the Joker and Harley Quinn meeting up with the Shredder and Foot Clan.
Although Batman: The Animated Series is considered by some fans to be the pinnacle of Batman character development, this animated Batman is less concerned with exposition. Likewise, with the Turtles, Manning’s writing is not focused on exposition of either franchise, but on developing the new relationships between these characters. The mutual respect between Michelangelo and Batman is understandable, but the possible relationship between Donatello and Batgirl is a lively and original twist.
The artwork is interesting. Sommariva is clearly facing a challenge; while the animation styles of both franchises is definitely cartoonish, he worked to find a place where he is faithful to the differences between the styles. It was a difficult balance to strike, but he appears to have found a good place.
It was reasonable that given the similarities between Batman and several of the Turtles, a crossover would eventually happen.
They are all ninja trained.
Like Donatello, Batman has a serious love and many uses of technology, although the Wayne Family Fortune gives Batman access to technologies far beyond the devices Donatello rebuilds from a mixture of castoff appliances, alien technology, and other miscellaneous junk.
Michelangelo, like Batman is a very skilled tactician. Both of them prefer to have battle plans laid out well in advance, preferring to use strategy, stealth and surprise to their best advantage. Batman has been a crime fighter since the 1930’s; the master detective probably has the edge in experience on the teenaged student of Master Splinter.
The writing challenge was to find a plausible way to bring both groups together. As time and dimension travel is common for both IDW’s Turtles and DC’s Dark Knight, this was not unexpected. Manning has done a solid job bringing these groups together and uniting them in common cause. It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop these relationships.
Written by: Matthew K. Manning
Illustrated by: Jon Sommariva