After what could generously be described as a weak previous issue, scripter Tom Waltz (along with story direction from Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow) continues the tale of the Ninja Turtles’ recovery from the events of ‘City Fall.’ Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30 (IDW Publishing)
The story is told from the perspective of Michelangelo, who is writing a letter to his friend Woody (the guy who hooks them up with free pizza) about what’s been going on with he and his brothers in North Hampton.
I was a bit worried about this narrative device at first. I love me some Micahelangelo, but feared that his voice wouldn’t have the needed weigh or introspection to portray what his family was going through without coming across as severely out of character.
I’m very happy to report, however, that I was dead wrong. Michelangelo’s tone strikes the perfect balance of worry, sadness, and optimism that a story like this one needed. In between his writings, we are treated to a much needed confrontation between Alopex and Raphael, some heart wrenching interaction among the Turtles, and well-layered dream sequences/introspection from both Splinter and Leonardo.
The subplot involving April’s parents also starts to get a little more interesting as the issue glides to an incredibly touching conclusion. The ending could have easily come off as contrived in a lesser writer’s hands, but Waltz makes the lead up to a moment we’ve needed to happen for a while feel genuinely organic and impactful.
…besides someone telling Raphael that he’s kind of an ass.
The effects of ‘City Fall’ are definitely still being felt, but the healing process (which will not be an easy road for this family) is finally starting in earnest.
Is it Good?
The story ends with a great deal left unresolved, but also with a substantial amount of forward momentum. Unlike the previous issue, I’m actually excited this time about reading the next one. And for those of you worried that the Turtles are going to spend the next chapters of this arc just sitting around listening to Sarah McLachlan records while talking about their feelings, you can put those fears aside. The last panel of the issue promises a brand new threat along with a lot of action in the coming months.
It’s also worth noting that the artwork in this issue by Ross Campbell (who I was a little rough on previously) is MUCH better this time around. The dream sequences in particular are gorgeously rendered. There are still a few things about his pencils that I don’t necessarily care for (like the way he renders human faces), but that is more a matter of personal taste. Where his work in the last issue felt rushed and flat, his pencils here are much more layered and pop beautifully off the page.
If you hated the last issue (which seems to be the chatter on message boards), than this issue should be able to reel you back in…and if it doesn’t, at least the badass-looking new villain introduced at the end will be more than enough to pique your interest in the next one.