Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artwork: Mateus Santolouco
Colours: Ronda Pattison
Release Date: 15th February, 2017
After a brief but enjoyable Alopex-focused aside last time out, we’re back into the meat of the main story in the latest issue of IDW’s ongoing TMNT series. With our four heroes distancing themselves from their father Splinter’s somewhat questionable actions of late as leader of the Foot Clan, there seems to be some differing opinions here on just how the brothers should be spending their spare time.
The issue is bookended by some fantastic scenes featuring Slash, which do a fantastic job of introducing new readers (or reintroducing existing readers) to this wonderfully unconventional character. Having such a hulking, intimidating brute relaxing on a rooftop while reading The Grapes of Wrath and chatting with his pigeon friend should tell you everything you need to know about him, and the interjection of Agent Bishop and his “Earth Protection Force” – which you can check out in the preview artwork below – invokes some real emotion in the reader as this peaceful creature’s quiet contemplation is violently disturbed.
The middle section with the brothers is a little dull, it has to be said, and seems to be covering a lot of ground that has already been tackled in previous issues. I’m loathe to use the word ‘filler’, but… well… if the bandana fits? There’s also something a little ‘off’ about the way the brothers interact with one another here. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and while Tom Waltz’s typically enjoyable dialogue is definitely on-point, the way the characters are reacting to their current situation doesn’t quite ring true to me. A minor niggle perhaps, but definitely enough to give me pause, slowing down what was already a fairly meandering sequence.
Thankfully, as I mentioned above, the Slash scenes are more than worth the cover price, with Mateus Santolouco once again showcasing his detailed and dynamic visual flair, particularly in the latter pages of the book when things get more than a little physical (and, at times, almost shockingly violent). Ronda Pattison brings her subtle but suitably cartoony colours to the mix, and Santolouco’s depiction of Slash’s journey in this issue really helps to underpin the various emotional states he finds himself in.
A mixed bag of an issue then, but one where the good far outweighs the bad. A new immediate threat has been introduced, with a far more menacing one lurking on the periphery, and providing the writers can avoid re-treading old ground too much with our bickering brothers, this could end up being yet another truly enjoyable story arc.
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