After the last spectacularly pulse pounding issue, things slow down a bit as a new threat… or maybe a new ally arises. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #38 (IDW Publishing)
The issue begins with the Turtles returning from some night training to find that Slash has successfully broken into their well-defended sanctuary. He’s also insanely smart now (thanks to the treatment he received a few issues ago), which makes the entire encounter seem infinitely more creepy.
But at least he knows that sofa isn’t a toilet.
Things get even stranger when he reminds Splinter of the deal he made with Old Hob a long time ago to help him create an army (which I had honestly forgotten about).
Meanwhile, we get a somewhat pointless yet very cool scene of Angel testing out Harold’s battle armor with an unexpected assist from Alopex. There’s also a terrible scene of Casey with April’s family, but I’ll cover that later.
Back in the main storyline, Donny is rightfully pissed that everyone seems to be ignoring the potentially world ending threat posed by Krang so they can focus on Shredder and the Foot. While he storms off to handle it himself (I guess) the rest of the Turtles accompany Splinter to see Hob, who really is making his own mutant army. This once again gives us a chance to see a wonderful classic character along with a brilliantly imagined new one.
It’s all enough to make the Turtles actually consider joining Hob’s army. Unfortunately, Pete the Pigeon has been sent on a recruiting mission of his own…and he may have asked to of the worst mutants imaginable to sign up.
Is it Good?
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.
The Angel fight scene was all types of badass, especially as it was drawn by Mateus Satolouco. But there was no hook to it whatsoever with the main plot of the story. It just kind of happened out of nowhere for a few pages and then disappeared. Maybe the scene will play an important role later on, but in the context of this issue it felt completely out of the place.
And then there’s the scene with Casey getting a pep talk from April while he visits with her parents. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I’ve absolutely LOVED Tom Waltz’s writing on this series, so believe me when I say that these two pages constitute the worst dialogue we’ve had in all 38 issues. The schmaltz was so bad that it made Hallmark Channel movies look gritty by comparison (not that I would know what Hallmark Channel movies are like when I’m home alone and eating a barrel of ice cream by myself).
Fortunately, Waltz quickly goes back to his usual high standard of work during the meeting between Hob’s new forces and the Turtles. Not only are the character designs and mannerisms great, but I LOVE that the Turtles are actually considering the possibility of joining Hob’s army. They realize it’s risky, but they’ve also been on the receiving end of some pretty severe beat downs. Having some high powered back up would be a hard offer to turn down from anyone, even a shifty character like Old Hob.
What’s even harder, however, is finding anything bad to say about this series (corny April/Casey scene aside). The brilliant team of rotating artists, the ever expanding mythology, and Waltz’s consistently great scripts make it a book that any TMNT fan… or just a fan of good comics… should be reading.