I was going to do a comic review today, but then a trailer dropped for something I really wanted to discuss. So it’s a trailer review instead.
Crossovers in comics are nothing new at this point. DC has had Batman fight the Xenomorphs, Superman fight the Terminators, and Green Lantern guide the USS Enterprise. That was an IDW crossover, and they’re no strangers to crossovers either. They’ve had a number of their licenses join forces either in the same universe or from their own place in the multiverse. They have a Star Trek/Transformers crossover either out or coming out and you better believe I wish I was reading it right now! Unless it’s bad. Then I’d rather not be disappointed.
Another one I would love to check out is their multiple miniseries crossover between Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one of which actually had the DCAU Dark Knight teaming with Nickelodeon’s first animated version (I would have gone with the 2000s cartoon but Nickelodeon didn’t make that one–that was for Fox’s kids lineup, the Fox Box), while the others have had the regular DC Universe Batman joining forces with the IDW Turtles. This has been really popular, but that’s not the crossover I mean. Exactly.
Crossovers on TV are rare, and home video even rarer. When shows have teamed up, whether it’s the Mask meeting Ace Ventura, Ally McBeal meeting the lawyers of The Practice (an even rarer case of crossing networks), or even Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue, which featured numerous cartoon character across numerous animation studios and networks as part of the late George Bush Sr.’s anti-drug awareness campaign, these are usually thematic or a way for a channel to promote other shows. I mean, Jessica Fletcher once worked with Thomas Magnum. (The original, not CBS’s new version.) And yet they’re about to release a direct-to-video movie based on that Batman/Ninja Turtles crossover I just mentioned. The odds of that are so low it’s amazing, and yet here’s the trailer!
The animation isn’t being done by the same team that made The Batman–their art style is pretty easy to spot–but there are some cues they take from it. The most notable are the designs for The Penguin and Batgirl, although the others are from different interpretations, especially the more traditional Joker. He’s not wearing the usual straight jacket from that version. However, this is based on current DC continuity, which is why Damien is here, but at least in the trailer none of the other Bat-Family are present. The Batman had Batman, Batgirl, and Robin, but the Robin there was Dick Grayson as it was an early years style show. There’s also the shots of Batman that seem to be inspired by the show, so at the very least I think someone was a fan, and frankly it’s not a bad choice. That version was very action-focused and that appears to be what they’re going for. Not having read the crossover I don’t know if that follows the tone or not. Batman however is wearing the more classic blue and grey instead of the more recent black and grey-or-sometimes-more-black look he sports in more recent interpretations, including The Batman. The last time he wore blue was Batman: The Brave And The Bold.
The Turtles are clearly based on their IDW designs, although I don’t know if they turned Baxter into a fly in the crossover. The fly version came from the first cartoon, but last time I checked out IDW’s Turtles Baxter Stockman was still human and announcing his candidacy for mayor of New York. (Can’t be worse that the Kingpin I guess. Maybe.) How tall (or rather short) is Penguin in this version though if Raphael can loom over him? I’d expect that from his Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character model since they opted to make him super-buff, but as I recall the IDW Turtles are still shorter than regular humans. The movie also appears to either be revisiting or flashing back to April meeting the Turtles, and that is clearly IDW’s April. Unless…it could be Barbara out of her Batgirl costume since they’re both redheaded, but that is the way April wears her hair in the IDW comics.
The amazing thing is that this crossover exists outside of the comics. With the exception of Aliens Vs. Predator or Freddy Vs. Jason you rarely see a crossover unless the same people were involved in both productions,. Thus far I think the former is the only one that came from a comic and became a movie, although that was a series of theatrical movies based on the success Dark Horse had with the crossover miniseries. (It didn’t translate to the actual movies from what I’ve heard.) Of course, there’s one crossover we really need to see:
Specifically it should be the original Mirage Comics version of the Ninja Turtles since their origin is the one tied to Daredevil. However, I can’t remember the last time a Marvel character crossed over with anyone outside of Marvel except for that Phineas And Ferb episode where the Avengers popped up, and that’s because both are owned by Disney and were airing on Disney XD at the time. That’s what makes Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so unusual, since it’s a crossover between heroes of different comic companies showing up in the same movie. And yet we’ll probably never get a JLA/Avengers adaptation and that’s sad.
Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be available for digital download on May 14, 2019, and home video release on June 4, 2019 and you can be bet I’ll be sad I can’t watch them. I either need a job or find a way to redo the Patreon or some other service in a way people will donate so I can focus on just BW work. I’m taking suggestions. Link in the sidebar as well as PayPal for now. I also want to see the original comic crossovers. I’ve heard good things about those. Seriously though, someone needs to work on that Turtles/Daredevil crossover.