Tales of the TMNT #63

22 Oct

The new issue of Mirage’s flagship title came out this week, and boy was it an adventerous ride of strange creatures and Oz.  Check out the review… trust me, it’s damn good.

I don’t know what it is…  Really, truly, I’m not sure… it’s a mystery.  That “it” being how consistently Mirage puts out one of the best comic books on the market nearly every month, and yet comic buyers are way too wrapped up in their “Big Two” to give the book a chance and enough credit at how splendid it is.

Sure, some people are skeptical because they don’t remember that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started as a comic, and all they have in their minds is cute turtles with rounded point weapons and lettered belt buckles.  Plus, it’s black and white.  And, there’s a lot of complaints that Lawson’s lines are way too stylized and awkward.

Well, I may be biased as such a hardcore turtles fan, but I dispute those points.  And, I’ll use this issue as a prime example.

Dan Berger crafts a high-energy, fast-paced tale that directly follows issue #50 (over a year ago which seems totally crazy).  Sure, it helps to have read issue #50, but this issue covers enough of what happened (plus the excellent “up to speed” excerpts at the beginning of each comic helps a ton) before to make it just as interesting.

The comic primarily follows the bounty hunter Marlin after his multiple escapes (and then some more) from the turtles and Leatherhead.  On one hand, I feel like his accent is a bit too overdone.  On the other, I’ve really only met less than 20 people from Australia in my entire life… so, I don’t know the nuances of their accent.

The writing is fast-paced… so, yes, it leaves out a little in terms of character development.  Sure, we get some more development of Leatherhead and Emil (a human from S.P.A.R.E., I believe), but nothing that’s really nuanced.

Nevertheless, the writing holds up and really keeps this issue fun.  For example, Berger keeps on having Leo correct or look down on Raph for poor comments in bad situations, until finally he actually agrees with Raph, and it’s a great frame.  I almost forgot to mention that Berger did slow down the comic in great places by adding silent frames that at least seem unnecessary, but on second look really emphasize reality on how there really are down moments on this sort of mission.

Lawson’s pencils seem to be getting way more advanced over the last couple of years.  He’s been slowly moving away from his complete blocky-like style to a mix up of blocky and smooth which makes the comic feel a lot more organic.  Plus, I really noticed that the shading (especially on Leatherhead) looked different than shading I’d seen before by Lawson which may be accounted to Steve Lavigne, the inker.

Lawson sure as hell knows how to depict action without getting the reader lost, and I’m really happy to see him at his prime.

If you want a fun, action-filled, yet strangely humanistic comic, then this is the one.  Truly, Mirage comes out with great issues every month.  Buy this, you will never regret it.

4StarRatingscopy.jpg picture by PseudoPsychic

UPDATE:
Dan Berger replied to my e-mail (incredibly quickly) about my rating of the issue because I send http://www.ninjaturtles.com all of my neat-o reviews and he replied about Marlin’s accent saying:

Thank you very much once again for the kind words. I did play up
Marlin’s Aussie-isms a lot – I was doing it as an inside joke for
Tristan Jones (I expected him to write me and say “We don’t actually
talk like that, mate!”) – in retrospect, it probably was not a wise
thing to do – but I was having a bit of fun (apparently too much 🙂

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