What is going on Comic book fans and welcome to week 2 of my adventure through the sewers reviewing IDW Publishing’s TMNT series from 2011 still going on today. I stated before being a huge turtle fan and how it took me out of the normal look of super-heroes in the mutant variety. It was a story unique for its time and still going on strong even though they did have their hit and misses with some of the adaptations, but they still kept us fans. Let us get right into this. The next five issues focus on short story arcs on Donnie, Mikey, and Raph as well as two stories on the foot ninjas and General Krang. These are all stories that stick to one major plot that seems to be unfolding quite nicely around Stockman and his super serum for making elite mutants. Let’s start with Issue 6 with my favorite turtle Raphael who is having a bit of night fun with his comrade Casey Jones. In this issue they run into a mysterious person being chased by *gasp* Bebop and Rocksteady, which hit me in the nostalgic feels. Either way it turns out that the mysterious stranger is another mutated animal a white fox, but it remains to be seen if she is friend or foe? I am not going to spoil it for you, but the art itself is very detailed with the streets of NY showing such night flair. The action sequences are well thought out and you feel the intensity of when Raph and Casey lay the smack down on these fools. There is a big cliffhanger at the end that I wish I could tell you, but that’s the joy of finding out. It seems there are two players in the mix trying to hunt the turtles, however, it makes you wonder who is the deadlier of the two?
Issue 7: This story takes a comedic look into Michelangelo on New Year’s Eve stuck in his own imagination of rocking in the New Year’s right. Mikey is always the dreamer and knows how to find a good time anywhere he goes, but on this night he decides to ring in the New Year with some fun. The great thing about being in NY is the fact that there is always a costume party going on somewhere and that is the perfect opportunity for a turtle to get his shell on. This is the first time he has been on his own and of course he is thinking about how he never gets a chance to cut loose with all of his brothers trying to teach him tools to survive since he is the baby of the family. Now that he found a way in, without fail Mikey finds himself in a bit of trouble with some party people looking to steal a priceless gem. Thanks to his training Mikey is able to handle it in his own way, but there are some minor hiccups. This time around the art changes to a more playful style, where it still looks professional, but you can tell the artist had a lot of fun working on it to fit the green goofballs personality. Besides you have to admire the kids ambition for a good time.
Issue 8: This one right here goes back into formation with all four turtles going on their nightly stroll until they see 3 enthusiast spelunking on their turf. It comes to find out this is the turtles first encounter with the Foot Ninjas and the style of parkour (French style urban acrobatics). Soon enough, Raph notices that the two are the chasers versus one man running for his life which of course is never fair in any fight, unless you know you are going to win with an advantage. However, since Leo is the lead following Splinters blessings, they just there to observe and not to interfere. The plot thickens when Splinter hears of the Ninjas and gives the turtles more information about how they came to be. It switches gears to Old Hob who is in a meeting with Baxter, who is getting tired of his failures trying to obtain their missing specimen. This is where Baxter gives Hobs the opportunity to test out the mousers and I don’t care what anyone says those things are vicious and annoying. There is also a side plot where Casey finally meets April O’Neil for a work study program. This issue held no punches at all and so far keeping the audience on track while making sure everyone gets exposure. I like how they show off Baxter in this series, because other times he is just a punk acting tough, but he knows how to assert his command around. He is a true villain in this series.
Issue 9: Donatello, the green genius of the group that rocks the bo staff and is a down to Earth geek like the rest of us. He is a dude trying to find his place or a connection with like-minded people outside of his sewer home and it seems it comes in the form of a convention. It is like candy land for any tech geek out there and I have to say, we need computer conventions back! Either way Donnie is at aw with the entire tech marvels until he runs into an eccentric scientist with a revolutionary gravitational glove that is powered off of your own energy. I started to *squee* a bit because in TMNT Out of the Shadows you unlock this weapon and now I know where it originated from. It takes a comedic twist when Don realizes that the scientist is the annoying computer troll in a chat room he checks out, but the worst comes to light when Baxter shows up to offer the man a job in his weapons department. It is a “catch 22″ situation with one guy that you dislike online with another trying to kill you and your family. I notice that IDW likes to have some form of twist in the end of each issue which is fine, because they know how to keep you surprised. In Donatello’s issue, it is clean and the colors are bright on each page, still keeping to the cartoon look of things. This was a first to have an issue happen in the day time at that, it showed a brave move actually going out in public even though the world is used to Otaku’s at this time. It makes you wonder if it would be easier to walk around as a mutant without the trench coat disguise since people would just assume a few possibilities. In the end this was a winner for the purple tech wiz.
Issue 10: Finally, finally we get to see General Krang in all of his power and in this issue Krang is not pleased at all. I want to say this right now and I love the structure of every five issues something major happens and that really shines all around here. Let’s get into what we know about Krang and I want you all to throw all of that out the window, because this Krang trumps them all. He is a badass and now you understand why he is pressuring Baxtor to finish up the serum so he can finish this war going on in his world. In the meantime while Mikey and Raph going on for a stroll to grab dinner for the gang; old Hobs decided to invite himself to dinner with a few friends. Hobs had a full on invasion in the sewers with over a thousand mouser units at his command. This is classic story telling where you have a mixture of two happy moments with April and Casey training, getting to know one another as well as the trek home with food for the family. On the other side is a brutal attack with Hobs and Baxter meeting with Krang about the progress as well as obtaining Splinter. The only thing I didn’t like about this issue after all things went down and Casey bringing April to the lair; they didn’t sell the sadness of what actually happened.
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They freaking kidnapped Splinter and the other turtles are still making Jokes while Donnie was hurt badly and no one really went nuts that Casey brought down April, just because he figured out her story that matched with what Raph told them. I mean it is an easy way to find out where they took Splinter with the help of April, but I felt that it could of had more of a dramatic tone. Their father was taken and it seemed as if it was a regular thing.
In the end all five of these books had me at the edge of my seat as I was reading in public and even pulled in a few people that were curious; which made them go, “Damn!” I have to say this re-imagining of the series is going in the right direction and if you have the means in either getting back issues or going digital about it. I say, GO GET YOUR SHELL ON! As I stated before I will be reviewing five issues each week in hopes to catch up to the on-going series. I am kicking myself for not reading this back when it was released in 2011, but for those that don’t know I hope you are enjoying my reviews and please keep in mind that I am trying my hardest to leave a lot of information out just enough to keep you wondering what is going on. Get them now by either hitting up IDW Publishing website or to my fellow New Yorkers’, hit up your favorite comic book shops. Stay frosty shell heads!
Be sure to check out Issues 1 thru 5: http://www.kumakreations.com/2014/03/09/com-mix-strips-review-of-idws-teenage-mutan-ninja-turtles-1-5/