Tag Archives: Foot Ninja

TMNT #9 – Review!

3 May

It goes without saying that I have been VERY critical of IDW’s new TMNT series.  The series presents a take on the TMNT with some new elements, but a foundation that I find built out of the 80s/90s cartoon.  Nothing terrible, but nothing particularly great.

Last issue began a step in the right direction with a more action oriented plot.  This issue, surprisingly, continues the step in the right direction.

The writing by Tom Waltz isn’t actually that bad considering the cookie cutter approach to many of the characters.  His writing, since the start of the series and a couple of issues ago has gained some footing, and I feel like he’s a bit more comfortable with the characters.  The plotting is tight, and we get more rounded depictions of some of the secondary characters.  In addition, there is progress in developing the turtles.  Leonardo is at full force sometimes outshining the other turtles, but, for someone who’s favorite character in all of comics is Leonardo, I don’t have much of a problem with that.  Though, more screen time for Mikey would have been nice even though he’s my least favorite turtle.

The art by Dan Duncan has increasingly gotten better since the first couple of issues.  He takes more risks now and they pay off.  Still, there’s occasionally a complete lack of detail in many of the frames.  This is understandable when the scene is focused on action, but some of the establishing shots could benefit from a few added additions.  Take for instance the scene where Old Hob interrogates Splinter.  Basically, there’s floor, bars for the cage, a computer and desks, with three characters in the panel.  There is so much open space in the panel that the layout of the place wouldn’t really make sense.  The coloring becomes more vibrant halfway through the issue which is slightly distracting and took me out of the story for a bit.

The final splash page reveal is a given considering where this series has been going.  A major character appears with a pretty good redesigned outfit, but, more importantly, one of my favorite female characters of all time is introduced the page before.  This made me incredibly excited.  I’m more interested in her development than the big reveal.  If her story arc is anything like the Mirage series or even the 2k3 cartoon, I will be ecstatic.

Overall, the series is picking up pace.  I’m looking forward to where it goes, and this is a major turn around from 2 issues ago.

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The end of an era: Tales of the TMNT #70 Review

9 Jun

My mouth was held agape for the majority of reading this comic.  I wondered how they could somehow end on such a perfect note.  I wondered, how could this be so damn good?

Tales of the TMNT #70 represents one of the most noble and best ways to end a series/possibly even a comic franchise: without doing anything other than producing a book of the highest quality possible.

Now, I’m not going to deny the fact that I’m biased over all things TMNT and that this being the final issue of all comics TMNT (for, at least, a very long time) will affect my review.  But, putting that aside, this is a really great comic.

The book is completely upfront that it’s revisiting events that have already been depicted.  Hell, the first seven pages are recap.  However, this recap is from a completely different perspective and camera angle, and are in the form of flashbacks and other time manipulations perfectly shown with an all black transitioning frame bridging between the past and present.  The recap definitely helps for new readers, and allow this book to be open to anyone interested (although a previous knowledge of the storyline provides many easter eggs).

I went ahead and read this issue, and then went back and read all of Return to New York with this issue fitting in.  I kid you not, but all of the positioning and fighting moves (although some of them are now original or not shown before) are spot on to how they were in the originals!  Plus, this story fills in many gaps.

Hell, with Return to New York being so frantically action-heavy and wonderful, it’s nice to have something that provides more perspective on the comic.

The work Lawson and Talbot put into the artwork and the half-tone/duo-shade is sweepingly magnificent.  Lawson creates one of the most bizarre, imaginative, and beautiful fight sequences I have ever seen involving a single chain and a single, dangling turtle.  Once again, Lawson’s art is extremely detailed while having enough self-awareness on when to focus in on key things.  There are many silent panels, and these always stand out to me as stark, menacing, and add such a creative pacing to the comic.

The writing wins.  The art wins.

The turtles crew ended their (hopefully not but possibly) very last comic on a bang.  I’m so glad I’ve been here to read it.  I’m so glad I got the opportunity to interview Dan and Jim.  I’m so glad to even read some of the best independent work out there.  To me, the Ninja Turtles have never been a gimmick, and I hope that, at some point, other comic readers can recognize the heavily saturated creativity that bubbles out of the Ninja Turtles and their comics.

Tales of the TMNT #70, you really did it for me.  I’m welling up a little now that it’s over.  But, I know I can always revisit my old friends.  Thanks Mirage.