WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4
The world of Batman comics has finally answered the question: what if a Ninja Turtle took Bane's VENOM? Sure, it might not be a question that any comic book fan, or cartoon fan, or movie fans has ever actually asked. But you have to admit: when the heroes of the Ninja Turtles franchise are underworld-dwelling heroes mutated from a green mutagen, and the famous Batman nemesis Bane is an underworld-dwelling villain overgrown thanks to a green mutagen... it's a wonder that the two haven't combined already.
Thankfully, there is the crossover comic BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II #4, the second version of the DC/IDW team-up that combined the heroes of New York City and Gotham. Just four issues in, the sequel comic series is headed places any fans of either property could ever dream of. With the leaderless forces of the Foot Clan now united under the brutal leadership of Bane, only a Ninja Turtle team-up with Batman and Robin can save New York.
Until it turns out Bane has more of an advantage than either suspected. The only answer is the one every reasonable member of the team refuses... Venom. The good news? Donatello is finally going to be the "strong one" of the team.
For those who have missed out on the series up to Issue #4 (and we can't recommend it highly enough), the creative team of James Tynion IV, Ryan Ferrier, Freddie Williams II, and Jeremy Colwell have combined multiple elements of both fictional universes. With Lazarus Pits in play, the Venom mutagen cooked up by Baxter Stockman, and even a Venom-ized version of Bebop and Rocksteady, it might be fair to say that Batman and the Turtles were more unprepared than outmatched. Especially with Donatello's confidence at an all-time low (already self-conscious as the least skilled fighter of his brothers).
Sadly, that means the team's attempts to get one step ahead of Bane and his new army turns into an ambush. An ambush that the Turtles are only spared from from Splinter himself leaps into the fight. He delivers the kind of beating fans would hope for, but... this is Bane. We're talking about. And while the Turtles' father and master manages to spare Raphael from the same back-breaking slam Bane famously dealt the Dark Knight, he pays a high price.
Bruised, beaten, and comatose, the only Turtle willing to do whatever it takes is the one who claims responsibility for the entire disaster.
Despite his reputation as "the smart one" of the group, Donatello argues that using Babe's weapon against him - injecting themselves with the same Venom - is the only way to defeat him before he takes over all of New York. Raphael agrees (obviously), but everyone else votes the idea down. Guilt outweighs logic in the end, and in the final pages of Batman/TMNT II #4, Donatello does the unthinkable. He fashions himself a Venom injection rig, and transforms into a musclebound, gigantic version of himself.
With Issue #5 arriving this week, this series has launched from a fan's dream come true to a nightmare. Will Donnie lose control? Will he unleash his new strength on foe - or friends? Check out the synopsis below:
A Venom-charged Donnie wages a brutal, one-Turtle war on the Foot Clan. Batman has to stop him and remind him of who he really is; someone who uses smarts—not brawn—to take down the bad guys. Damian and Raphael pay a visit to the Lazarus Pit to try and help a wounded Splinter. Then Batman tries to turn a former foe into an ally as part of a desperate attempt to finally end the reign of Bane.
The final details on the last of the six-issue series confirms that it's all leading to one massive brawl, calling on every ally the Turtles (and, hopefully, Batman) can muster. It's all set to take place on Liberty Island, beneath the Statue of Liberty that Bane has now covered with a massive Bane mask to symbolize his claim to New York City. That's a move that won't go over well with the Foot Clan who remain loyal to the daughter of Splinter, meaning Batman and the Turtles may have an unlikely ally to help tilt the scales.
Not to mention the best tease of the series yet: that with the Foot Clan now serving this musclebound, arrogant brawler from a parallel universe, their former master might be the most determined to bring him down. But, c'mon, even Batman wouldn't be crazy enough to team up with Splinter... right?
You'll have to pick up the final issues to find out. There's no question that DC and IDW have delivered a second time around. But with this outlandish a story for the sequel, where could they go in future crossovers?
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II #5 will arrive on March 21, 2018 from DC Comics.