“Invasion of the Triceratons,” Part 3 of 5. As all sides of the conflict make plans for the final battle, a surprise character returns to make amends!

As if the Triceratons engaging in guerrilla warfare in the middle of New York wasn’t bad enough–now the Turtles have to go ask dad for help!

First Read Reactions

  • I’m not sure who’s the biggest douche: Agent Bishop, Senator Lawson, or the reporter they’re watching.
  • Also, since when did cell phone cameras revert back to 1980’s home video quality?
  • Purple Dragons…come out to plaaaaaaaaay!
  • The humans may be getting their asses kicked, but I bet barbecued Triceraton smells delicious.
  • Okay, as badass as the Purple Dragons are, this really doesn’t seem like a fair fight.
  • Correction: Now it does.
  • Of course an early 2000’s model home video camera catches the clearest images. OF COURSE!
  • Wow…just when I thought I was going to start liking Splinter again, he becomes an even bigger jerk than he was before.

The Verdict

Now we’re cooking with gas.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first, starting with the ridiculous notion that a full scale alien invasion in the middle of New York city would yield only a few very grainy cell phone videos worth of extraterrestrial evidence. I can suspend my disbelief for anamorphic creatures and alien dinosaurs, but not for that.

Other than that glaring issue, however, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #78 is a heck of a lot of fun. In addition to the action that’s been a staple of this story arc, we get two amazing moments featuring characters who’ve either been in the background or almost completely forgotten. I can talk about the one with Splinter (since he’s on the cover and all), but the other might be even better. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say it’s about the only way this reunion could ever happen–and it’s glorious. Add in some of Damian Couceiro’s very best art in the series, and you really can’t ask for a better scene.

Speaking of Couceiro, he also deserves some recognition for how well he organizes chaos. There is A LOT of stuff going on throughout the issue (including enough action to make Michael Bay feel sheepish), but it never feels overly dense or directionless. Waltz’s script flows perfectly from one panel/page to the next.

Back to Splinter, though. You’ve got to give writer a TON of credit for shaking things up like this. Despite TMNT being such a heavily commercialized media property, the man has absolutely no qualms about shifting the mythology’s paradigm in ways you’d never expect–and in a manner that happens organically through the series.

Add in a badass conclusion that really drives home how much of a “rat” Splinter is, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a fun issue. Good thing we don’t have to watch it through our camera phones.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #78 Review
Is it good?
Amazing character moments and incredibly well-drawn action sequences make this the best issue in an already fantastic story arc.
Writer Tom Waltz has absolutely not qualms about shaking up the TMNT franchise's mythology--and he does it organically, too.
Artist Damian Couceiro beautifully funnels a boat load of action without ever losing the story.
If you think Splinter's return is big, wait until you see the other reunion...
Camera phones can't pick up any clear images of an alien invasion in the middle of New York? Really?
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