Things in the world of IDW’s ‘Heroes in a Half Shell’ seem to be going from bad to worse lately. Which, when you consider the fact that one of their number pretty much died just a few issues ago, is definitely saying something. As a result of Shredder and Stockman’s sinister alliance, our heroes ended the previous issues facing a seemingly insurmountable wall of Mousers and Flyborgs, all with one simple mission; “Kill the rat.”
I’m going to keep spoilers out of my review, as always, but suffice to say that this issue is filled with drama, action and a genuine sense of peril – the latter of which we have the events of issue #44 to thank for. Once again, the story is packed with twists and turns, and contains several intertwining plot threads that are gradually converging over time. It’s truly admirable how the team of Eastman, Waltz and Curnow are managing to keep all these different plates spinning at the same time, and the rich, detailed nature of the story is a true testament to the epic scope of their vision.
Cory Smith’s artwork continues to shine in the crowded, chaotic battle scenes – of which this issue has many – packing a fantastic amount of detail into his pages, even with literally dozens of individual characters sometimes appearing in the same panel at the same time. Ronda Pattison keeps things lively and vibrant throughout with her typically rich colour work, picking out individual characters crisply and clearly, and the whole book has a sense of cartoonish energy that’s difficult not to get excited about.
While it doesn’t necessarily have any significant ‘standout’ moments (although the sheer scale of the Mouser/Flyborg threat probably qualifies), this issue serves as the latest instalment of an incredibly consistent series, and one that doesn’t seem to be showing signs of losing momentum any time soon. Mixing nunchuk-twirling ‘cowabunga’ action with emotional heft and eyebrow-raising plot twists, TMNT is one of the finest licensed comics available today, and is absolute essential reading for any Turtle fans out there.