After the devastating fallout from the incredible City Fall arc, the Turtles and Splinter along with April and Casey retreat to North Hampton to try and heal their wounds (both of the physical and psychological variety). Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #29 (IDW Publishing)
After the fever pitch that the last story arc built to, the Turtles’ trip to April’s home in North Hampton is as much a reprieve for the reader as it is for them. Waltz uses this as an opportunity to create some much needed space from the paradigm shattering ramifications to the heroes’ world that they just experienced. I have no problem with an issue like this one; just because there are four anthropomorphic turtles on the page doesn’t mean I absolutely must see some ass kicking take place.
There are a lot lingering plot threads that need to be carefully dealt with, such as how Leonardo will function within the group after what he experienced while under the control of The Foot. Some writers might be willing to just plow ahead and close the book on that chapter, but not Tom Waltz. He wisely uses this issue to establish that the consequences felt after City Fall will continue to adversely affect our heroes for a least a little while longer.
The appearance of an old villain claiming to be an ally is also an intriguing development that has been in the works for a while now. Add in the fact that we finally get to meet April’s parents (and that there’s something about them that doesn’t seem quite right), and we have a great set up to a smaller yet just as potentially engaging story as we’ve become used to from this series.
The main criticism for this issue, however, can surprisingly be found in the art. Campbell’s previous work on the Leonardo and Alopex micro-series issues was stunning, but his pencils here feel like a major step backward (especially when you compared them to the incredible work we just got from Mateus Santolouco in City Fall). Oddly, Ross’ dream and flashback sequences are much stronger than the rest. But they’re still not anywhere near the caliber of work we’re used to seeing from him.
Is It Good?
- Fallout from the previous arc is not ignored
- Issue creates some space from the fever pitch conclusion of City Fall to set up new and interesting plot lines
- The quality of Ross Campbell’s artwork is far below what we’ve seen from him before.
This issue doesn’t have a whole lot of action, but it does set up some potentially great new plot threads while smartly dealing with the ones from before. Unfortunately, the low quality of artwork is impossible to overlook.
That’s not to say Ross Campbell is a bad artist, however. He’s not only a very good one, but also someone who has done incredible work within this same franchise before. Unfortunately, his pencils for this issue leave much to be desired.