The two biggest topics at the Baltimore Comic Con IDW Panel were the continuation of the story arc for Walter Simonson’s Ragnarok, and the official announcement of James Tynion IV’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Batman crossover. Simonson and Tynion were on-hand to discuss their respective books while IDW President Greg Goldstein and Vice President of Marketing Dirk Wood acted as moderators.
Simonson provided a great deal of background information on Ragnarok, his alternate version of the Norse myth about the complete destruction of the universe including the gods and their enemies. His version involves the destruction of the gods, but because Thor is missing from the battle, the Midgard Serpent does not get killed, which changes the outcome of the battle and sees many of the Norse evil-doers still alive at the end of the fight. The world – really an amalgam of the Nine Worlds which have all collapsed onto each other – is now a strange landscape called the Dusklands. Thor returns to this world angry at having lost his family and, according to Simonson, “Being the great warrior god, he picks up his hammer to go out into what’s left of the Nine Worlds to reprove them severely.” The first six issues collect the tale of Thor’s return and preparations for his search and destroy mission.
In the next six issues, Simonson will introduce a Black Elf assassin, his wife, and his daughter. Simonson said, “I won’t say more about that – I don’t want to give too much away – other than this is really the story of the Black Elf, his daughter, Thor, and the Lord of the Dead. I hope to tell this story for some time. I have a long running plan with a complete story by the time I’m done.” He went on to say he had approximately five years’ worth of stories for Ragnarok and that the first issue of the next story arc will be released sometime in December.
During his intro to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Batman crossover, Goldstein said, “We’ve had a really great relationship with our friends in the comic book industry … and we don’t really view them as our competition, but we see that all these projects we do with them help the industry as a whole.” In working on these projects, Goldstein explained that he and his team have made their own wish lists of franchises they could crossover. Some, he said, are practically impossible to make happen, but others require the right timing to achieve. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Batman is just such a case.
Tynion, who has written backup stories for Batman and is one of the “showrunners” for the upcoming Batman and Robin Eternal weekly series, said, “I got an email from Jim Chadwick at DC asking if I’d be interested in this, and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? This is the definition of a fanboy dream.’” He explained that the story is going to take the Turtles into Gotham where Shredder and the Foot Clan have established a foothold. This will involve Batman and the Turtles, who will not necessarily be friendly towards one another at the beginning, having to come together and see that they are on the same team in order to rid Gotham of Shredder and an undisclosed DC supervillain.
Tynion promises that the Turtle’s love of pizza will force Bruce Wayne and Alfred to experience a whole new perspective on the world. He said, “Trust me, there are pizzas in every issue. I have a moment I have not written yet, but it is the moment where Alfred is really upset as he accepts a stack of pizzas at the door of the mansion. He could have made the best gourmet pizza in the world, but the Turtles and Bruce wanted delivery.”
Before closing the discussion, Wood commented that, “This crossover, the idea of Batman and the Turtles running down alleys together and diving under manhole covers, just makes sense somehow.” One can assume fans of both the Turtles and Batman agree.