YAR! In dis mont’s issue, the turtles be traveling back through the ages t’ play at bein’ pirates. Tis it good, me hearties?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #3 (IDW Publishing)
Okay, that’s enough pirate speak for one review.
The story opens with the Turtles plopping down into the middle of a massive sea battle. On one side are a band of noble pirates (pssh) while a group of scallywags representing ‘The Kraken’ make up the other. Both groups are understandably freaked out by the mutants’ sudden appearance.
“Avast! It be Warner Bros. legal department, chasing me down for calling myself The Red Hush!”
The Kraken’s men go scurrying away while the good(ish) guys stick around to interrogate the amphibian interlopers for a bit. After a speech from Mikey, they decide to accept the turtles into their crew AND chase down the Kraken’s crew.
As the combined human/mutant forces sail to battle, we get some fun scenes of the Turtles bonding with their new shipmates. Unfortunately, we also receive a groan-worthy explanation for who ‘The Kraken’ really is before a relatively entertaining brawl ensues (which of course includes a brief moment where Renet runs into the story like Kramer through Seinfeld’s door).
By issue’s end, we’ve had some good swashbuckling action, some questionable world building, and an ending that is far more chilling and effective than the events leading up to it.
Is It Good?
Unfortunately, this one doesn’t really give us enough of either. There are a few really nice moments of levity and action, but they’re never sequence in a way that makes the tone of the issue clear.
Another issue is this story’s link to the past. While the first two chapters gave us some cool ‘fixed timeline’ easter eggs, this one clumsily tries to shoehorn its connection to the future in way that actually seems to detract from the story instead of enhancing it like the others did.
On the plus side, the artwork by Ben Bates is some of the best we’ve seen in this series… although he seems to be a bit adverse to drawing colored backgrounds for many of the pages.
“We ain’t seen sky of blue or grey for days!”
The ending is also pretty great, giving us a hook into what looks like an intriguing and fun next issue.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about Renet, who is still a terrible character. Maybe she’ll end up doing something cool by the end, but so far she’s just been an inexplicable annoyance. If she ends up teleporting into a volcano, I might give the next issue an 11/10 just for that.