Raph’s missing, Casey’s still recuperating from a nearly deadly gauntlet stabbing and oh yeah, there’s still the small fact that Leonardo is brainwashed and working for the Foot. It’s a tough time to be a Turtle — especially with the looming, vague “City Fall” events being set in motion. Can the remaining Turtles set everything straight and regain Leo as their leader? Moreover, is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #25 (IDW Publishing)
Check out our review of issue #24 if you missed it.
The “City Fall” story arc is starting to heat up: Leonardo is in full-on mindless zealot mode and working with Karai to take out some Savate — much to the chagrin to Karai, who doesn’t seem to take kindly to Leo’s fast acceleration through the Foot’s rank straight to the position of Master Shredder’s right hand man. She also takes umbrage with a perceived gender-oriented glass ceiling, and Leonardo making light of the fact that she’s “just a girl.”
I am woman, hear me roar.
Meanwhile, Raphael is out doing what he does best: recklessly threatening people on the street with deadly force, and generally acting like a raging, myopic dickhead. Don and Mikey find him just as he’s about to do something stupid and calm him down in a scene where I could almost hear the sappy piano music playing and a collective, “d’awwwwww,” from the live studio audience. I was half expecting Danny Tanner to walk into the scene and teach Raph the importance of family.
“Are you mocking me, Gladstone?
This issue continues a lot of setup for future issues of this seven part arc, but sadly not a lot happens looking at it as a single issue. We deal with the aftermath of the last issue, while setting some things into motion for the next few.
Casey Jones’ dad has seemingly had enough of being seen as an alcoholic lowlife, but exactly what he plans to do about it remains to be seen. Will he avenge Casey’s injury? Further punish him for his insolence? His sudden breaking point was mentioned almost as an aside, although I can definitely see it coming into play in a major way soon.
Really, that’s what this issue leaves us with: a bunch of speculation. I won’t spoil some of the more major storyline developments, but rest assured s--t is going to go down. Oh, and fans of the 1987 Fred Wolf cartoon and collectors of early 90s action figures will, if they’re anything like me, let out an audible “oh hell yeah!” at the last page.
One thing you can always count on in TMNT is stellar, engaging art. I griped in last issue’s review that the artistic styles were somewhat asynchronous from issue to issue and in some cases from page to page. In this issue Mateus Santolouco bucks that trend, with lush, cohesive art from front to back. It’s just a shame there wasn’t really a hell of a lot of action to show it off on.
- Beautiful artwork
- Setting up to something big
- Surprising, tantalizing cliffhanger
- Setup and not much else
- Scarce action
Is It Good?
As a spoke in the wheel that is the greater “City Fall” storyline, it’s good. A lot has happened, and exposition issues like this are necessary to get readers on the same proverbial page. As a single issue, though, outside of some surprises, it may fall somewhat flat as action is in short supply. And outside of a vague, passing mention that it “goes all the way to the top,” we still don’t known exactly what’s going on in the city.
Blurring the lines of friend and foe is a central theme in this arc so far, and an interesting dynamic to play with, especially in the TMNT universe, where allegiances and motivations are normally cut and dry. By the end of this thing, who knows who’s going to be on what side. All I know is, “City Fall” is heading in the right direction and I can’t wait to see what happens next.