REVIEW – TMNT: Turtles in Time #3 (of 4) (IDW Publishing)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer(s): Erik Burnham
Artist(s): Ben Bates
Release Date: 27th August 2014
Question: Why are our favourite sewer dwelling ninjas now transported into the swashbuckling world of pirates?
Answer: They just ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
For the third instalment of IDW’s Turtles in Time miniseries, Erik Burnham stays with the writing duties as our heroes find themselves transported aboard a ship being assaulted by a band of mysterious pirates serving the ominous-sounding ‘Kraken’. Now while this issue doesn’t come close to matching the emotional punch and creativity of the previous instalment, there’s still a lot of solid work being done here. Michelangelo takes centre stage, stepping up to help unite the buccaneers against their mysterious nemesis, and we are treated some great swashbuckling action and cracking one-liners along the way.
As cheesy as my opening pirate gag may have been, it actually sums this series up fairly accurately. Exposition is once again kept to a bare minimum, with all questions about just why our heroes are bouncing their way through time being answered with a simple “they just are”. Renet makes another fleeting, comically unhelpful appearance, but the focus of this series remains firmly on our ‘heroes in a half shell’ and their zany hijinks through the timestream. Which, in my opinion, is definitely the best way to go.
The main selling point for this particular issue, to me at least, is the absolutely stunning artwork of Ben Bates, whose detailed, kinetic panels and liberal use of white space give the story an entirely unique visual aesthetic. The action is frantic, the characters are expressive, and our green-skinned heroes have never looked better. Bates’ colour pallet also greatly enhances the look, with a subtle, almost watercolour approach which serves as a stark contrast to the dark, heavily-shaded tones of issue two (and to the bright, day-glo colours of issue one, for that matter).
Overall, Turtles in Time continues to provide an entertaining take on the potentially worn-out ‘time travel’ trope, and while this issue doesn’t quite maintain the dizzying heights of issue two, Bates’ gorgeous artwork and Burnham’s firm, confident grasp on the lead characters ensure that this is still pretty much essential reading for any and all TMNT fans out there.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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