This week, the Chasing Phantoms story arc concludes with a whole lot of fighting, a few very important decisions, and one giant rodent’s transformation into a colossal jerk. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #64 (IDW Publishing)
- Splinter isn’t very good at communicating, is he?
- Pro tip for Harold: Don’t argue with your ex-girlfriend when she’s wearing a weaponized mech suit.
- Donnie Tech > Street Phantoms.
- Ah man, I was just starting to like her.
- Sometimes I forget what a badass Splinter is.
- …and then he does something like that.
Is It Good?
Finally…FINALLY…IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series is back to doing what it does best: Shifting the franchise’s center.
While I didn’t like how Splinter’s recent character arc began, writer Tom Waltz has nurtured that bad initial story seed into a beautiful full-grown narrative. Splinter’s actions in this issue are shocking, but totally in line with what we’ve seen during the last several months.
And for those of you who will no doubt be mad about what Splinter does, I strongly suggest giving this a chance. There are so many different versions of the TMNT mythos. Why be boring and do what’s expected? There are plenty of places you can read and watch a kid-friendly giant rat hide in the sewer and keep himself (mostly) out of the fight. This is Splinter unleashed, both in combat and ruthlessness. It’s a side of him we rarely get to see. Now it appears to be the new status quo. Hats off to Waltz for having the guts to do something this risky and (potentially) cool.
The other plot threads in this issue are little thin, especially the contrived interactions between Harold and Libby. But to Waltz’s credit, he ties them all together in a way that emphasizes the betrayal and shock resulting from the main narrative.
On the art side of things, Dave Wachter is predictably superb. There are a lot of fisticuffs to take in, but the fight between the Turtles and the Phantoms in a stairwell is both masterfully drawn and beautifully sequenced.
It might be too early to say this, but it certainly feels like IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has fully returned to form. It’s also nice having absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next.