REVIEW – TMNT: Turtles in Time #4 (of 4) (IDW Publishing)

TMNT_TNT_04-pr-page-001Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Dan Duncan
Release Date: 17th September 2014

The final part of IDW’s Turtles in Time miniseries sees Paul Allor back on board as the writer, this time joined by artist Dan Duncan as they attempt to tie together the enjoyable time-hopping hijinks of the previous issues into a satisfying conclusion. Do they succeed? Well… yes and no. This issue sees our heroes catapulted into the future and faced with a world where evil has triumphed and – despite initial appearances – people aren’t quite as happy as they seem.

We meet a wide variety of familiar faces in this issue, including Renet, who is finally able to speak properly to the guys. However, it barely seems to matter, as her frustratingly vague explanation for why things are happening serves as a bit of an anti-climax. Also somewhat anticlimactic is the teased showdown which happens near the end of the issue. Just when it looks like we’re poised to leap into a gargantuan conflict for the fate of the future, the rug is unceremoniously yanked out from under us and we find ourselves with a far calmer, quieter conclusion.

That said, the actual conclusion of the issue – based around Donatello – is absolutely masterful stuff, and echoes the emotional punch which Erik Burnham injected into issue two of the series. Allor adds an intriguing spin on the turtle dynamic, and rather than the (at times) zany antics of being pirates, Samurai and running from dinosaurs, we instead get a touching, character-based conclusion which I personally rather loved.

Artistically, while Duncan does manage to pack a lot of expression into his characters, there’s something about his Turtle design that doesn’t quite work for me. Maybe it’s the gangly limbs, maybe it’s the slightly longer necks – whatever the reason though, as sharp as his artwork can be at times, I found myself increasingly distracted by the Turtles themselves, diminishing my overall enjoyment somewhat. At the same time though, his designs for some of the other, familiar characters are far more enjoyable, although I can’t really go into too much detail without risking spoilers, sadly.

Overall, Turtles in Time serves as a microcosm of exactly what makes the Turtles so great (and, at the same time, so inherently hit-and-miss). We’ve been treated to fantastic action beats with our ‘heroes in a half shell’ bouncing around kicking ass, we’ve had emotional character moments as the four brothers squabble, bicker and eventually come together in the face of adversity, we’ve had a taster of the rich universe and cast of characters that fleshes out our heroes’ antics, and yes, we’ve had a lot of jokes about pizza. This series is well worth a look for any fan of everyone’s favourite sewer-dwelling ninjas, and while this may not be a perfect final issue, it does have a lot to offer, particularly in its closing pages.

Rating: 3/5


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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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