Wow, that cover is awesome. This series excelled at that.
Anyway, onto the story. I’ve been told you can’t judge a book like that. This story is called “Wild Things,” and it starts with a reminder that the writers can’t write a good cliffhanger as we get the cliffhanger from last issue again. A storm is not enough to justify a ‘continued’ usage, unless the storm is intricate to the plot. Which it isn’t.
Also, Ken Mitchroney is back on art, and is back to the great style he had in issue #4. Without any information to go on, I’m assuming that he found the monthly schedule too taxing so they had Jim Lawson fill in from time to time to afford him extra time.
Anyway, the issue starts with a giant bat with metal wings hurling a rock at Raphael’s head. Only the bat doesn’t know it’s a rock, he thinks it’s a “Trinitrotoluene Grenade.” I kind of love this guy. He’s an insane mutant fruit bat with a Mosquito named Screwloose on his back. They tussle briefly with the Turtles, then fly off into the night, revealing along the way that they were actually aiming for a skylight.
They go home to Splinter, and we see April on the news reporting that skylights all over the city have been smashed. They go back out to try and find Wingnut and Screwloose.
(There’s a great moment here where the guys tell Splinter about their exploits Wrestling, and Splinter is like “What lesson did you learn?” and they all look at each other and shrug. Sometimes this book is gold.)
They go in the Turtle Blimp, which promptly gets ripped to shreds. I think this was the writer’s commentary on how useless the blimp would be as a mode of transportation. They fight Wingnut atop the Empire State Building, which I guess the Shredder was kind enough to put back to normal size, and finally get the best of Wingnut.
Screwloose then relays their whole sad sack tale. They’re aliens from the Planet Huanu who live in symbiosis, or did, until Krang destroyed their world. While Screwloose distracts them with this information, Wingnut escapes and seemingly flies off into the night, only to be swallowed by Cuddly the Cowlick. Apparently they were brought to this world by him accidentally, and now he’s bringing them to Stump Asteroid… seemingly against their will.
This ends the issue, and we’re thankfully spared another odd ‘to be continued.’
Wingnut and Screwloose represent one of the best aspects the made this series different from the tv show that spawned it. While both have been featuring one-off anamorphic characters as either foils or friends of the Turtles, the tv show always had mutants. Always. Mutagen, new toy, they fight. That was the formula, and they beat it to death. So far in this series we’re had one mutant (May Ray), one magically-created character (Leatherhead) and now aliens. This tiny shift makes the stories much less repetitive.
Still an average issue, but a high average. We’re going with 6/10.