Overview: Raphael from another Earth explains what happened to Batman and the Turtles. Meanwhile, Krang approaches the Laughing Man in hopes of forging an alliance.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): Raphael from another world starts fighting Batman and the Turtles before launching into his explanation for why he’s there. He tells the Turtles of their true origin story. Batman counters by saying it’s a lie and the history they have is real. Raphael tells Batman he will explain his true story in a bit and gives Donatello a device to plug into the computer.
Raphael continues his story with an account of what happened the night everything changed. He describes the red lightning across the sky before everything goes black. Donnie gets the device plugged in and it plays a recording of the rest of that night. Turns out that the Krang and Anti-Monitor hybrid arrived on what he called the progenitor universe with a plan to kidnap all the original Turtles. His plan is to use two progenitor earths to create a multiverse where his victory is built in from the start. His captive from the other progenitor earth is another version of Batman. Krang activates the Crisis Tower to begin merging the worlds and leaves. Batman manages to free himself and the rest of the Turtles. He reveals that he stole a device that will allow them to travel between dimensions and says they have to get into the new multiverse to take it down from the inside. As Krang’s minions swarm them, the task falls to Raphael who takes the device and travels to the earth he is currently on.
Raphael in the present explains to the Turtles watching the recording that he’s never faced someone like Krang before, but that they have. He explains that he needs their help to save the multiverse and restore their rightful histories, but that he doesn’t really have a plan.
Elsewhere, Krang appears to the Laughing Man and says that he will give him everything he needs to win.
Analysis: This issue continues the trend of these issues being loads of fun for the reader. It’s almost completely exposition, but it was all necessary to set the stage for what’s to come. Fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will no doubt love seeing the classic origin story retold in black and white. I personally have no attachment or knowledge of the Turtles beyond their names and origins but there is something undeniably exciting about seeing something so classic retold with such beautiful art. I also want to mention that the idea behind this crossover is very creative and one that I don’t think has been done before. It would be simple for Krang to just take characters from two worlds or to merge one existing world. Instead what he’s done is create a whole other multiverse to guarantee his victory.
I thought the dialogue and fight at the beginning of the issue was a little unnecessary and resolves itself a little too conveniently. It appears like an action scene was just forced into the issue for the sake of it. That’s really the only negative thing I have to say about this issue as the rest of it flows well and I enjoyed it. The Batman from the progenitor earth is wearing the classic costume with the yellow oval around the signal and the underwear. Aside from that, it’s not completely clear what era or version of the character that is. Hopefully, we find out more in subsequent issues.
Williams continues to kill it with the art. I love how all his characters showcase so much personality. The colors are excellent, especially transitioning between the gritty black and white of the Turtles origin story and the bright colors of Krang’s world done by Jeremy Colwell. Napolitano does a good job in planning out the location of text on these pages. Because so much of this issue is exposition, it’s quite wordy, but the text never obscures the art and always leads the eye down the page.
Final Thoughts: A really fun issue that explains how Krang’s multiverse was created.