I literally just finished this issue after picking it up at Downtown Comics. And I’m conflicted about it. There’s a certain “logic of good taste” that says I shouldn’t compare this to the original, but it’s hard. This is one of the iconic Turtle stories, seen in the original Mirage series, the first movie, the 4Kids 2003 Turtles cartoon and now again here, so it’s hard not to be biased. Also, I only recently read the original story, so it’s awesomeness is still fresh in my mind.
The story takes place right after TMNT #8, and (if I’m right), the Turtles will break into 2 stories, one of which was told here with Leonardo and the other three may be the focus of TMNT #9. And that’s fine.
Honestly, everything’s fine with this issue… except the dialog. Partly in the fact that it exists and partly in the fact that it’s not very well written.
See, in the original Leonardo micro-series there was no talking. No dialog of any kind… not even sound effects, if I’m not mistaken. In this issue the Foot Soldiers never speak… but Leonardo keeps trying to unsuccessfully interrogate them. This one-sided conversation gets clumsy fast. There’s also Leonardo’s internal monolog.
I’d like to go through in photoshop and remove all the dialog, except the one super-ninja (presumably Shredder)’s line from the end: “I am… unimpressed.”
I think if all the dialog got removed and the images were allowed to speak for themselves, things would be a lot stronger. As it is, it feels like Eastman and Laird had respect for their audience back in the day: they knew their art and story were good enough that the readers would be able to pick up what they were putting down. Brian Lynch and Ross Campbell don’t seem to think their layouts can tell the story. I’m not sure if it’s that they’re nervous about their art or story, or if it’s just they don’t have the same level of respect for us as PL and KE did, but I’m here to let them know: it’s okay guys. We would have gotten it.
Speaking on Ross Campbell’s art: I did enjoy it. Mostly. There were a few moments when his Turtles looked more like stuffed toy versions of the Turtles, like here:
Anyway, other than that things are fairly awesome. I can’t complain too much: it’s a great comic. Although nothing can compare to the original, this issue fits in with the new regime IDW has going for it.
Never Look Back