By Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Mateus Santolouco & Ronda Pattison
The Turtles finally return to the city after their personal journey to Northampton and its climactic battle. As the brothers figure out the next step to combat Shredder and the Foot, the focus shifts to Casey Jones and his problems. The city holds a lot bad memories and bitterness for him, especially when his father comes back into the picture…
One key narrative element that the writing team do so well is pacing. After the intense battle and finale of the previous arc, the story slows down a bit and sets up with a little exposition. Also, they focus on a character who took a backseat for the most part of the Northampton arc. Tom Waltz opens the book with such a tonally perfect sequence to reintroduce the turtles; the reader is immediately hooked! Using stealth, as a ninja should, the team takes down a crime in progress…true Ninja Turtles! Consistently the story developers know how to make an antagonist empathetic. Casey’s father, now Hun, was such an unlikable character when he was introduced. Now, that he has aligned himself with Shredder for the skewed reason of helping his son, one can’t help but see things form his perspective. The book ends on a solemn note, so we can expect something animated next month.
Mateus Santolouco is back! Despite the fact that he depicts Mikey and Donnie with misshapen heads, he knows how to pose the characters in a panel. The last page of the opening sequence has two gorgeous panels. One is of the four turtles, discussing the fight that just concluded, shrouded in shadow. The other has them in silhouette moving from building to building against a full moon. Ronda Pattison puts the masterful finishing color touch to panels like these. Also, he presents Bebop and Rocksteady as very powerful foes, as they should! Pattison filled in a panel of Rocksteady with some unconventional colors, but it expresses the urgency and danger of the event. I can’t wait to see what this artistic team will do!
The series continually impresses, TMNT fans should not miss an issue. New readers should pick up the past trades and catch up!