Review – TMNT: Dimension X #2 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas
Artwork: Michael Dialynas
Release Date: 9th August 2017

For the second part of this planet-hopping, witness-recruiting TMNT miniseries, Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas take over the writing duties as they introduce us to Anemon, a former ally of Krang.

For those of us who may have forgotten, we get to see the Utrom overload at his most monstrous here, with his callous disregard for life and megalomaniacal, genocidal tendencies taking centre stage early in the issue.  Anemon decides he has had enough, defecting and losing the use of his eyes in the escape attempt, before committing himself to a self-imposed exile as penance for betraying his people.

There’s more than a hint of Stan Sakai here as we watch this modern day parable play out, with Anemon joining up with an eye-like creature called Eyemo as the pair form an unusual symbiotic relationship long before our brothers arrive.    Once again, it feels like we’re revisiting a classic cartoon from the ‘80s or ‘90s, complete with a worthy moral message and some bright, colourful action.

Michael Dialynas handles the visual side of things here, reprising his stint on the main ongoing TMNT series from back in issues 53-55, and without wanting to slight regular colourist Ronda Pattison in any way, it’s amazing how much richer and more vibrant Dialynas’ art looks when he’s providing his own colours.

The Greek artist does a great job with the brothers, Krang, and Anemon himself who, in spite of essentially looking like a sumo Modok (yup), actually manages to carry a decent amount of emotion and expression.  The planet itself is truly beautiful – something the brothers themselves take a moment to acknowledge – bathed in pale greens and light purples, and the whole issue has a thoroughly soothing aesthetic that really helps to underscore the emotional heft of the story.

Sadly, the almost complete lack of Hakk-R, who has been the unquestioned highlight of this whole ‘Trial of Krang’ situation so far, hurts things just a little, making it feel a little disconnected from the overall story as a whole.  I’m not sure that he particularly needed to be shoe-horned into what is an admittedly well formed story, but the potential of his inclusion was one of the things that had me most excited about picking this issue up, so to have him ‘no show’ is a little deflating.

Ultimately however, this is another enjoyable stand-alone tale that can tie into the overarching narrative as much or as little as you want it to.  Farinas and Freitas deliver their moral-laden story with gusto, and Dialynas brings a light, airy aesthetic to the proceedings with some striking, expressive characters.  And, while it’s still not quite an essential read, it’s certainly a highly recommended one.

Rating: 4/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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