TMNT: Michelangelo’s Batman obsession goes way beyond the crossover

Published : 14 Nov 2022 08:29 PM

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Michelangelo is absolutely obsessed with Batman, and that obsession goes way beyond their multiple crossover events.

While Michelangelo is the resident ‘party dude’ of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, he is absolutely obsessed with the dark and brooding superhero Batman–and it goes way beyond their crossover.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the six-issue miniseries in which the Turtles first met and teamed up with the Caped Crusader, but it wouldn’t be the last. There were two more sequel series to this first crossover as well as another series titled Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, which gave their fourth team-up a much more playful and child-friendly tone. So, the Ninja Turtles have teamed up with Batman on no less than four separate occasions–much to the pleasure of Michelangelo–but his love for Batman goes far deeper than simply fighting crime alongside him, but also a desire to actually be just like him.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #67 by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, and Mateus Santolouco, the Turtles have severed ties with Splinter after their father became the new leader of the Foot Clan. While most of the Turtles initially stayed by his side when he took over following the death of Shredder, Splinter proved that he was allowing the new position to change him for the worse when he ordered the immediate execution of one of the Foot Clan’s opponents right in front of the Turtles. After witnessing their father kill a man in cold blood, the Ninja Turtles left his side and struck out to be their own heroes–and Michelangelo knew exactly who he wanted to emulate.

In this TMNT issue, Michelangelo is reading a comic book that is implied to be a Batman comic (which is a little confusing, but alternate timelines is a fine headcanon) and he’s pitching ideas to his brothers in regard to how they can be the best superheroes possible. While this issue shows Michelangelo wanting to base his superhero persona on Batman by reading his comic, he actually does so in one of the aforementioned crossover titles–and he arguably does a better job than Batman himself. 

In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1 by Matthew K. Manning and Jon Sommariva, Michelangelo catches a low-level thug in the streets of New York and delivers Batman’s iconic line, “I am vengeance! I am the night!” before the criminal quickly passes out in fear. In recent memory, Batman has never been able to make people pass out just by saying those words, which means Michelangelo instilled a deeper fear into a criminal than Batman ever could.