IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series has been very good thus far. This is because IDW have worked with Kevin Eastman to stitch together all the various ideas from the franchise to bring the entire thing into a living breathing mythos. In fact, the only thing it doesn’t draw any ideas from is the Michael Bay movie. Which makes sense, as it was rubbish.The previous volume of TMNT completed the major plot arc of the entire series, the invasion of Earth by Krang. On the way, we’ve learned that Shredder is kind of immortal, that the Turtles themselves are the reincarnated spirits of long dead ninjas, that demon gods plot to take over the world, and that the streets of New York have pretty weird beasties roaming around in it, including mutant foxes, cyborg fly monsters and a power-armoured kick-ass vigilante. The last book felt like a season finale, with some rather shocking revelations that looked to change the Turtles forever. This meant that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 12: Vengeance Part 1 needed to be a strong season opener.
Fortunately, it is. Some of the nastier consequences of the previous book have been dealt with satisfactorily, though not in a particularly franchise-altering way. Of particular note is the growth of Alopex and Raphael. It makes sense that the two loners would have the most interesting set pieces and it’s nice to see these. The book is slightly disrupted by the addition of a ‘story so far’ strip in the middle (it’s from a Free Comic Book Day giveaway), though it’s also kind of useful; we are onto Volume 12, after all.
The strong themes of family and growing up are continued throughout, and the various character motifs (including Splinter’s constant battle with traps) continue. There’s a real sense of love to this series; from the intricate artwork, to the carefully worked out character development, the amount of work that has gone into what many dismiss as a silly ‘90s gimmick is incredible. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 12: Vengeance Part 1 is a great addition to what is fast becoming the definitive version of the series, and we can’t wait to see Part 2.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES VOLUME 12: VENGEANCE PART 1 / WRITER: TOM WALTZ / ARTIST: MATEUS SANTOLOUCO / PUBLISHER: IDW / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 22ND