Chris Cooper reviews the latest issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…
“The TMNT find a potential new home in a bomb shelter under an abandoned church. Unfortunately they have been tracked by ‘Slash’; a merciless and deadly mutant snapping turtle created by Stockgen specifically to hunt and kill the TMNT.”
Issue 15 left us on a cliff-hanger, with Michelangelo the only Turtle left standing in the wake of Slash’s attack. Of course I won’t ruin what happens, but you can probably guess that none of our heroes are going to be permanently damaged…..or are they?
I was really looking forward to how this issue would pan out, and was not disappointed. The story touches upon each characters reaction to the situation. Doing what is necessary is not always palatable, but is increasingly becoming something the Turtles need to accept.
This issue continues the impressive run so far, and the entire team continues to be on form. Even though this issue is predominantly action based, Waltz and Eastman continue to show a strong handle on each voice. Whilst Mikey and Leo take centre stage, Splinter also has a strong presence. I was actually left quite emotional at the end, and felt for Mikey in particular. The turtles were not the only characters affected by Slash’s mission, and although Leo has to deal with the consequences of his decisions, it is Mikey who is possibly the most hurt in the end.
I’ve always found Mikey to be my least favourite Turtle, but this new series has made me appreciate him much more. I really felt for him and his plight. He is extremely good natured and loving, much to the chagrin of Raphael, but it adds a lot to the character and makes him much more than the pizza loving surfer dude many (including myself) have come to expect. He might not bring leadership, aggression or intelligence to the fight, but his empathy and easy going nature are what binds the group together. With early issues concentrating on Raphael, I’m hoping for some Donatello action in the main series (there have already been one shots for each Turtle) soon.
As I said in the review for #15, this is Andy Kuhn’s last issue on art duties, and I’ll be sad to see him go;especially after getting over my initial scepticism. The action scenes are engrossing and kinetic, with a good sense of movement and framing. I’ll miss his work, but look forward to seeing what Ben Bates has to offer next month.
TMNT #16 keeps up the great work so far, and whilst action-packed, gives us a deeper look into what makes our heroes tick. Another issue and another great read.