The Crisis in a Half Shell continues, as Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet an unexpected ally! Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Freddie E. Williams II and Kevin Eastman, colored by Jeremy Colwell and lettered by Tom Napolitano, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 is published by IDW Publishing in a joint venture with DC Comics and picks up on the heels of the first issue.
That issue features the Raphael from the Prime TMNT universe – aka the classic black and white Mirage comics – meeting Batman and the Turtles from the IDW continuity. Believing that Raphael Prime is a threat, they immediately assault him-and get their asses kicked. Raphael Prime then explains who is responsible for merging their worlds together, and how he managed to escape.
The immediate highlight of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 is the art. Much like Batman and the Turtles, Williams and Eastman work in sync to deliver kinetic, eye-grabbing art. Williams handles the bulk of the issue, while Eastman draws Raphael Prime and other elements from the TMNT Prime universe. The best part is that their styles perfectly mesh together with neither one overshadowing the other, and you can instantly tell Raphael Prime apart from the other Turtles.
Overall, I was reminded of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which not only employed a similar merging of art styles but a similar story as well. Colwell also does a splendid job on colors, mixing the harsh black and white of the TMNT Prime universe with the bright colors of the IDW/DC universes and the blood red skies that DC fans have come to associate with the various Crisis events.
Tynion handles story duties, and he tackles quite the obstacles. Not only does this issue have to fill new readers in the history of the TMNT Prime universe, but it also explains how the merged universe came to be and sheds more light on the menace that Batman and the Turtles face. To Tynion’s credit, the story doesn’t feel like it’s halted momentum at all. Readers will still get their action fix and a good story to boot. Another great choice is using the second issue to set up the stakes. Most comic crossovers either wait until the middle of the story or worse the penultimate issue, to explain the villain’s plot or why the heroes are just now meeting each other.
As I stated in my review of the first issue, Tynion has a perfect handle on both Batman and the Turtles, and this extends to Raphael Prime. Splinter is able to deduce that he’s the real deal, and he opens up to the others in a surprisingly emotional scene during the end. Often the Turtles get boiled down to their defining characteristics-Leonardo the leader, Raphael the angry, violent one, Donatello the brainiac and Michaelangelo the wisecracker-and it’s nice to see a writer give them a little more depth.
We are only two issues in and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 continues to fire on all cylinders. The stakes have been set, and Tynion, Williams, and Eastman have no intention of easing off the gas.
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 will be available June 5th wherever comics are sold.
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2
We are only two issues in and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #2 continues to fire on all cylinders.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.