Yes, I’m just as surprised as you that we’re only getting this now as opposed the Turtles’ heyday in the 90’s. That may be a good thing. Can you imagine how this crossover would’ve read during that era where it was style at the expense of all substance? With veteran Bat-writer (and creator of BOOM!’s excellent “The Woods”) James Tynion IV at the helm, it actually winds up reading much better than that. The setup is simple enough: An accident with a trans-dimensional portal winds up sending the Turtles and Splinter, along with Shredder and a portion of the Foot Clan, to Gotham City. Naturally, Shredder sees the city as being ripe for conquest, while the Turtles and Splinter seek to stop him by the means they have available to them. Both groups wind up on Batman’s radar after the Turtles interrupt a raid by the Foot on a WayneTech lab. From there (after the necessary introduction via fisticuffs) the Caped Crusader teams up with the Heroes in a Half Shell, to take down Shredder who finds willing ally in his quest in the form of Ra’s Al Ghul.
As an excuse to facilitate the team-up in the title, the story itself is fine. Tyinon has a good grip on the Turtles’ individual characters and has some fun in their interactions with Batman. From Donatello fawning over the Batmobile, to Michelangelo riding on the giant T-rex in the Batcave, to the Turtles introducing Batman to the greatness of pizza, he clearly knows what fans want to see. Still, the most meaningful bit for me was when Batman gets some time with Raphael (who is having another one of his angry moments) to explain his origin and what the fight against crime means to him. I guess in my old age I want to see the crossovers between franchises as I like have just a little bit of depth to them. This miniseries does have plenty of style thanks to Freddie E. Williams II’s art and how he has this knack for making the characters appear larger-than-life. His designs for the “mutanimal” versions of Batman’s rogues gallery are also pretty cool as well.
The whole crossover is as tasty as a regular peanut butter cup and about as filling too. Buyer beware, however: The actual story here is a little over 120 pages long with 50 (FIFTY!) pages of variant covers from Williams and other artists. I didn’t mind that too much because I got this collection for $6 during a sale from ComiXology. It’s currently available only in hardcover, but I’m not sure I’d be feeling as amenable to this crossover as I was if I had paid full (or even half) price for it.