By Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Ross Campbell & Ronda Pattison

The Northampton arc continues. Raphael and Alopex start to bond as Leonardo begins to finally find his true self. April and Casey, on the other hand, begin to make a decision as to how to use the ooze sample they have in their possession. The family plots its next plan of action, when the Foot begins to make its move…

Some will probably disagree, but what makes this storyline so good is that no real action is taking place. Tom Waltz is providing in-depth insight into these wonderful characters and their relationships with each other. Seeing Raphael and Alopex interact was surprisingly heartfelt and entertaining. Experimenting with character relationships makes for fantastic drama and storytelling. Also, Waltz’s dialog really shines between Splinter and Leo. Splinter references elements of samurai philosophy and applies it to his sons current conflict. The words could have become contrived BS just to try and make the conversation seem deep, but they actually makes sense and serve a purpose.

If prints or posters of Ross Campbell’s work on this arc were sold, I would buy them in a heartbeat. His smooth pencil work coincides well with the serene setting and tone of Northampton. Ross knows to depict iconic moments; two in particular stand out in this issue. One is when Leonardo is given back his signature blue bandana. The other is a full-page shot that is the last page of the issue, which I won’t spoil. Also, there are fascinating panel transitions, pay close attention to the Alopex and Raph portion of the comic.

This series continues to be one of IDW’s gem properties. If you aren’t reading it already, get on it!

tmnt31

About The Author Erik Gonzalez

I was exposed to comics early on, one of my earliest vivid memories was picking up the entire run of Dark Horse’s Aliens vs. Predator(1990). Odd and perhaps morbid choice for a kid, I know...At the same time, I was immersed in the pop culture of the time which included, but not limited to: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and of course, Batman: The Animated Series. Upon reflection, it’s fairly evident why I’m such a zealous geek. My day job is in television operations, so basically I’m exposed to media at every turn, which is where I want to be! Writing comic book reviews is another outlet to convey my respect and fanaticism for the this graphic medium. I hope what I have to say will resonate with others and also spark heart-felt discussion. Simon Pegg said it best, “Being a geek is extremely liberating.”