While not on the same level as its predecessor Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II has been a fun popcorn blockbuster thus far. The story with Bane teaming with the Foot has been simple thus far. Helping the story this time around is the character arc James Tynion IV is putting Donatello on. That character arc has so far carried the story of this sequel series. Now that both universes have collided again it’ll be interesting to see what other arcs we see come up within the greater story of Batman and TMNT vs Bane and the Foot. Let’s see how things go with Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3.
Plot Writer: James Tynion IV
Script Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Freddie Williams II
Colorist: Jeremy Colwell
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the Turtle Cave Michelangelo beats Robin at the video game they are playing. Robin complains that he is stuck with the Turtles, spotlighting how depressed Donatello is, while his dad is out cleaning things up. Raphael takes offense to what was said and challenges Robin to a fight.
Elsewhere Batman, Leonardo and Splitter track down Bane’s location. They stay in the shadows to figure out what he is doing.
Bane confronts Baxter Stockman as he continues to suffer from effects from the venom. Stockman shows Bane that he has moved to testing the new version of venom and is using Bebop and Rocksteady as test subjects.
Back in the Turtle Cave April checks on Donatello. Donatello admits that everything Robin said was correct since he is responsible for the terror that is threatening the city. April cheers Donatello up by mentioning that Casey has a job for him.
A little later April, Casey, Michelangelo and Donatello watch Robin and Raphael having a sparring session. The sparring session turns into a real fight as neither fighter pulls their punches.
As neither Robin or Raphael can get the upper hand Batman, Leonardo and Splitter walk in and immediately stop the fight. Batman tells everyone they are going to make their move on Bane’s operation.
Sometime later Batman, Robin, Splinter and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles break into Baxter’s lab. Donatello discovers the venom chemical Baxter is working on and realizes this was all a trap.
Suddenly venomized versions of Bebop and Rocksteady show up. In the madness Baxter is thrown into his new venom and is also transformed into his Fly form.
Batman, Robin, Splinter and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are suddenly surrounded by Bane, Bebop, Rocksteady, Stockman-Fly and the Foot. Bane tells the heroes that they have two options: submit or die. End of issue.
The Good: There is a certain magic to comics that keep their story simple. That is exactly where Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3, like its predecessor, finds its greatest success. The simplicity of the plot allows James Tynion and Ryan Ferrier explore the fun in the collision between Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles worlds.
The biggest highlight of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 was the fight between Raphael and Robin. These are characters that you know if they ever met would end up fighting within a minute of talking to each other. That is exactly what Tynion and Ferrier bring to life as we see how Raphael and Robin’s hothead natures got the best of them. It led to a fun fight that ended up being a draw, which in turn left you with hope that we see them fight again when the story concludes.
Adding an extra layer to what happened was what led to the fight was Robin calling out Donatello and the other Turtles. Kicking things off by highlighting the character arc Donatello is going through helped further drive home how depressed he is now. Having Batman and Robin, two people who are master-class fighters and detectives, around hasn’t helped Donatello’s ego. This damaged ego further makes you wonder how Donatello will end up stepping up to help save the day with how much he has been spotlighted in this crossover.
Donatello’s arc led to a great scene between him and April O’Neil. April wasn’t part of the first crossover so it has been good to see her around this time around. April relationship with the Turtles has always had a feeling of it being one of big sister-little brothers. Her scene with Donatello spotlighted that as she allowed him to vent and then gave him the hug he needed. Even if it may seem like it was a small act it ended up being bigger as it helped put Donatello back into a position where he could at least assist his brothers and the Dynamic Duo in the field.
This all helped Bane’s own arc as well as we see the villain once again losing himself to the venom he keeps injecting himself with. Keeping Bane’s side of things basic with how he forces Stockman, Bebop and Rocksteady create and test his new venom made it easy to hate him. This is a Bane that has no redeemable qualities. He is a straight up bad guy looking to break Batman in whatever way he can. Controlling the Foot with intense fear only added to his villainous ways.
Freddie Williams II artwork continues to be a great fit for Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He draws Batman and Robin that has a classic 90s feel to their designs. That blends in well with how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world where things are even more exaggerated as we are dealing with musclebound turtles, rhinos and warthog. That lead to a dynamic ending as we saw Williams go all out with the Dynamic Duo and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taking on venom enhanced versions of Bane, Bebop and Rocksteady.
The Bad: As fun as Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3 is it is not without its faults. The biggest one being the lack of attention on all the characters. At this point we know what Donatello’s character arc is. But outside of that there isn’t really another character arc given for us to follow. Even the enjoyable Raphael vs Robin sub-plot felt more like fan-service rather than true character development.
That is unfortunate because Tynion and Ferrier have plenty of places where they could add a few character arcs to flesh out their story. One of them is with Casey Jones. During the conversation between April and Donatello the former mentions Casey having a plan for the latter to be helpful in taking down Bane. The next thing you know Casey’s idea is dropped in favor of the Raphael vs Robin fight. That missed opportunity felt like a big waste since Casey is a character that could add to the story, especially since he wasn’t involved to the first crossover.
The other missed character arc is with Leonardo and how he acts around Batman. In the first crossover we saw that Batman and Leonardo had built a level of respect in each other’s authority. With this story taking place in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world it would’ve been a great opportunity to highlight his leadership. Instead Tynion and Ferrier easily fall back into Batman being in charge because he is Batman.
Overall: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3 is an enjoyable comic book. James Tynion and Ryan Ferrier continue to do a great job delivering on things fans of both franchise want to see, like a fight between Raphael and Robin. Unfortunately there are a few missed opportunities when it comes to character arcs that keeps this crossover back from being as special as its predecessor. That said, if you are a fan of Batman or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this comic will deliver on what you expect when these worlds collide.