After a somewhat lackluster previous issue, the massive clash between Krang and The Shredder’s forces continues. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #43 (IDW Publishing)
Whatever misgivings I may have had about the previous issue’s plot, the fight scene that comes out of it—which is where we begin this one—seriously kicks ass. It’s also a great distraction for the Turtles (minus Donatello), who are using it as cover while sneaking onto the Technodrome before it can begin its Terraforming process.
Meanwhile, Fugitoid discovers that once again, Baxter Stockman is an evil sociopath/colossal douchebag, gets betrayed, and acts like it’s something he shouldn’t have seen coming.
Back at Shredder’s lair, Old Hob’s Mutanimals + Splinter bust in and start cracking heads. Hob guns down a few guards, takes their last remaining container of mutagen, and then orders his troops to abandon Splinter while he’s still locked in combat with Karai. Despite a small amount of dissent from Slash and a pouty look from Mondo Gecko (whose life Splinter freaking saved during the fight), the Mutanimals retreat.
While all this craziness is going on, we zip back to the Turtles fighting their way through the Technodrome. They eventually run into Baxter Stockman, who proceeds to unleash an awesome/horrifying new weapon against them.
Back outside (wow there’s a lot going on), Krang gets a message about the shenanigans going on inside the Technodrome. Despite having Shredder on the ropes, he runs inside, clocks the hell out of Stockman, and overrides his program to take the Technodrome over.
FALCON PUNCH OF FRUSTRATION!
As the issue ends, the lethal terraforming process that will wipe out all life on earth is about to begin. Also, you remember how Donatello was back at the portal? Yeah…Shredder sent for a sent a couple visitors along with instructions to kill him.
Is It Good?
Okay, give me a minute to catch my breath…
I’m not sure what’s more impressive: The gorgeous and fluid artwork from Cory Smith (assisted by superb coloring from Ronda Pattison) or how writer Tom Waltz managed to juggle all these plot lines so well.
There were a couple things about this issue that bothered me, though.
- The tiresome dynamic between Fugitoid and Baxter Stockman. Seriously, that robot must be more gullible than Charlie Brown lining up for a field goal attempt. How can he still be surprised at Stockman’s evil nature and constant betrayals by this point?
- The reaction/acceptance by Mondo Gecko and the others to abandoning Splinter. I know they’re loyal to Old Hob and all, but I really don’t see MG bugging out like that right after Splinter saved his life.
But aside from those nitpicks, this was a welcome return to form for one of IDW’s best titles. Not only were there a lot of great plot threads all going on at once, but they all ended on tremendous cliffhangers…and Baxter Stockman got punched in the face by Krang, which was pretty awesome.