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TMNT: Turtles in Time #4 [Review]

tmntturtlesintime004Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Dan Duncan
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: David Petersen
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

I didn’t pay attention to the issue’s credits when I started reading, but there was something familiar to the visuals. As it should be–with art by IDW‘s first regular TMNT artist, Dan Duncan. While Duncan‘s art grew on me after a bit, it did seem a bit clunky here, not being as used to it. Still, it worked quite well for the issue.

I feel like I hardly remember details from previous issues (just the general sense of the story, having read them in month-apart segments), but just knowing the turtles have been time-hopping was enough for me for this issue’s story. We find the turtles some years in the future, in what used to be Manhattan. The brothers are surprised at the lack of alarm to their appearance walking in open daylight…until they learn the entire island is hostile territory for mutant turtles of the ninja variety. Escaping to the sewers they find a potentially paradox-inducing ally, as well as a new fight in this time…but this one is of their choosing, rather than allowing Renet to simply send them home. And by the end of the story, one of the turtles is left wondering about the present in light of the future they’d just witnessed.

Even without the 2014 Annual or the previous 3 issues of this series, I quite enjoyed this issue. There’s a definite history not only of time travel in general with the turtles, but with future versions of the turtles themselves. Fondly recalling the various “future turtles” stories in the old TMNT Adventures series from Archie, I was drawn in all the more and looking at details here than I might have otherwise been. One panel alone suggests that the world’s been divided up between the Foot, Krang, and Baxter Stockman (apparently recognized as a Fly).

The only real drawback to this series–and this might just be the immediacy of this issue–is that off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything all that poignant from the previous issues to carry back into the main continuity, while this issue has some key stuff that would be great to see carried over. In a way, I’d even say this issue could (in tandem with the Annual) be read by itself, just knowing that the turtles had bounced around through several time periods before landing here.

As this is definitely a side story, I’m glad it didn’t interrupt the “flow” of the main series. But given this is the concluding issue of a 4-part mini series, unless you’re following this one specifically or single issues in general, I’d say you’re about as well off waiting for the collected volume as trying to track down the previous issues. At the same time, if you read the 2014 Annual, you should be able to dive into this issue without much problem, even without the first 3.

All told, I enjoyed the issue, and to me, that’s the main thing.

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TMNT Micro-Series #7: April [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

TMNT Micro-Series #6: Casey Jones [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series: Leonardo [Review]

Script by: Brian Lynch
Art by: Ross Campbell
Colors by: Jay Fotos
Letters by: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover by: David Petersen
Published by: IDW

The turtles’ father, Splinter, has just been kidnapped by Hob. As the turtles spread out to cover more ground, Leo heads back to Stockman’s place, determined to rescue his father. As he proceeds, he finds himself thinking back to his past life as revealed recently by Splinter, and we as readers see how that’s a driving force for the character. Before long, Leo finds himself fighting some Foot ninjas…and then some more, and even more, and before long he’s got no clue how many there are, but they’re more than he seems able to handle. Eventually, most leave, and Leo is treated to one on one combat with an elite ninja, and the battle severely wounds his pride, to say the least, leaving him to limp home to his brothers with no new word on Splinter.

The art works pretty well overall here. The only sort of oddity to me is that the visual style makes Leo in particular look too young, almost. But on the whole, good art, and the story’s easy to follow without feeling lost or having any major gripes with the art.

Story-wise, this isn’t the greatest, but it’s still good. While we get some addition to the overall TMNT continuity in general and see the Foot are quite numerous (and I have my suspicion about the identity of the elite one-on-one combatant being far more important than is let on here), a certain element of the story feels rather cliche and thus a bit “forced.” The ORIGINAL Leonardo one-shot saw him out in the city and suddenly in conflict with a great many Foot ninjas, ultimately being bested by the Shredder. So having this put Leo in position of being out in the city, in conflict with a great many Foot ninjas, and facing a superior combatant while not being a re-telling of that original story just doesn’t sit quite right with me.

That said…when I get past the critical/analytical part of my mind…it’s Leonardo. Fighting the Foot, cutting loose with his swords (even though there’s no gore to be found visually). So frankly…I enjoyed the issue. I really did. Just not quite as much as I might have had I not been so looking forward to it…the thing couldn’t live up to my perconcieved expectations.

As with the first 3 of these issues…this tells a nice side-story focusing on a solo turtle, while pushing the overall story forward a bit, introducing elements that are going to surely be quite important to the main series before too much longer.

That this issue is primarily fighting makes it less than ideal as a single jump-on point, though fans specifically of Leo will probably enjoy this well enough. Though this is technically a separate thing from the ongoing series and is not essential, it feels pretty important, and so long as you’re enjoying the entire rebirth of the TMNT-verse, treating this as a continuation of the main series is probably the most enjoyable way to take the issue in.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 8/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Microseries: Raphael


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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