By Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Mateus Santolouco, Cory Smith, and Ronda Pattison
Here it is folks! The final showdown between the Turtle family and Shredder unfolds in this milestone issue. Previously, Splinter (Hamato Yoshi) and Shredder (Oroku Saki) agreed to an age-old battle of honor to settle things once and for all. The Ninja Turtles must first take on the Foot’s mutants. Once this battle has been decided, the two leaders must face off in mortal combat…
As one would expect, there is plenty of action to enjoy. Mateus Santolouco and Ronda Pattison are able to really cut loose and be very dynamic with the panels. They really capture how massive a fight between mutated animals and an android would be. The art has speed lines everywhere and dust being constantly kicked up. Pattison nicely changes the solid background colors from yellow to purple to blue, covering practically the entire spectrum. The action sequences are truly a sight to behold and are worthy of this key point in this flagship series.
Perhaps, though, the most important and best part of this book is the exploration of Splinter and Shredder’s former lives and relationship. This creative team has never lost sight of the core of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – family and bonds. Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, and Bobby Curnow were able to bring that into the dynamic of these two iconic characters. Glimpses have been given into Yoshi and Saki’s past prior to this, but being that this is a 48-page special issue, Tom Waltz and the rest of the writers are able to really delve into the emotional center of these two.
Also, artist Cory Smith handles the flashbacks in the issue beautifully. Having him tackle such intense, touching imagery was a brilliant move. Seeing Ronda Pattison color the work of these two artists and do it true justice is a testament to her talent. Needless to say, all this culminates in a very satisfying, emotional, and somewhat shocking ending. These folks were not afraid to take left turns and they should be applauded for doing so! Very rarely do I get emotional reading a comic, but this sole issue has joined that roster.
This is an all-around dynamite issue. Long-time fans will be extremely happy and probably a bit sad at the same time due to the heavy nature of the material. It’s amazing how serious this franchise is being treated by IDW; it shows how passionate these creatives are about the characters and the world. The first 50 issues and the mini-series have been wonderful…So here’s to another amazing 50!