Originally published in: TMNT New Animated Adventures #22
Publication date: April 29, 2015
Story: Matt K. Manning
Art: Marcelo Ferreira
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
The Turtles meet up in Chinatown for a training exercise. It seems their tracking skills need brushing up, so Leonardo suggests they play a game of tag. He tags Raphael and the game begins.
Raph hunts along the rooftops, following marks made by Donatello’s bo staff being dragged along the ground. He realizes the trail is a decoy, finds Donnie hiding by an access door and tags him.
Donnie decides that baiting is more efficient than tracking and procures a pizza. He sets it out and Michelangelo is immediately drawn to it. Donnie springs out and tags him.
Mikey goes looking for Leo while eating his pizza and finds him in an alley, seemingly distracted. Mikey tags him, only to be attacked by Kraangdroids. They knock the pizza out of his hands and Mikey goes bonkers, trashing all of them.
Raph and Donnie show up and get the last Kraang, but just as Raph begins to brag about his speed, Leo tags him and the game resumes.
*The story continues in TMNT New Animated Adventures #23.
Wow, this was a GREAT back-up; probably one of the best in the whole New Animated Adventures series. Reading the summary, it may not sound like much, but it all comes down to the execution.
The story's done in first person perspective and each time a Turtle is tagged, the POV switches to the victim. As they begin hunting the next Turtle, we’re treated to an inner monologue that delineates their thought process, strategy or lack of either of those things.
The inner monologues are pretty on point. I especially liked Mikey’s; how he’s completely distracted by the pizza even after he’s tagged, yet he’s intuitively drawn to Leo. The cartoon established that Michelangelo is the most effective when he acts without thinking and this was a good example of that “skill”.
The back-up turned out to be more interesting than the main story in this issue, but both Manning and Ferreira really brought their A game. It was clever and fun and a pretty refreshing changeup.
Grade: A (as in, “And I loved Mikey’s line: ‘Old people are the craftiest people of all, Donnie. Who do you think quilts?’”)