After an awesome fiftieth issue, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles followed up the next month with one that was just kind of ‘meh.’ Fortunately, that issue also had a lot of set up, which gives TMNT #52 a perfect opportunity to right the ship.
Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #52 (IDW Publishing)
- Leo and Alopex reminisce about old times (when they were evil/brainwashed) while once again training Foot Clan soldiers for battle.
- Angel gives Casey crap for fighting bad guys (?).
- Splinter calls upon his Captain Obvious powers to call out a villain.
- Remember that cool-looking red assassin from a few issues ago? Well, prepare yourself for a completely underwhelming appearance.
- Remember those goofy magnaguard-looking guys from last issue? Well, prepare yourself for any even goofier second appearance.
- Mikey’s new family made him a cake…and they all appear to have a handsome new stalker.
Is It Good?
Uh oh. This is troubling.
If you’ve read my reviews here at AiPT! for any length of time (HI MOM!), then you know how much I love this series. Part of the reason it’s so good is that on the rare occasions when it has a weak issue, it always comes back with a great one… until now.
For starters, the characters’ behavior (and resulting dialogue) is cringe-worthy. I know Splinter is wise and all, but it really should take more than a couple word bubbles to change an assassin hell-bent on killing him into an ally.
And what was up with Angel and Casey? I’m still not sure why she had any problem with him patrolling/taking out bad guys like he always does. The only thing I found more confusing (besides the constant references to a miniseries I didn’t read) was when Casey made fun of her for using the word ‘pompous.’
No seriously. That happened.
The magnaguards (or Street Phantoms, as they call themselves) were a little over the top with their in-fight exposition, but nothing they said was ever as bad as the stuff the assassin yelled while fighting Splinter. Good lord:
“YOU DIE TODAY!”
“WE DEAL IN DEATH!”
C’mon, Waltz. You are so much better than that.
As far as the art is concerned, Ken Garing didn’t do the script any favors. When he’s drawing still frames/portraits, especially female characters, his work is absolutely stunning. The fight scenes, however, are almost completely static and devoid of energy.
But art issues aside, the script was so weak (easily the weakest of the entire series) that it didn’t even feel like Waltz wrote it. Hopefully these last two installments were just a small blip and not the start of a trend. Otherwise, one of my favorite books is in some serious trouble.