Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer(s): Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Artist: Mateus Santolouco
Release Date: 1st July, 2015
After a slight lull in the previous issue, things kick back into high gear again here in the latest instalment of IDW’s ongoing TMNT series. I was perhaps a little overly critical of the previous issue for trying to cram too much in and losing its focus as a result. Well, I’m happy to report that my niggles have been completely resolved here, as we’re once again back to the brilliant pacing and balanced storytelling that this title has become well known for.
Wisely, the writing crew of Eastman, Curnow and Waltz decide to let their focus linger a little on the slightly under-developed Casey Jones situation, providing us with nine uninterrupted pages of the showdown between Casey and his father Hun outside the ‘Second Time Around Store’; a showdown which includes some pleasingly bone-crunching violence alongside the sort of joyful, air-punchingly dramatic moments that have punctuated this series since its first issue.
The art remains pleasingly impressive, with Mateus Santolouco’s familiar solid figures and cartoonishly exaggerated facial expressions keeping things looking fresh and dynamic throughout. Once again, unheralded hero Ronda Pattison adds immeasurably to the overall aesthetic with her strong colour work, bringing the distinctive cast of characters to life without ever allowing things to become too garish.
The separate storyline threads are gradually starting to converge here, with the bigger picture slowly coming together and the post-Technodome storyline tightening up considerably as a result. We get to see Shredder and Stockman’s plan finally come to fruition, with the final pages providing a genuine sense of peril, and – given the still-shocking events of issue #44 – the calm reassurance that “everything will be fine” being distinctly notable by its absence.
Overall, I’m not sure why I ever doubted that this series would recover from the minor speedbump of issue #46. This creative team have proved themselves time and time again, and IDW’s stellar run with this series remains one of the most consistently impressive licensed titles on the shelves today. Essential reading for TMNT fans… or simply for fans of dynamic, action-packed storytelling in general.