COMIC SERIES: IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
WRITERS/ARTIST: Tom Waltz, Bobby Curnow, Kevin Eastman/Mateus Santolouco
As Donatello and his brothers adjusts to the new status quo, the other characters find themselves in a similar situation as a power vacuum has appeared in the wake of Shredder and Krang’s defeat, also April discovers that something worse could be just over the horizon.
So now that we are firmly in between crisis’s right now, the writers of Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles are now taking their time with building up for the next big threat that our heroes will have to face. Waltz and Eastman have done this time and again in the past to such a high degree of quality, with this time being no different.
Character development is once more at the forefront of an issue like this, with us getting strong outings from everyone involved. First up was Donny who looked a little well adjusted to his new form (as both Angel and Leo notice), but he reveals that he is anything but that (I think he is basically just trying to keep himself focused on other things, so not to dwell on his current troubles…which is very human). Also the scene where he talks with Fugitoid about how his mind is working exceptionally well within Metal-head’s form was also interesting to read, with both bonding over their similar experiences.
There is a nice scene between Raph and Alopex, with the Turtle still kicking himself for he and his brothers inability to protect their Brother. But she manages to get him out of his funk (being the voice of reason to his questioning and moping) before Leo appears and gets the team back on track, focusing on finding out what their enemies are planning next (always the leader). I also like the teasing from Angel about Alopex’s relationship with Raph (we readers could see it coming from all the way back in Northampton, probably even further back than that), it was a nice touch and I look forward to seeing that developed more (because I always like a good romance, even if it is between a Turtle and an Artic Fox).
Meanwhile Mikey also gets a good scene when he talks to his friend Woody (the whole exchange is only a page long, but again it is well written and developed), showing again that the youngest Brother is definitely the heart of the group. Now I can honestly say that before I read this series, I was never a fan of Mikey (actually I could barely stand him). Because almost every iteration of TMNT (films/cartoons for example) portrayed him simply as the class-clown/idiot (in the same way that Leo was just the leader, Donny was brains and Raph the brawn). But Waltz and Eastman have shown Mikey and his brothers in this IDW series to be more Human than their outward appearance would suggest, which is one reason why I enjoy reading it so much.
Anyway there was more than just the Turtles in this installment, since we got another exchange between Casey and his Dad (I wondered how long it would take for April’s Parents to be pulled into this), which showed again how different Father and Son were from each other. I also like Beth’s reaction to Alopex (which at first was surprise, but then moving past it. Again example of how Human the Mutants actually are.)
Also April had another moment with Professor Miller as they talk about the Immortals (with the Rat-King, Kitsune and a currently unknown third person), which is obviously building up them up to be the next big bad of the series. The latter then gets killed by the Foot Clan as Karai has now taken full control of the group, showing her growing capabilities as a leader while they move into a new direction. Even Shredder and Stockman make an appearance as they bicker about their new alliance, before the scientist reveals his new army of Mousers and Fly-bots.
The artwork in this issue was once again perfect as Santolouco’s style has become a hallmark of this series, with a tremendous amount of detail given to each and every character. His work along with the writers own is so symbiotic, with each strengthening and complementing the other perfectly.
This series has come so far since it’s first issue, with the story and characters having so many layers to them as it unfolded and evolved beyond the basic TMNT story-line (that virtually every other iteration sticks too like glue). I have said this before, this series is by far the best version of the Turtles I have seen/read, while also being one of the very best comic-series out today.