By Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz, Cory Smith and Ronda Pattison
The current arc of IDW’s TMNT is easily the best yet. It has everything that you could possibly want out of a Ninja Turtle comic: the villains have raised the stakes, there’s a genuine sense of panic setting in and our heroes are making strange alliances in order to achieve the greater good. Issue 42 acts as another “calm before the storm” moment (something this series has been great at) as a Turtle battle to end all Turtle battles begins. It’s great, but there’s just one problem.
Tom Waltz has been something of a wordsmith, often taking what should be silly plots and transforming them into numerous thrilling moments. The concept of the Turtles joining forces with Shredder to eliminate Krang starts out as a head scratcher, but ends up becoming a brilliant plan and plot twist. By the end of the issue, this insane alliance puts itself into play and the result is a powerful ending and the most infuriating cliffhangers in recent memory. You will immediately want the next issue.
The problem mentioned above is the decision to go back and explain Donnie’s master plan origin in this issue. It starts out with the three other Turtles knowing about the plan when it was previously established they knew nothing. The issue proceeds to tend to other plot points until we finally get an explanation shoehorned in a whole 16 pages later. It’s very jarring to the reader and one has to wonder why they put the story together in such a sloppy way.
On the art side of things, Cory Smith is still a welcomed improvement. His Turtles still keep the 2012 cartoon influence, yet avoids the silly and awkward shapes of previous issues. The huge battle with Krang begins at the end of the issue and things look quite impressive. Things are fierce and violent, but not overly so.
If it wasn’t for such wonky story explanations, this issue could easily be one of the best. It’s nothing that should take away from what has been a fantastic arc, so at least there’s some comfort there. On a positive note, the next issue can’t get here fast enough.