Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #76 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artwork: Damian Courceiro
Colours: Ronda Pattison
Release Date: 15th November, 2017

After a slightly underwhelming and dialogue-heavy conclusion to the Trial of Krang storyline last time out, IDW’s ongoing TMNT series continues this week as the Triceratons follow up on King Zenter’s offer and stake their claim to their ancestral home – Earth.

It’s a fast-moving issue with the Turtles themselves taking a bit of a back seat for the most part. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, but given the fact that we’ve just finished a full arc where they felt like little more than supporting characters, it could potentially feel a little frustrating for readers wanting our four brothers to become the stars of their own show again.

On the plus side, Agent Bishop and the EPF make a welcome return, remote-controlled Slash in tow, and the Triceraton landing party manages to establish themselves and their personalities fairly quickly. The action flows smoothly and has a nice sense of dynamism to it, and while some of the more visceral moments perhaps don’t quite have the impact they should, this certainly isn’t a dull issue by any stretch of the imagination.

Damian Courceiro’s artwork is solid and his layouts work well, but the overall aesthetic feels perhaps a little too restrained for what should by all accounts be a fairly chaotic and dramatic issue. His style is soft and understated, and lacks some of the urgency and scale of his contemporaries, an approach which unfortunately works against the whole ‘alien invasion’ vibe the story seems to be going for. He’s clearly an impressively talented artist, but perhaps isn’t necessarily the right artist for this particular arc.

For the most part, this feels like a direct continuation of the Trial of Krang storyline, at least in terms of the tone. It’s still very much in the large-scale cosmic TMNT style, albeit now situated on Earth, and as such doesn’t quite have the same narrative punch that a lot of IDW’s “street level” Turtle storylines often do.

That said, the final page throws an interesting wrinkle into the mix, suggesting the welcome re-integration of yet another previously dangling plotline, and the dynamic between the different parties – of which there are now four – has the potential to make for a genuinely exciting arc. Definitely a storyline to keep an eye on, Turtle fans.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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