Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #45 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT-45_Cover-APublisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artist(s): Mateus Santolouco, Charles P. Wilson III
Colours: Ronda Pattison
Release Date: 29th April, 2015

Following on from the shocking events of the previous issue, our heroes find themselves struggling to come to terms with what happened to their brother, and trying to deal with the tragic events in their own individual ways. After several issues of frenetic action and epic, sprawling battle scenes, the writers wisely opt to settle things right down here, taking their time to let the sheer magnitude of the situation sink in.

Where normally we would use this time to take a deep breath and reflect on the events of the previous arc while setting up the next, Waltz, Eastman and Curnow don’t let us relax for a second, keeping the tension and urgency of the situation first and foremost in our minds. The issue does feature a few brief asides as Stockman and Shredder’s paths cross and Casey Jones is thrust back into the spotlight, but the focus of this issue remains firmly on the fallout from the heart-wrenching moments that ended the previous issue.

Cory Smith’s artwork is noticeably absent here (although not too noticeably, mainly due to the typically tireless colour work of Ronda Pattison, who keeps everything feeling familiar here even with the new artistic team), being replaced instead by the tandem of Mateus Santolouco and Charles P. Wilson III.  The former handles the here and now, providing a detailed and expressive portrayal of events – including some satisfyingly solid exchanges with Jones and some low-level thugs – while the latter handles the ‘elsewhere’, using his softer, expressive style to really hammer home the emotion of the situation.

The final few pages leave us with a unexpected new dynamic for the team moving forward, and with the creative team subtly shifting pieces in the background to set up the next chapter of their story, I have no doubt that readers dipping into this series as a result of the increased media coverage due to the controversial events of the previous issue will find themselves completely and utterly hooked, kicking themselves for not picking up this title sooner.

Rating: 4/5.

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