By Erik Burnham & Ben Bates
This fan serviced mini-series now transports the turtles to the high seas of the 1700s amongst swashbucklers and mighty ships. The brothers team up with a pirate crew to combat against the Kraken’s cohorts.
Each issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time tops the previous. What makes this book distinctive is Ben Bates’ artwork. He previously worked on the main title during the “Krang War” arc (issues # 17- #20), but it seems he has honed his skills. His designs for the Ninja Turtles have easily become my favorite to date (sorry Ross Campbell). It’s not only their general shape, but the detail and definition he brings to each one. A prime example is that they have fingernails, which most artists don’t implement. The facial expressions are perfect, as well as a lot of their actions and postures. His coloring perfectly accentuates the pencils and inking; “Krang War” definitely missed out on this element of the art.
The story is fairly straightforward, which allows for a montage of the turtles experiencing life as pirates. It’s a stunning sequence that allows Bates to showcase his talents. Seeing Raph fishing contemplatively, is by far one of the best images I have seen. Burnham nicely ties in this story with the overall storyline (just take one look at the Kraken’s flag and you’ll figure it out). Perhaps, the best part of the story is the origin of another well-known adversary. I can’t wait until he makes his first full appearance.
This issue is by far the best of the three to date; brilliant artwork with a solid story that meshes perfectly with the established mythos. This is a must-have for any Ninja Turtles fans…you won’t be disappointed!