Publication date: September 26, 2012
*This story is continued from TMNT (IDW) #13. The story continues in TMNT Annual 2012.
*Splinter (as Hamato Yoshi) was shown battling with his anger in TMNT Microseries #5: Splinter.
*This issue marks the first time ever that the Utrom Homeworld has been given a proper name: Utrominon.
*Despite the similarity in likenesses, the Neutrinos killed by Krang are not the same as the Neutrinos who show up later in TMNT (IDW) #17.
*The Shredder, in disguise, tested Leonardo’s skill to determine his worth in TMNT Microseries #4: Leonardo.
*This issue was originally published with 3 variant covers: Cover A by Kuhn, Cover B by Eastman and Pattison, and Cover RI by Ramon Perez and Ian Herring.
Many revelations punctuate this issue, as IDW’s TMNT comic kicks into high gear (even more so if you read the Fugitoid microseries after this issue, as it was intended to be published). In regards to the Foot Clan subplot and it’s forward momentum, I find it very gratifying to see all the seeds planted by Waltz and Burnham in the first year coming to fruition. I had thought that the Shredder’s convoluted scheme to disguise himself as a normal Foot Soldier and test the Turtles seemed rather random, but now we know his true purpose: To see if Leonardo was worthy of being his heir. There’s a lot of “thinking ahead” in this title, which is what I like to see. It’s great having a book with a dedicated architect plotting years in advance as opposed to authors who work in trade-friendly “arcs” and then pack their things after six issues are up.
The Jones section of the book, and by extension the portion focusing on the Turtles, was perhaps the least interesting plot line, but it gives the TMNT-themselves a breather from all the action and I like to see that, sometimes. Casey coming to live with them is a pretty cool idea, as I always liked his dynamic in the Mirage comic when he and the Turtles shared the farm in Northampton. The lengthy speech about “family” got a bit saccharine after a fashion, but it’s important to drive the point home that Casey has friends looking out for him. The guy’s kind of thick, so he probably needed the three pages of dialogue to get it through his head.
And, of course, there’s everything with Krang and Dimension X and the Neutrinos and the Technodrome and man, I’m flipping out. While the early publication of the Fugitoid microseries somewhat undercut the dramatic reveal of the Technodrome (it was mentioned so off-handedly in the Fugitoid issue, I had a suspicion we weren’t meant to know about it yet), that doesn’t make its return any less awesome. While keeping the “golf ball” look might be questionable, I still can’t wait to see it in action. And hopefully it doesn’t get waylaid five minutes after it powers up like at the end of every season of the Fred Wolf cartoon.
Perhaps the most satisfying thing in this whole issue was seeing Zak and Dask get slaughtered. Or, at least, I hope that was meant to be them. Please let it have been this universe’s version of them. I really, truly hated those two (but Kala should have bitten the dust, too; equal opportunity in “hi then die” cameos, IDW!). While I know Waltz didn’t write that scene as a gift meant exclusively for me, I’m going to pretend he did, anyway. And thank you, Waltz. It has been an early Christmas. (EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: it wasn't them.)
I don’t have anything new to say about Kuhn’s art that I didn’t get off my chest in the previous review. It’s strong for all the same reasons and it stumbles for all the same reasons. As the Turtles aren’t in this issue’s spotlight, you get more page-time devoted to Kuhn’s strengths and that makes this a better-looking issue than his more Turtle-centric efforts. His layouts are great and, if he does his own inking, his use of heavy shadow in the Krang portions of the issue are superb. The Neutrinos also look so positively ridiculous as they make their dramatic bid to assassinate Krang, I absolutely loved it. If you love-hate the Neutrinos as much as I do, then you’ll find those pages pretty hilarious (in large part to Kuhn’s art).
And it should be mentioned that he totally nailed Karai’s expression on that last page.
Grade: A- (as in, “And for all you people not liking the Fred Wolf-isms, we’re starting to get some 4Kids-isms with Shredder trying to turn Leo to the dark side”.)