Okay, that cover is legitimately cool. And I’ve never seen it before, so it kind of took me by surprise. After two issues of horrible art, let’s open it up and see what… holy crap.
The art is good. Not just good, great! Dave Garcia has been replaced by husband and wife team of Ken and Beth Mitchroney, with Ken doing the art, and he’s great! Maybe I just think he’s great because of how horrible the last guys was, but there’s hope now. Hear that kids? There’s hope now.
This title adapts one of my favorite story arcs from the show, The Incredible Shrinking Turtles. Let’s see how it fares.
Alright, so the Turtles are training in central park when an alien spacecraft crashes to earth. Some of the dialog here is actually pretty clever, as well as a callback to the “Ninja pizza” restaurant from the first issue of the miniseries. Leonardo has a great look at the fourth wall that lets us know how ridiculous the writers have deemed the series thus far. It’s wonderfully satirical, and it works.
So they save ET from drowning (seriously, he looks like ET) while the Shredder watches from the bushes. What was the Shredder doing in the bushes in central park in the middle of the day? Christ knows. I guess he just hangs out in random places and hopes the Turtles show up.
With his dying breath, the alien informs them that they have to find the three fragments of the eye of Sarnath, which are pieces of his ship that hold untold power. And of course, the Shredder overhears.
So they’re given a tracking device and track the first shard to a garbage boat, but the Shredder has followed them after being chewed out by Krang. Baxter is here again too, and is very annoying. He’s less a scientist and more a petulant child. You can tell here that the writers are struggling to make it readable, and I’m willing to blame the source material. This is still, after all, an adaptation.
In a rare direct physical confrontation between the Turtles and Shredder, the Shredder hands them all their asses and then uses the new found crystal shard on them, shrinking the four of them to the size of actual Turtles.
The narrowly escape both Shredder’s foot (yuck yuck yuck) and a street cleaner, eventually getting swept into the sewers where they are found by Master Splinter.
Splinter calls April, who is drawn much better here. I’m going to stop and just say everything is drawn better. It has a cartoony style that dominates most of the series, but it’s good and more than that, it’s consistent and allows you to just settle into the story. It’s never lazy.
Shredder tells Krang that he’s killed the Turtles and expects a pat on the head, but Krang (wisely) wants proof. Shredder then shrinks the Empire State Building to prove to Krang that the gem works.
Um… couldn’t you have shrunken something less obvious? Anyway, Baxter retrieves it for him by dressing as a cop, because Baxter has insofar had no purpose in this episode and needed one.
And that’s it for this issue. What did I think? I think it’s MILES above anything that’s come before. The artwork and writing are expressive, each Turtles has their own voice, and it keeps the good elements of the TV series and discards the rest. Giving it 3/5, if only because I know it get much, much better down the line and I want to leave room for better grades.