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Comic Review: Batman/TMNT II #2

by Dan Gehen

In this second installment of the intercompany crossover, Donnie learns the error of his ways while Bane sets New York ablaze. While Batman and the Turtles try to play nice, Batfans and Shellheads rejoice!

Comic Review: Batman/TMNT II #2

(W) James Tynion IV, (A) Freddie E. Williams II

For those that picked it on release day, Christmas came early for readers. And for those that waited for this review before heading out to your LCS to pick this up, my apologies – even lowly comic reviewers take a vacation. But if you’ve read the first issue of this miniseries, you know this issue is an easy purchase. Batman/TMNT II #2 continues the threads set up in the first issue. Moreover, readers get a taste for how much of a menace Bane can truly be.

Freddie E. Williams II is an artist who should contribute interior artwork for books more often. As great as his covers have been for TMNT Universe, it doesn’t allow him to become the natural storyteller he is. If IDW ever wanted to produce a textless version of this series, readers would have no problem understanding the story. Williams effortlessly conveys emotion through his expressive facial renderings – as well as the characters’ body language. The action is fluid, with each movement seemingly captured on the page. And then there is his unique brand of inking and coloring, the combination of which gives each panel a textured, tangible aesthetic.

So the art is good. Big shocker there, but how is the story itself? Well, it appears that James Tynion IV is determined to fill this issue with as many character building moments as possible. Whether it’s Donnie coming clean to his brothers, Batman conversing with Ra’s al Ghul, or Bebop and Rocksteady hanging out at a bar, this issue thrives by providing moments of introspection rather than the big, bombastic moments from last issue. In fact, outside a minor tiff between Donnie, Robin, and Mister Freeze, there are no action set-pieces to be found. It’s a testament to the writing by Tynion that readers can be entranced by the story in an action title with little to no action.

Batman/TMNT II #2 meets the high standard established by the series’ debut installment. Some Shellheads may not like Tynion seemingly making the case that Batman’s enemies are way more dangerous than the Turtles’ foes, but it’s really a subjective argument. What isn’t to be argued is how much the stakes have been raised, as the issue’s conclusion pits Batman and the Turtles against time itself, with Bane looking to increase his stranglehold on New York.

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