Kevin Eastman scripts and draws this year’s oversized annual for the franchise he helped create. It is good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2014 (IDW Publishing)
Remember that Renet character from the Turtles in Time series? You know…completely random… totally annoying… always doing things that don’t make any sense with the plot? Well, this issue was supposed to help explain a lot more about her. Instead, it just reinforced everything we thought before.
After a few nice moments between the series’ main characters, Renet shows up out of nowhere. She says a bunch of stuff that no one understands (including the reader) before transporting the Turtles to a strange world where captives are forced to face each other in gladiatorial combat.
While they wait to fight (and continue being confused about everything), we meet Baltizar, a character who seems to be competing with Renet for who can give the reader an aneurysm first.
From then on, we get lots of action (which is very cool) dressed up in a sitcom mashup of Gladiator and Spartacus. By the issue’s end, all we’ve learned is that Renet is still a terrible character and that Eastman can still draw the heck out of some action sequences.
Is it Good?
The story and the script in this one are very weak compared to the work Waltz has turned in. I know, I know… burn me at the stake for daring to say that about our lord and shellhead savior Mr. Eastman. But to be fair, there are some one-liners within the issue that truly made me laugh out loud.
…and some excellent advice from Master Splinter.
As far as the art is concerned, it’s really good… and not in the “I have to respect it because it was done by the creator” way. The bookend/colored pages aren’t anything to write home about, but the black and white pencils used for the battle world scenes (where the bulk of the story takes place) are awesome.
Unfortunately, the issue suffers from a painfully predictable story that is dragged down even further by two of the most irritating characters imaginable. Even with the occasional (and perfect) comedic moments from the turtles, the script was nowhere near the best work we’ve seen from Eastman for IDW.
Add in the $8 price tag (!) and this one might only be worth picking up if you’re a longtime fan of the franchise.