This is Part Three in a series of highly spoilery behind-the-scenes looks into our Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures miniseries.
For Part One, click here.
For Part Two, click here.
To read the trade first, you can pick it up here.
To see a picture of a baby chicken wearing a tiny hat, click here.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, on to issue # 3...
By this issue, the Ninja Turtles and the Batman Family have finally teamed up and are having a bit of downtime in the Turtles' sewer lair. When Robin attempts to name all the Turtles, he gets Mikey's name wrong. Michelangelo corrects the Boy Wonder in this panel:
Mikey is purposely mimicking Michelangelo's statue of David here. Originally, I thought it would be funny if his groin was covered with a black censorship bar. IDW, Nickelodeon, and DC didn't really agree. I can't blame them since this is an all-ages book and all, but I still like that gag...
Next up is the scene in the Turtle van:
This was the first scene I thought up when brainstorming for this series. While Batgirl is originally annoyed with the Mikey for rocking out to a song obviously based on Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap," on the page following this one, Batgirl lets her hair down and sings/screams along with the song. That's the power of the Vanilla, right there.
Originally, this song was supposed to be "Turtle Power!" by Partners in Kryme from the original TMNT movie. However, there are rules against song lyrics in comics, so we had to make up our own song. Wingnut is a Batman-like character in the universe of the Nick TMNT cartoon, so we went with a mash-up of sorts.
Now on to issue # 4...
This issue starts with an East Village crowd attacked by the Scarecrow's fear gas. On the far left of the panel, I can be seen fleeing the scene in absolute terror, abandoning my wife Dorothy who's right behind me. On the other side of Batman is series editor Bobby Curnow, and on the extreme right of the panel, is our artist extraordinaire Jon Sommariva, also leaving his wife and child in the dust. When it comes to Scarecrow's fear gas, it's every man for himself.
Up next is my favorite hidden bit in the series. During the Scarecrow fear gas sequence, Batman experiences a glimpse of what Gotham City would be like without him.
We see the Monarch Theatre in the background, the infamous movie house connected to the alley in which Bruce's parents were shot before his eyes. The Waynes saw The Mark of Zorro that fateful night, and since Batman was the target of this Scarecrow plot, I thought it'd be fun to leave off the rest of the title of the movie on the marquee, suggesting Batman is the "mark" in the Scarecrow's con game.
Later on in the issue, Donatello discovers one of the Mad Hatter's beacons. It was Jon's idea to include a little white rabbit on each device, giving another clue to the readers.
By the end of the issue, we see the story's mastermind. One of my favorite villains from Batman: The Animated Series, the Mad Hatter seemed like the perfect character to want to escape the reality of Gotham City into the "Wonderland" of the TMNT's New York. If you look closely, you can spot Turtle ally Usagi Yojimbo in the background, along with a famous video game character. I'm not saying that Jon hid that video game character in every issue, but I'm not saying he didn't either. Better go back and check, just to be on the safe side.
Next time we'll cover issues 5 and 6.
In the meantime, let's check back on that adorable baby chick.
OH DEAR GOD.
To be continued...
To be continued...