Originally published in: TMNT New Animated Adventures #16
Publication date: October 15, 2014
Story: Matthew K. Manning
Art; Chad Thomas
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
Many years ago. In his home in Japan, Hamato Yoshi sees something in the sky and rushes inside to get someone.
The present. Splinter tells the Turtles that he is going to partake of his annual walkabout and, like always, they are to respect his privacy. The Turtles agree, but as soon as he leaves, they decide to follow him and solve the mystery of the annual walkabout.
They trail Splinter across the rooftops and through the empty streets (Mikey stopping for pizza), but they can’t shake the feeling that Splinter knows they’re there. Leo thinks he sees Splinter enter an old warehouse through a skylight and they go inside. As soon as they do, they realize that the warehouse looks very familiar. As a horde of Mousers attack them, they come to the conclusion that this was one of Baxter Stockman’s old hideouts.
The Turtles narrowly escape through the skylight, but they aren’t ready to give up yet. Donnie catches Splinter through some fancy binoculars he made and they give chase into an alley. They promptly bump into Rahzar, Fishface and a unit of Footbots, resulting in a nasty skirmish. The Turtles throw some smoke bombs and retreat, realizing they’re badly outnumbered.
Back at the lair, the Turtles figure that Splinter led them into all those traps because he truly DOES want to keep his walkabout private. They whine amongst themselves that they’ll never figure out what the big deal is.
Many years ago. Hamato Yoshi brings his infant daughter, Miwa, outside to watch a shooting star. He tells her happy birthday.
The present. Splinter sits on a rooftop, watching the stars and quietly wishes Miwa a happy birthday, just as he always has. Elsewhere, Karai, mutated into a snake, watches the sky as a shooting star passes by.
*This story must take place sometime between the season 2 episodes “Vengeance is Mine” (where Karai is mutated) and “The Invasion (Part 1)” (which begins the storyline that sees the Turtles exiled from New York).
*Baxter Stockman had a lot of warehouses. This could be the one from “Mousers Attack!”, though, given the Mousers and everything.
*The title “The Walkabout” does not appear in the actual issue. Editor Bobby Curnow confirmed this as the title on the IDW Forums.
Man, Splinter’s a jerk. “My sons are following me. I’d better lead them into several life-threatening traps in order to convince them to go home.” Ahhhh, the comedy of child abuse.
Anyway, “The Walkabout” is a pretty alright story that at least gives us a chance to see several bad guys and enemies from the cartoon, even if the Mousers, Rahzar, Fishface and the Footbots only receive 3 pages between them.
It’s most assuredly a coincidence, but Manning’s script shares similarities with the story “Sleepwalking Sensei” from Panini’s TMNT Magazine. In that adventure, the Turtles follow Splinter in secret as he traipses through New York, crossing paths with the Foot Clan and other life-threatening hazards along the way. But like I said, I don’t think it’s a matter of knocking off an idea, but rather that the idea wasn’t very original to begin with.
What gives “The Walkabout” an edge is the subplot involving Splinter lamenting over Karai. The Karai storyline in the Nick cartoon was kind of fumbled in the second season, but Manning tries to make lemonade out of it and the bookending flashbacks are pretty nice.
All in all, “The Walkabout” is an okay story, but one we’ve seen before in another form.
Grade: C- (as in, “Chad Thomas is still one of the better artists they have on this title”.)