Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #55 (IDW Publishing)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artwork: Michael Dialynas, Ronda Pattison
Release Date: 24th February, 2016

After a brief, Mutanimals-themed diversion over the previous two issues, the latest chapter of IDW’s ongoing TMNT series sees us pick up a few of the previously dangling plot threads ahead of the upcoming story arc.  Specifically, we check in with Alopex as she and Angel do a little investigation of the “Street Phantoms”, as well as taking a moment to observe the current state of play in Casey and April’s increasingly tumultuous relationship.

Once again, Michael Dialynas proves to be pretty much the perfect artistic fit for both the tone and established style of this series, and while it’s undoubtedly going to be exciting to see Mateus Santolouco make his return next issue, I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed that we get to see Dialynas on the title again sooner rather than later.  Whereas the previous issue allowed Dialynas to showcase his gift for slick, dynamic fight sequences, this issue shows off his flair for the emotional, with several touching and intense moments along the way.  From Mike’s growing feeling of loneliness to Casey and April’s heated exchange, Dialynas injects his characters with an impressive sense of expression, adding some extra resonance to the dialogue and storyline beats of Waltz, Eastman and Curnow.

It’s a recurring theme in pretty much every review I write for this series, but it bears repeating one more time that the steady-handed plotting of Eastman, Waltz and Curnow is absolutely second-to-none here.  With so many seemingly disparate plot threads of different tones (some serious, some light-hearted) and levels of importance (some trivial, some world-shattering in their implications), there’s always the risk that this book could become a jumbled, patchwork mess of competing storylines.  Thankfully however, everything is balanced impressively throughout, and while the focus may shift on an issue to issue basis, the overall flow of the series remains truly impressive.

With the groundwork being laid here for the next chapter of this ongoing story, and all manner of ominous foreshadowing along the way – one scene in particularly provides some truly worrying implications for the future of our heroes – there’s no denying that IDW’s TMNT series remains one of the most gripping serialised books on the shelves today, with a perfect balance between story and character, humour and gravitas.

In summary then, while this is essentially a transitional issue between larger storylines, the sheer consistency of IDW’s TMNT title remains unparalleled, particularly in the often shaky world of licensed comics.  Even in these ‘down’ issues there are still so many great moments, and with the seeds being planted for what could prove to be some significant changes in the issues to come, my dedication to this series remains absolute for the foreseeable future.

Rating: 4/5.

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