by staff writer Michael Brown
Welcome back to another Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column not fighting all of Batman’s villains because the writers have no imagination.
This week, DC brought us Batgirl: Endgame #1, in which Batgirl has to keep a mob of Jokerized madmen from spreading the deadly virus into Gotham; a sneak peek at the softer side of the Man of Steel, in Superman #39; and it’s the return of Superboy, in Teen Titans #8.
From Marvel this week, Princess Leia continues her mission to round up the survivors of Alderaan, in Star Wars: Princess Leia #2; Squirrel-Girl’s last chance to stop Galactus (no, it’s not a typo. Yes I said “Galactus”) is to get to the moon, in The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl #3; Cortex Incorporated drops its mask, revealing itself as the Cosmic Horror from Beyond, and the Mighty Avengers are Earth’s last hope, in Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #6.
Image, and writer Mark Millar of Kick-Ass fame bring us the story of two buddies, their time machine, and the first televised time-travelling adventure, in Chrononauts #1.
From IDW this week, it’s the beginning of the end of Season 10 of The X-Files as the Shadow Government that long bedeviled Mulder and Scully in their quest for the truth may not be dead after all, in issue #21.
The final push to save Earth. The turtles’ most desperate hour. And one will not survive.
So. let me set the story up for you. From his base on Earth, Krang has brought his Technodrome to Earth from Dimension X in order to terraform the planet and create a new Utrominon for his people. Splinter and the Turtles have set up an elaborate trap to force Krang and the Shredder to fight each other, and rid the planet of both of them, while the Turtles take on Krang’s forces to shut down Technodrome. Now, mere minutes remain before the Technodrome goes online and kills everyone on Earth. And someone will not survive.
I can’t properly explain how monumental and game-changing this issue is. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I’m underselling it.
Now, these are not the silly, cartoony 80s versions of the TMNT that we older fans know. And they’re not the Nickelodeon-series TMNT, which I also love by the way. These are the dark, gritty, in-your-face, black-and-white drawn TMNT created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird back in May of 1984. I didn’t discover the comics until I was in college in 1988, and I have been a fan ever since. IDW’s relaunch of the series some 43 issues ago was met with high praise, and I say it’s the best comic book series in current comicdom.
So much happens in this issue, which serves as the conclusion to the Attack on Technodrome storyline, that a quick, one paragraph synopsis doesn’t do it justice. Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz have made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the epic tour-de-force it has become since 2011. This issue was packed to the staples with action, and even, sadly, concludes with the powerful death of a major character. I even had to back away from my computer and show my girlfriend, who has no interest in comics. It even made her wince.
But enough about that. Let’s talk about what else made this issue so freaking good.
This whole story arc has been full of action and triple kicks that I could never get my action figures to do. And being the conclusion doesn’t slow down the action at all. If anything, it just ramps it up. Cory Smith, who is filling in for Mateus Santoluoco, provides some amazing artwork and fight scenes.
Which I suppose brings me back to the main talking point. Tom Waltz, who does the writing … well, I’m a little miffed and,yes, shellshocked. Given a few weeks, I’ll be fine. I seriously dread picking up issue #45. But while he has damaged me emotionally, I will also give kudos to Waltz. It is a sign of a well-written series, be it on television, movie, print, or, yes, even comic books, when you are so emotionally invested in the characters,when something happens to one of them, you feel it.
And even while it’s shocking, and a serious stomach-punch, I hope IDW doesn’t treat it like a gimmick, and really has a desire to shake things up.
Okay. Time to recuperate and get ready for next month. If you have read the issue, I expect comments. I’m eager to hear from you all on this one.
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Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!