Originally published in TMNT New Animated Adventures #24
Publication date: June 24, 2015
Story: Matthew K. Manning
Art: Chad Thomas
Ink assist: Athila Fabbio
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
“Favorite Haunt, Part 2”
Just outside the lair, the Ghost Tracker Rebecca and her crew think they’re about to uncover a portal to the afterlife (not a portal to the Ninja Turtles). Inside the lair, Leo comes up with a plan to lure them away from lair’s entrance. Together, the Turtles gather up the ghost samurai costumes they’d just used to scare Mikey.
Wearing the costumes, the Turtles first lead the Ghost Trackers away from the lair, getting them lost in the maze of sewer pipes. Once that’s done, Mikey begins chasing them back up to the surface, getting rid of them once and for all.
Leo, Raph and Donnie ditch their disguises, figuring their problems are solved. Of course, that’s just when the three Squirrelanoids drops down from the pipes above and attack. The Turtles have their hands full keeping the monsters at bay and all hope seems lost when they’re backed into a corner…
But then Mikey shows up! His flashlight casts the shadow of his ghostly costume against a wall and the sheets make him look like the silhouette of a large, predatory bird. The Squirrelanoids scamper into a drainage valve in fear and the Turtles lock them inside.
Raph hopes that after seeing what a bunch of wusses the Ghost Trackers are, Mikey will finally be over his ghost hunting reality shows. Mikey is about to agree, when suddenly he feels a “cold spot” and runs away screaming in terror.
*This story is continued from “Favorite Haunt, Part 1”.
*There are only 3 Squirrelanoids in this issue, but the cover shows 4. Shenanigans!
“Favorite Haunt” suffers from some poor pacing. There are essentially three acts to this story (the Turtles scaring Mikey, Mikey scaring the Ghost Trackers, everyone fighting the Squirrelanoids), but the first act winds up getting the lion’s share and the last two acts are hurried to fit in what pages are left.
I think what disappointed me most was that the Squirrelanoids wound up being shortchanged. They fight the Turtles for two and a half pages total during this storyline, playing second fiddle to the dilemma with the Ghost Trackers. While the suspense of the TV crew trying to uncover the lair wasn’t a bad idea by any means, it shouldn’t have taken so much priority over the actual monsters in this supposedly spooky story.
Some plot points are left unresolved, too. After they get lost, the Ghost Trackers bring up that they can just use their EMF readers to find the entrance to the lair again. Mikey scares them out of the sewers, but there’s nothing to keep them from coming back other than fear, I guess. If Manning was going to bring up a plot point like that, then he should have come up with something to resolve it, even something as BS as Donnie building “an EMF jamming device” or whatever.
The story started off with promise, but feels like a victim of either poor pacing or lack of space to give the last two acts their share. This probably would’ve made a good episode of the show, and I like the spirit of the three act build-up Manning was going for, but there needed to be better story distribution.
Grade: C- (as in, “Can the Squirrelanoids hibernate? I mean, the Turtles are always locking them up in sewer pipes and septic tanks. Are they feeding them in there or just leaving them to die?”)