Originally published in: TMNT New Animated Adventures #18
Publication date: December 17, 2014
Story: Landry Q. Walker
Art: Dario Brizuela
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
“Deep Below, Part 2”
Down in the ruins of the Kraang facility, the Turtles and the evil Foot mutants are going at it. Leo momentarily calls a truce, insisting that if any of them want to make it out alive, they’ll need to work together. Tiger Claw is against the idea, since he wants revenge for his not-missing eye, and Raph is against the idea, since he doesn’t trust Leo anymore. Regardless, Stockman-Fly and Donatello get to work adjusting the Kraang power source to act as a teleporting feedback loop that will get them all to the surface.
Suddenly, a mass of toothy, eyeball-riddled tentacles bursts up from the rising water and attacks. One of the Kraang’s mutant experiments, Mikey dubs it the “Tentaclops” and the two groups quickly flee.
As they make their way to the highest point in the ruins, both sides reluctantly help the other survive various pitfalls and attacks from the Tentaclops. They eventually reach the highest point and finally get a signal with the power source. Naturally, Tiger Claw uses this opportunity to betray the Turtles. Rahzar snatches the power source and they carry it to higher ground. Raph pursues them and knocks the power source back down to his brothers, seconds before it activates. Raph then falls backward off the ledge, trusting that Leo will catch him as the device activates. And he does.
The Turtles arrive safe and sound on the surface and begin swimming to shore. Raph and Leo make amends, though they’re curious what will become of the evil Foot mutants. Donatello assures them that he programmed in a delay that will teleport them to safety, though he’s unsure where they’ll wind up.
The Foot mutants are subsequently teleported to a sewage treatment plant where they fall into a vat of feces.
*This story is continued from “Deep Below, Part 1”.
Reading this story, I couldn’t help but feel that it seemed very familiar. Then I recalled TMNT New Animated Adventures #5.
So in that issue, the Turtles are trapped in a sinking ship and need to escape to the surface before the water rises and drowns them all. Along for the ride is a bad guy who Leo says they have to help, but Raph is throwing a hissy fit and doesn’t trust Leo's leadership. Along the way, they’re all menaced by Fishface.
“Deep Below” is pretty much the same story. Instead of a sinking cruise ship, it’s a sunken Kraang lab. Instead of a generic bad guy they have to help, it’s the evil Foot Mutants. Instead of Fishface harassing their attempts to escape, it’s the Tentaclops. Raph refusing to trust Leo remains identical, though. Hell, even the covers to #5 and #18 are similar at a glance.
It’s a little disappointing, seeing the comic retread one of its own stories so shamelessly and there’s very little new content to discuss as a result. I mean, I enjoyed seeing more of the Foot mutants, though even their subplot of having to form an uneasy alliance with the Turtles to escape certain doom too closely echoed the Nickelodeon TMNT episode “Baxter’s Gambit” for comfort.
While I’m all for TMNT New Animated Adventures implementing multi-part stories in addition to their one-shot plots, I would definitely like to see something more original in the future. “Deep Below” winds up being nothing more than a mish-mash of ideas we’ve already encountered both in the cartoon this comic is based off of and in this comic-itself.
Grade: D (as in, “Did Leo remember Stockman’s name on page 7? I don’t know if that’s an error or if he’s just been deliberately teasing Stockman for the past 3 seasons”.)