The sequel to Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit stands this week, and we could not have been more excited. It’s not just that these are two of the best superhero comics crossing over either. There are plenty of great superheroes that don’t necessarily pair up well together, but Batman and the Turtles go together like Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, the chocolate and peanut butter of heroic pairings. Writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II are all set to deliver another stellar crossover, focused this time on Batman foe Bane, but that has left us wondering what other great pairings might be made with the Dark Knight.
If there’s a problem with Batman crossovers, it’s that many either don’t make sense or fail to mix well with the mythos of Batman. Many of the obvious superhero pairings are no different than interactions Batman has already had with many DC characters already. That’s why all of the Marvel characters have to be left out. There are already ample examples of each archetype provided at the Big Two and how Batman plays with these sorts of heroes and villains. In order to find something interesting, you have to think outside of the box.
We’ve assembled five team-up ideas that we think could even give Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a run for its money. These crossovers come from a variety of publishers and genres, and they all challenge the idea of Batman or the concept of a Batman story in interesting ways. Click ahead to see all five of our picks.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Created by: Mike Mignola
Batman has met Hellboy before, but this is about a team up with the entire Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. It’s a perfect match because of the bizarre and powerful foes faced by the B.P.R.D. and the unique talents the many members of the Bureau bring to the table. Any creator ought to salivate at the possibilities of this combination.
In this team up, Batman makes for the obvious centerpiece as a levelheaded leader and tactician to fill Hellboy’s long-absent shoes. How he interacts with the big personalities and powers of the bureau as well as the complex villains they face makes this a puzzle both in and out of combat. The fun would come in seeing how Batman helped everyone realize what they are truly capable of, while learning more about the supernatural from them. This is still a longshot, it’s a plausible crossover and one both Batman and B.P.R.D. fans would be lucky to see.
Publisher: Image Comics
Created by: Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra
This combination brings many of the same interesting elements that come with the B.P.R.D. concept: a fascinating collection of powerful individuals, weird science outside of Batman’s normal experience, and a universe without superheroes. The big difference is that the world of The Manhattan Projects is entirely amoral. While some of the scientists in this motley crue have made heroic efforts, the best of them are simply defined by not being outright evil.
Given the enormous scale of conflicts and consequences in this Cold War scenario along with super weapons capable of threatening entire planets, Batman would have plenty of challenges from both allies and enemies. And that assumes he can tell the difference. This crossover would challenge Batman’s sense of right and wrong while providing plenty of spectacular fireworks along the way. It would be fun to see the Dark Knight debate ethics with Oppenheimer while facing down nuclear armageddon in an intellectual blockbuster.
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Created by: Tom Scioli
We are referring specifically to the crossover between Transformers and G.I. Joe created by Tom Scioli here, one of the strangest, post-modern experiments in all of comics. Scioli’s vision of mainstream entertainment is unlike anything else in existence, and adding one of the biggest superheroes of all time to the mix could only make it more fascinating.
Scioli adores playing with all elements of a fandom and would be sure to show off Batman’s many famous allies, enemies, and gadgets. More importantly, they would be placed into spectacular conflict in the universal war fought by these two insanely powerful sides. Batman would be as resourceful as ever, but forced to confront his relative scale in a battle where planets literally stand up and fight. If there’s ever going to be a sequel to Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, we would be lucky to have “vs. Batman” tacked onto the end.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Created by: Erik Powell
The Goon is a comic that has parodied and rebuked mainstream superhero comics. With its tougher-than-nails approach to stories and blue collar tone, there’s not much room for capes or colorful villains in this tragic world of horror and crime. Needless to say, Batman would not find much sympathy from The Goon or anyone else in this comic. That sort of tension would make for a great story though.
Both Batman and The Goon are (somewhat) ordinary men fighting to protect their cities in their own very violent manner. While they might dislike or disrespect one another’s modus operandi, there is a common thread that could ultimately connect them. In addition to the potential gags and bizarre situations, there’s a great story about the nature of heroism to be told between Batman and The Goon.
Publisher: Image Comics
Created by: Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker
When it comes to superhero comics, Invincible is the exception to the rule. It has taken every trope and story idea in mainstream superhero stories and either inverted them or brought them to conclusions impossible to find in ongoing series. Characters really die, the world is really changed, and politics collide with the existence of superpowered beings. That’s what makes this the one superhero property that it would be truly fascinating to see Batman crossover with. Everything would be familiar, but it would all be entirely different.
This story wouldn’t have to focus on a particular threat, but could act as an excuse to compare and contrast the DC Universe with Kirkman’s sprawling original superhero epic. Batman’s outsider take could offer insight into what makes both of these concepts function and why they both appeal to fans. It could be a truly interesting study on the superhero genre and the differences between stories that end and those that continue forever as legends.