If you’ve read any of my previous reviews for TMNT you’ll know that I’ve been enjoying it very much. You might also know that I loved Secret History of the Foot Clan #1 (a 4 part mini-series). That issue (and its #2) have really thrown a spanner into the works. That story has been so strong in both its story and artwork so far that I can’t help but look upon TMNT #18 slightly disparagingly. I feel harsh for saying that, but it does coincide with the main title making the jump from Earth to Dimension X, which has never been the strongest piece of TMNT lore for me.
This is not to say that I think #18 is bad. It really isn’t! We’ve got action, romance (sort of!) and shurikens! Never a bad thing. The problem is the story doesn’t move along very far, and some characters that I assume I’m meant to care about, I just don’t. You can’t give me an ending that relies on a gasp when I have no real reason to care yet.
Ben Bates’ art improves slightly on #17, with less of the obvious lack of detail. Maybe he is settling in now. He gets across the frenetic action of a large scale fire fight well. Mikey’s actions are really well presented here in particular. The facial expressions are good too, and Bates does a great job presenting Krang as a truly evil ‘pink and squishy’ villain.
A good amount of humour is present too, with a reveal in this issue provoking a great reaction from our heroes. Raphael’s ribbing of Michelangelo is also pretty funny.
Does anyone get the same vibe from #18’s cover as they did the old NES games box art? Google ‘TMNT NES’ and let me know what you think.