For the purpose of this review, I’m going to refer back to my review of the first comic which can be found here.
This issue of the IDW TMNT series picks up directly where it left off. We’re greeted on the inside cover page with a brief recap of the previous issue and off we go! Previously, we were left with Raph barging in to help Casey Jones against his abusive father. The fight ensues in this issue with some rather dynamic action. There’s a wonderful handling of motion and energy by Dan Duncan in this scene.
However, that’s where a lot of the power of the issue arises: in the action. Other than that, the art is mediocre with a hint of deviant art to it. The expressions are hardly subtle enough and there are some obvious mistakes. For instance, when Raph, Mikey, Leo, and Splinter all sit down and discuss the previous issues events and explain a little bit about how Raph went missing, we’re introduced with a very large frame of Splinter sitting in the middle of the room with the turtles doing various things pertinent to their characterizations around them (so obviously trying to distinguish them apart for the new reader). Splinter is sitting with a table for his tea in front of him. However, on the next page with a closer shot of Splinter, the table is gone and is now replaced with a rug in front of him. Now, I’m not quite sure whether or not this is due to Dan Duncan or Kevin Eastman’s breakdowns but it was a disappointing failure for editing.
Also, once again, I have a problem with Dan Duncan’s backgrounds because they’re practically non-existent. I want to inhabit the world of the turtles – see their sewer hangout in all of its detailed glory, but instead I’m treated to minor details and background color washes.
The first issue did a good job introducing us to all of the players, but this issue constricts all of that possibility down and juggles only two or three storylines (as opposed to the five or so in the first issue). We learn why Raph is missing which I thought was clever. Nevertheless, I still have a problem with how the Ninja Turtles became ninjas in such a short time span. Even if being ninjas was bred into them, they would still have to get used to their incredibly well-defined bodies that were mutating.
It’s logistics like this on both art and story that I have a hard time grasping. The first issue had a lot of potential, but issue #2 just seems to be treading on old ground or being preposterous on the new. Yes, I should suspend my belief… they are Teenage Mutant Turtles, after all.