Originally published in: TMNT Adventures Special #10
Back at the lair, Naga relates their adventure to the other Turtles and Splinter. Ninjara tells Raph that perhaps next time they go on vacation they should just try a motel. Raph moans that they’d have a better chance of finding peace and quiet on a desert island.
*Naga last appeared in TMNT Adventures #46. He’ll appear again in “A Perfect Evening”.
*Due to Naga’s presence and the break in the serialization of the ongoing, this story has to take place somewhere between TMNT Adventures #50 and TMNT Adventures #55. Personally, I just place it after TMNT Adventures #52.
As the lead story in TMNT Adventures Special #10, I actually thought “Fox Trap!” had the potential to go on a lot longer. The concept of it is interesting; a story revolving strictly around Ninjara and Raph (and Naga), giving them time to get their romance on. Believe it or not, but ever since Ninjara and Raph hooked up way back in TMNT Adventures #31, they’ve hardly had any alone time in the book to develop their relationship. TMNT Adventures #46 was the probably the biggest “Ninjara/Raph story” in the series and they spent the whole thing fighting. At 8 pages, “Fox Trap!” isn’t much and I was left feeling we could have gotten more out of it.
Anyway, it’s a decent little story. It’s cool to see Naga getting some page time, even if it’s just as the annoying little brother that screws everything up. We learn so little about Ninjara’s background and her family in TMNT Adventures that any material is welcome, no matter how brief or shallow. Lucienda and Trapper Jon aren’t particularly good villains, but I get the impression they weren’t meant to be.
When it comes to Bill Fitts’s script, I guess I have a few issues. I mean, since when does Raph walk away not only from a fight, but from doing the right thing, just because Splinter told him to? Even ignoring the fact that Raph is the “rebel” and blindly following their sensei’s orders is more of a Leo failing, I honestly do not think any of the Turtles would have interpreted Splinter’s orders as “see innocent animals getting skinned alive and do nothing about it until morning”. It just seemed wildly out of character for Raph. There’s also this one weird part on page 3 where Naga sniffs the air and then asks if Raph *hears* something. Wha?
I like Dan Seneres’s art style, though he gives Ninjara a strangely wide cranium (and goes a little overboard on her anatomical proportions). The expressions are lively and he packs a lot of panels into 8 pages (though the layouts were done by Fitts, admittedly). Not much else to say about the art, really.
TMNT Adventures Special #10 advertised itself as “the Raph and Ninjara issue”, but the two Raph and Ninjara stories are short comedy strips while the long-form adventure that goes on for 26 pages is a Ninjara-free story of wild west insanity. I honestly would have preferred it if the advertised Ninjara and Raph stories had gotten fleshed out more, as their romance never felt very well-developed and could have used all the help it could get.
Grade: C (as in, “California? They went from New York to California for a ‘weekend getaway’? Okay…”)