After a pulse pounding issue last month, things come to a head in ‘Attack on the Technodrome’. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #44 (IDW Publishing)
Remember how dire things were with all those gasp-inducing cliffhangers? Well, we pick up right where the main one left off with the Technodrome being activated. The Turtles respond to this by continuing to try and stop it while also engaging in some ‘witty’ banter.
I put ‘witty’ in quotations because in addition to it feeling out of place, it just wasn’t very funny. This was surprising given how good Waltz’s scripts usually are (including the many humorous moments he sprinkles into them). Also, Baxter Stockman escapes, but we all knew that was coming.
Ugh…you know that everyone hates you, right?
Meanwhile, Donatello is getting his ass beat into a pulp by Bebop and Rocksteady. This is a brutal, Robin vs. the Joker type fight. It’s also a jarring shift in tone from the previous plot thread and handled incredibly well… until the villains are conveniently called away before finishing the job.
The issue then jumps over to Splinter’s impending duel with Karai, which gets interrupted by
another convenient plot device a couple of familiar (and awesome) faces.
Back on Burnow Island, the Technodrome is still doing its lethal terraforming thing while the Turtles (sans Donatello) lock horns with Kraang. Outside, Krang’s forces continue throwing down with the Foot Clan. The end result is an incredible string of action sequences and the displacement of some major characters. What really hits home, however, is a heart breaking last page that manages somehow to make the world ending the Turtles were facing feel insignificant by comparison.
Is it Good?
If you’ve read my reviews on this title, than you know I normally LOVE Tom Waltz’s scripts. But this one just didn’t feel like it was up to his usual snuff. The dialogue between the Turtles as they battled Krang on the the Technodrome felt like something straight of the 80’s cartoon. And even the really good stuff (like the fight between Donatello and Rocksteady/Bebop) was hurt by a classic failure-by-the-evil-villain trope.
All that being said, there was still plenty to like in this one, namely the gorgeous artwork by Cory Smith. He really cuts loose on the action heavy issue, but also handles the more gruesome/difficult moments incredibly well.
And despite my (rare) criticism of Waltz, I do appreciate that it appears he isn’t going to make what happens to one of the main characters an easy fix. That last page is a punch to the gut… and just enough to push this one a little higher up the rating scale. This isn’t a very strong issue compared to the rest of the series, but it’s still Waltz’s TMNT—which means overall, it’s still pretty good.