Well it’s time for yet another TMNT mini series. this time focussing on Casey & April. IDW has kicked off the next series with these two classic characters. This will be a four issue series, and it’s all about Casey and April heading Southwest….. rut roh raggy! Here’s my SPOILER FREE review of issue #1!
The past 4 years IDW Publishing has really kicked shell with all the TMNT stuff they have been doing. There have been micro series issues, two or three other mini series like Mutanimals which just wrapped, Turtles in Time, and Secret History of the Foot Clan. With all of those series I was extremely excited, but when I heard about the fact that they would have a Casey & April mini… I have to admit I was very skeptical. Here’s the description from issue one via Comixology:
“Introducing a very unique TMNT tale starring Casey Jones and April O’Neil, by acclaimed indie writer Mariko Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer)! The couple take a road trip to the southwest to dig up more clues about the mysterious Pantheon that has seemingly been pulling the strings on the Turtles’ lives from the beginning. Casey and April will find even deeper mystery, unexpected danger, and start a new chapter in their relationship.”
After reading that I was a bit less skeptical, but I wasn’t really sure what to think. After seeing the covers for issue #1 I was kinda excited to see another artist’s take on these two. Especially April since I really haven’t been a fan of her with short hair since the Northampton arc. But Irene Koh on art, and Paul Reinwand on colors really has me liking April with short hair. One thing I can always count on with the IDW TMNT writing team is that none of the writing has ever felt out-of-place. Between Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Paul Allor, Erik Burnham, and the rest of the team each TMNT storyline reads altogether very well. There has never been anything out-of-place with this 4 year-long journey we have taken. Mariko Tamaki is the writer for this series, and after reading the first issue I can’t wait to see what else this creative team has in store for us and these characters!
Tamaki’s writing is interesting, and it fits into the TMNT universe fluidly. This first issue is essentially introducing Casey & April to the new readers, but for us long time fans of the IDW continuity… these characters feel right at home. You can clearly tell in Tamaki’s writing that Casey and April are at an awkward time in their relationship. They are at that “defining stage” as you can see in the images below. One of the reasons why I’m glad w have this mini is because we really needed something to explore these characters. Sure in the main series we see Casey and April but right now they are doing things by themselves. With Casey helping her parents and April off talking with now dead professors. As I read through issue #1 I felt as if I was a fly on the wall as it were listening in on Casey and April’s blossoming relationship. This is the first time I’ve read anything from Tamaki. She is only one of the two female writers for IDW’s TMNT property. Honestly that doesn’t really matter, it’s just a fun fact I thought I’d point out. Tamaki is bringing a whole new angle to the TMNT story!
This issue reads very fast for being a setup issue. We are introduced to Casey and April, they set out on their journey, and then the fun begins. So as the description above states, Casey and April are headed southwest to find out why the universe hates on the TMNT and their family. The last time these two went out west a whole buncha stuff happened in the original Mirage run. I had my buddy Joe Reed give me a catch up lesson on those events, and after reading what he s me… I honestly have no idea what to expect from this journey as IDW takes Casey and April to new heights. All I know is after reading issue #1 I’m ready for more of Mariko Tamaki’s writing. And putting the villain they’ve chosen against Casey and April will prove to be very interesting! The only real negative I have about the writing is that Casey & April can seem too awkward at times in this first issue. Like something happened between them off panel… that they have no idea what to say to each other.
Irene Koh’s art is amazing here! I love the image below where the artists nearly sum up all 4 years of the TMNT story in one panel. This is great for new readers. Irene Koh and Paul Reinwand really make the settings, characters, and emotions all pop off the page. Look at the shadow page above where they are talking about being a couple. I love that shading and shadowy effect. I think it shows us the readers that hey you are supposed to but at the same time not supposed to be focussed on the characters. Like their words are more important than their facial features at that moment. I’m not sure if it was Koh and Reinwand together or separately that came up with the hockey heart logo, but that might be my favorite thing right now coming out of this series. It’s just so very cool, and it gives Casey and April their own symbol.
Casey & April #1 is a very interesting read. It sets us up on where the series will be going, it shows us the readers the villain right away. Even though Casey and April don’t know anything about it yet. You can get TMNT Casey & April #1 now at your local comic shop, or digitally on Comixology. Can’t wait til issue #2 to see what happens next.