By Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Ross Campbell & Ronda Pattison
The Northampton arc concludes with an enthralling battle between the turtle family and Koya. Leonardo finally returns to his former self, meanwhile, April and Casey try to give her father a second chance at a healthy life.
The majority of the issue is spent focusing on the battle in the barn, which was a bit jarring considering how reflective and reserved this storyline has been. Now, this isn’t a criticism, but more of a heads up to readers. All the plot elements were heading in the direction of this inevitable conclusion, especially with Leo’s character arc. The most direct way to show he has finally returned to his family is fighting along with and protecting them. Tom Waltz and team made it a point to emphasize the turtles working together and using teamwork by having them specifically mention the notion. It did feel a bit forced and repetitive as the issue went on, which is probably my biggest criticism.
The relationship between Alopex and Raphael will no doubt be a subplot that will run through future issues. The two most memorable and emotionally powerful panels were when Alopex and Raph part ways and the other shows where she is at the end of the issue (don’t want to spoil it). The subplot with April’s parents had a nice conclusion, although I would have liked to have seen it go another direction. Yet, it opens the story to have more possibilities and allies for the turtles.
It saddens me that Ross Campbell and Ronda Pattison’s collaboration on this series has ended. Their work made this one of the most memorable story arcs. Pattison’s use of orange made the fight sequences pop and draw the reader’s attention to where it needs to be. Also, Campbell’s depiction of the strength and raw animalistic instinct in Koya made the foe stand out and will definitely make him a fan favorite. I have no doubt we will see these artists back again in the TMNT-verse and I can’t wait for that!
This is the conclusion folks! Don’t think about it, just pick this book up…that is all.