COMIC SERIES: IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
WRITERS/ARTIST: Tom Waltz, Bobby Curnow, Kevin Eastman/Cory Smith
With the Technodrome activated and slowly terraforming Burnow Island, the three Turtles only have a few minutes to stop Krang before his doomsday device can then terraform the entire planet. And else where, Donatello has his hands full as Rocksteady and Bebop follow through on Shredder’s orders.
Well the action certainly doesn’t slow down in this issue as the ‘Attack on the Technodrome’ arc comes to an explosive conclusion, one that not only gives the Turtles a big win against their enemies but also one that hits you in the feels at it’s very last page (I will get into that later in this review).
So the story here continues from where Issue 43 left of, which has Krang activating the Technodrome after Baxter Stockman sabotaged the Turtles and Fugitoid’s plan, only to then have his own stopped before it had a chance to begin by the Ultrom General himself.
Now this story-arc has definitely been high on the action scenes and part 4 is no different as we get two fantastic fights this time around, with the second battle between the Turtles and Krang (the first taking place during Vol. 5 Krang War) and a brutal and horrifying fight with Donatello vs. Rocksteady and Bebop.
Now I was going to write about the battle between Krang, Leo, Raph and Mikey, but who knew a fight between a Turtle, a Rhino and a Warthog could be so gut-wrenching. I’m serious, this is up there with the first Superman vs. Doomsday fight or Joker vs. Jason Todd in the amount of brutality on display what was once TMNT’s local idiots (Rocksteady and Bebop were not exactly the most threatening villains in the 1987 series) have now been shown to be truly proper threats in IDW’s version of this story.
I mean since their first appearance during the City Fall arc, Rocksteady and Bebop still have their iconic level of idiocy between them, but they are now far more than a match for our green heroes (in fact the Turtles have been unable to defeat the two bad guys without the aid of their friends in any of their fights thus far). And this last fact is so brutally hammered into the reader’s thoughts while reading Issue 44, as they all but kill Donetallo in the most visceral and visually shocking manner yet drawn in the pages of TMNT. Even Metalhead (under the control of Harold) gets completely trashed whilst valiantly trying to defend the smartest of the Brothers, and the last hit of the fight with Rocksteady’s sledge-hammer against Donnie’s shell (this reminds me of a certain Robin getting beaten with a crowbar) seriously sticks in the mind for several moments after seeing it.
Now I could go on about this fight for a long time, so I will instead move on to the other parts of the Issue (though this was the part of the story that really hit me when I read it). The fight between the rest of the Brothers and Krang does play out like a round 2 of their previous encounter, though it is certainly far more intense considering the fate of the planet is at stake. But since the writers have already given us a punch to the gut with Donetallo, I did not think that they were going to deliver another and have Krang win. So the result of this fight was not hard to see coming, though I was surprised to see the Ultrom getting taken back to Dimension X with Fugitoid and the Neutrino Rebels.
Also having Stockman rescue Shredder during his escape from Burnow Island was another surprise (funny how these surprises do not top the biggest one), though before we start thinking that this going to be the start of an alliance between the hated Scientist and the Foot Leader (like the 1987 and 2003 cartoons), I have to point out that the writers have wrong footed us before (what with Shredder and Krang’s meeting in Issue 37) so we should just wait and see.
Also Angel (as Nobody) and Alopex arrive to help Splinter in his fight against Karai, though it does look like he was starting to get through to her (which will obviously be developed more in later issues).
And so this comic ends with all the Turtles enemies in serious disrepair, with Shredder’s Foot-Clan severally weakened and Krang now back in Dimension X. But before the Turtles and their allies can celebrate their great victory, they get to find out about their fallen Brother in what is a really sad and gut-wrenching final page.
The writers and art-team have really outdone themselves with this Issue, giving us a roller-coaster of action, drama and emotion from both sides of the spectrum. Tom Waltz’s script was really well written (aside from one or two jokes that felt out of place considering the urgency of situation) and Corey Smith’s artwork really brings the pages to life, as everything from the characters and their surroundings was amazing and really complemented the writing.
Overall this was a real game-changer, not only from the standpoint of the series Villains but also our Heroes too as the status quo has now been altered (extremely so). I cannot wait to see what Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz and Corey Smith bring us next. But after 44 issues of excellence (not including the also brilliant micro-series), I know it is going to be just as good, if not better than what came before it.