Last month’s issue ended with Leonardo finally reclaiming his spirit along with his cajones. This month’s installment begins with him about to face off against a powerful new villain. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #32 (IDW Publishing)
Leonardo and Koya (the psycho hawk assassin) start beating the crap out of each other while Mike and Donny cheer on their brother’s return. Leo and Splinter have a quick bonding moment during the fight, proving that the team’s leader really is back to his old self.
Meanwhile, the (really cool looking) foot assassins decide that they’ve had enough of getting their asses kicked and drop a grenade inside the barn.
Outside, Raph is still beating up Alopex, convinced that it was she who brought the intruders into their sanctuary. After the explosion from the barn, Raph becomes disoriented and doesn’t notice the foot assassin sneaking up behind him. Alopex swoops in, rescues him, and proves once again the Raph an untrusting asshole.
“You said you wouldn’t watch the rest of ‘House of Cards’ without me!”
Back at the house, April’s mom notices that her barn exploded and decides to have a look. When she, Casey, and April arrive on the scene, they are treated to a pretty incredibly fight still taking place on their property. Koya decides that this is the perfect time to stop making threats about eating his enemies entrails and goes after Mrs. O’Neil, instead…
…only to have Mikey take him down in one of the most hilariously awesome ways imaginable. As Koya begs for her life to be ended with a warrior’s death, Leo finds a surprising middle ground between compassion and execution, rescuing both his friends as well as his soul.
The story ends with April’s mom accepting (perhaps a bit too quickly) that her daughter has some pretty strange yet wonderful friends. Splinter and the Turtles leave North Hampton, reunited and newly determined to reclaim their city from Shredder’s grasp. Behind them, April’s father finally has his eyes opened to the world, while Alopex slinks back into the shadows.
Is it Good?
Sometimes being wrong is fun.
I really thought that this arc was going to be a flop, particularly after such a weak first issue. But to Tom Waltz’s credit, he really managed to make the Turtles’ therapeutic trip to North Hampton feel necessary and engaging. Add in some pretty awesome fight scenes, a new villain(s), and April’s new haircut, and this one was a lot of fun to read.
Ross Campbell’s art was also out of this world, as well. He still disagrees with me about the first issue being inferior to the rest, but I think everyone can agree that his work on the rest of the arc (particularly the last two issues) was superb.
Now as we head back to New York City, Leo’s return to being the leader of the team doesn’t feel forced or contrived. Instead, we got some great character development (along with plenty of action) to help prime us for the war to reclaim the city.