A massive showdown between the Foot and Krang’s forces comes to a head with the Turtles stuck in the middle. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #42 (IDW Publishing)
The issue begins with the Turtles backing out of Hob’s (awesome) mutant army. Splinter assures the one-eyed cat that his sons will still be in the thick of things, just not how he envisioned it.
Meanwhile, Fugitoid and Baxter Stockman enact their plan to double cross Krang. As expected, Stockman pulls a total dick move and backstabs his robot ally.
Later, the Turtles go meet up with Donatello, who is totally happy to see them… wait, that can’t be right. *flips back to the issue* Yep, that’s what happened. Turns out that after Donnie stormed out on his brothers, a very important scene that we weren’t privy to took place. He and Leo came up with this awesome plot contrivance which had him helping his brothers the entire time we thought they weren’t working together.
Pictured: My reaction to the previous revelation.
Shocked at this rare misstep in plotting in one of IDW’s best titles, Splinter decides to join in on the fun, deciding he really had been a jerk about the whole ‘Killing Shredder is more important than saving the world from Krang’ crap. It’s a pretty weak position to take after The Turtles figure out a way to attack both problems at once, but you have to consider that OH LOOK AN AWESOME FIGHT SCENE.
There’s also a cool segment with April interrogating a character we haven’t heard from in a long time. Donnie has a touching moment with his brothers (despite the contrived path it took to get there) before hinting at something else going on that could be interesting. It’s almost enough to forgive the first half of the issue…
Is it Good?
…but not enough.
Look, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of this series than I am. So it’s saying something when I’m disappointed by an issue.
Waltz created such wonderful dramatic tension with the rift that had formed between Donnie and the rest of the Turtles only to throw it away on a ‘things were fine the whole time’ revelation. Yes, it would have been a tough narrative path to keep traveling, but he’s successfully navigated things like that before (Leo’s brainwashing fallout, Casey and his father, Old Hob’s evolving relationship with the Turtles, etc). This just felt cheap, especially when you added on Splinter’s convenient epiphany AFTER his sons figured out a ‘two birds with one stone’ solution.
The good news, however, is that Waltz still gives us some morsels that taste like his usual excellent work and Manteus Santalouco’s pencils are as gorgeous as ever. The beginning of a truly epic fight scene he’ll be drawing has me salivating for the next issue… and a little more willing to forget the story missteps in this one.
…but I’ll never forget that these fictional characters lied to me!
It’s also worth noting that for a ‘bad issue’ of the series, it’s still pretty decent in general. But when you’re used to the comic equivalent of having a five star meal every month, it’s a little disappointing to eat fast food.