Originally published in: TMNT New Animated Adventures #18
Publication date: December 17, 2014
Story: Matthew K. Manning
Art: Paulina Ganucheau
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
Christmas is just around the corner, and down in the lair, that means “secret Santa”. Mikey draws Raph’s name, much to his chagrin, as Raph is impossible to buy gifts for (since he hates everything). Mikey tries to swap names with his brothers, but Don and Leo won’t budge.
Later, the Turtles are out patrolling Chinatown. When no trouble can be found (much to Raph's disappointment) they head home. Along the way, Mikey peeks into the skylight of a warehouse and notices the perfect gift for Raph.
Christmas. The Turtles exchange gifts: Don gives Leo a mint-on-card ultra-rare Super Robo Mecha Force Five action figure, Raph gives Don a box of high tech scrap he found in a dumpster, Leo gives Mikey a year’s supply of pizza coupons (which will last a month), and Mikey gives Raph… a piece of paper with an address on it.
The Turtles go to the address and Mikey tells Raph to take a peek through the skylight. Raph does so, becomes absolutely giddy and dives through the window. The other Turtles decide to take a peek and quickly see why Raph is so elated: It’s a Kraang facility. As Raph joyously busts Kraangdroid heads, Mikey declares himself the winner of secret Santa.
*The story continues in TMNT New Animated Adventures #19.
This is one of the better one-shot short strips to appear in TMNT New Animated Adventures in a while. It concerns a dilemma I hadn’t thought about before (what DO you get Raph for Christmas?) and the character pairings were all great matches. Of course Donatello would get Leo the nerdiest sort of present (that appeals to Leo’s nerdy hobby in this incarnation), and of course Raph would get Don a box of trash he found (which just happens to be what Donatello wanted). Even the pizza coupons, obvious as they might be, were done with some fun banter between Leo and Mikey.
It was paced really well, had some great payoff and, well, it was just a solid short strip. Good one on Matthew Manning!
Ganucheau is an artist I don’t think we’ve had before in the book. She’s got solid fundamentals and emphasizes the “cute”, which is perfectly fitting for this sort of saccharine Christmas comic. Motion is a little stiff (like the panel of Raph hugging Mikey with glee), but otherwise it isn’t bad.
Overall, I think this was the winner of the issue.
Grade: B (as in, “But perhaps Ganucheau does resort to the Turtles making the ‘awesome face’ a little too much”.)