By Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz, Mateus Santolouco and Ronda Pattison
This is a content heavy issue, a lot of plot progression/setup and character development takes place. Books such as this in this series are usually very strong and this is no exception. Donatello is still within Metalhead and his family continue to cope with this new struggle. Nobody and Alopex patrol the city with the turtles, while Casey and April’s parents deal with his family issues. In the background, various dark forces are at work and Karai’s, Shredder’s, and Stockman’s plans are taking form…
As dense as this comic is, the material is juggled and transitioned very well. Tom Waltz gives the emotional moments the proper time to simmer and sink in; this is also due to Mateus Santolouco’s well plotted layout designs. Seeing the relationship between Raph and Alopex continue to develop is always fascinating, as well as how Donnie deals with his current corporeal predicament. One of the most in-depth and existential scenes, surprisingly, is between Mikey and the pizza delivery boy. Scenes like this are what make this run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so strong. As much as fans love to see the turtles kick some shell, the quiet, character-driven moments are the most important since this is truly about family.
The foreshadowing is very key in this issue. Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Waltz have been setting up certain major plotlines for a while now and just makes me giddy as a school boy to see them finally coming to fruition…Things are about to hit epic proportions. With this, Santolouco and Ronda Pattison are able to really deliver on the artwork, as usual. As dialog heavy an issue as this is, it could easily become a snooze-fest, but this art team makes is so vibrant and immersive. Readers can really see the emotion on the character’s faces and panel designs are varied. Also Mateus and Ronda’s nod to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is amazing! I would love to see them on a Batman title!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is still one of IDW’s flagship titles and absolutely earns its place there. The entire creative team is running on all cylinders, heading towards a powerful conclusion. These folks know these characters inside and out and have a deep passion for them, which pops right off the page. One can’t ask for more.