Okay, we’re eight issues into IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series now, and I must say they’ve hit it out of the park for me again. I really, truly enjoyed this issue. Starting where the last issue left off, it’s pretty much an issue-long fight between the Turtles and the Mousers. Old Hob is there too controlling them, but he doesn’t get involved in the action. He’s there for one thing and one thing only: Splinter. and (spoilers) he gets him.
But that’s not really a spoiler. Because I think part of the reason I like this issue so much it it’s a fairly faithful adaptation of the epilogue to the Mirage TMNT volume 1 (which I just happened to pick up and read recently). Splinter is attacked by Mousers and ends up kidnapped and taken back to the lab that created him. In the old days it was TCRI, this time around it’s Stockgen Labs.
It’s not all action though. We get a few cutaways. Stockman is still having his drink with Krang, who is now making it clear to Stockman that if Old Hob fails to bring back Splinter, he’s dead. There’s a look of shock on Stockman’s face, all the former smugness gone. Good money is on him failing, with the Turtles rescuing Splinter either the next issue or the one after… this leads to an interesting question. Will they kill Stockman? Probably not. Like the 2003 4Kids animated series, he’ll likely be punished somehow…. will they turn him into a robot? Take away his body piece by piece? Naw, given this shows affinity for the original animated, my money is on him somehow being mutated into the Fly. And I’m fine with that. I honestly miss the Fly.
The other sub-plot is of April and Casey getting to know each other, possibly romantically. Either way, when April brings up Splinter it rings bells for Casey, and he decides to bring her down to the sewers to meet (or re-meet) the guys. Bad timing though, as they’re just finishing off the mousers and are running off after Splinter. In a great callback to her line in the original animated series, she feints and says: “I cant deal with this” as she does. Classic.
But the guys then leave April and Casey in the lair. It seems like in this new direction, April’s relationship with the Turtles is getting cheated somehow. Is she going to wake up without them there? They don’t meet with them saving her this time? I suppose Splinter saved her, maybe that’s the emotional connection. Time will tell. I’m trying not to complain, but the last panel really does feel like the writers were like: “Oh no! We need April to already know the Turtles for the next arc and we forgot to have them meet! Quick, shoe-horn her in!”
On a plus note: Krang and Stockman’s banter solves some of the plot holes I noticed in previous issues. To the point that I wonder if Waltz reads my blog :P. (Just kidding. I’m not that self-centered).
Anyway, it was a great issue. I wasn’t a fan of the first arc of this series, but it has definitely improved. Kudos to all around.