Reviews

Review – Batman TMNT II #1 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing)

Batman TMNT II #1 - Cover by Kevin Eastman
Batman TMNT II #1 - Cover by Kevin Eastman

 

A Knight in New York

After the first crossover was a smash hit, it was only a matter of time before Batman and TMNT met up again (much like the recent TMNT Ghostbusters II). Batman TMNT II #1 kicks off the second meeting of these two franchises in dramatic fashion, in a way that may be somewhat better than the first. Now, I was not the biggest fan of the first series; I am just not a Batman fan. I know tons and tons of people love him, but there is just something about him I don’t like, and being a huge TMNT fan I have my problems with the first meeting between these two franchises. Well, that is in the past, so it is time to get over that and get on with this new story that I happened to really enjoy!

Batman TMNT II #1 – Cover by Freddie E. Williams II

At the start of Batman TMNT II #1, we find the Turtles battling a faction of the elite guard of the Foot Clan. It seems after their first meeting with the Batman, Shredder has been put in jail and that has split the foot clan into factions. Karai is leading one faction, and some elite guard Foot Clan soldiers have broken off into their own faction while Bebop and Rocksteady have started their own group. This has thrown the Turtles’ world into turmoil, as all of these factions have one thing in common, wanting the Turtles dead. During the battle, Donnie’s tech fails him and he must use his fighting skill (or lack thereof) to fight off the elite guard Foot Clan soldiers. Needless to say, it does not go well. Not content just to be the smart one, Donnie remembers that Batman was a great fighter and super smart (wow it is like he has super powers!), so he seeks once again to contact him to learn. Things do not go as planned, and a new enemy arrives in the TMNT Universe and he is ready to crack some shells!

I really enjoyed Batman TMNT II #1, not that I really care about the Turtles meeting up with Batman again, but I am liking that James Tynion IV exploring Donatello’s character. Donnie is always the smart one with the tech, but obviously, if he is spending more time developing technology while his brothers are training to fight, his skills are going to fall behind. I really like Tynion’s digging into Donnie’s thoughts about this and how he copes with feeling “lesser” than his brothers. I also feel that Tynion, for me, really nails all the voices of the Turtle characters from Raph, Donnie, Mikey, and Leo to characters like Splinter, April, and Casey Jones. He really just catches all of their individual voices and attitudes. 

Art

Freddie E. Williams II comes back on board to draw Batman TMNT II #1, and he puts so much detail and work into his characters; it is hard not to be impressed. Just the sheer amount of little character details he puts in is just amazing, there is so much going on that it is hard just not to stare at the pages for a long while just to absorb. Williams makes just about every character have a “hulking” type feel to them, which at times I like and at other times I do not like. I feel that the turtles probably should look a little “sleeker” and more nimble, whereas Williams draws a more muscled-up version of the turtles. While it is a good visual, just me personally, I like a little smaller look for them since they are supposed to be teenagers. Now, saying all that, I do like the more bulky look for Batman; he looks super intimidating and I like the massive look Williams gives to him.

I like the different panel structure and layouts used in Batman TMNT II # 1; it makes for a very interesting read and Williams does a fantastic job structuring the action sequences. Jeremy Colwell’s colors with Freddie E. Williams II pencils and inks really make Batman TMNT II #1 look like nothing else in the comic book stands. Colwell’s colors really jump off the page and make the drawings come alive. The colors almost have this painted/chalky look and “feel” to them that gives an excellent “texture” to the series.

Conclusion

While I was not the biggest fan of the first series I still liked it and, with the start of Batman TMNT II #1, I feel like I might enjoy the sequel more. With Tynion exploring Donnie’s inner turmoil about lagging behind his brothers and with some energetic art by Williams and Colwell, Batman TMNT II is off to a great start. Fans of both series will find something to enjoy with Batman TMNT II #1, and with five more issues to go, things look like they will get even crazier!


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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