TMNT #23

“Desperate times call for desperate measures as unexpected alliances take shape. Will the Turtles be able to find the Foot Clan’s HQ in time to stop the next phase of Shredder’s heinous plan? Plus, the return of the witch Kitsune! What ancient evil will she unleash? One Turtle is about to find out!”

Quite the gathering of talent. With the second part of the City Fall storyline, issue #23 makes use of not only Mateus Santolouco’s skills, but also Dan Duncan, Ross Campbell, Andy Kuhn, Ben Bates…and Kevin Eastman!

With so much strength and depth in the art department (not forgetting Ronda Pattison, who remains superb) can the writing and story hold up? Happily I can report that it does. Issue 22 contained a fight, a gutting and an amphibious attack which came together for quite the bombastic comic book. Now we have to examine the consequences of those actions, so this is a slower paced story overall.

Brilliantly juxtaposing the transport of Casey to the hospital and Leonardo’s to The Shredder’s HQ, the story moves quickly through several scenes. These scenes intertwine with a hallucination that Leo is suffering through the works of Kitsune. Here she plays on Leonardo’s insecurities and forces him to question not only himself, but his Master and his clan. This torture works through the history of the title so far, and makes great use of each artist as they step up to provide art for the their corresponding issues. It’s like a greatest hits of images, brought together by Santolouco’s stunningly detailed work.

That great work isn’t just limited to the main characters, with nurses and Foot members afforded the same level of detail. It all comes together extremely well to immerse you in the situation. The worry, fear, and fear are all palpable.

Hopefully you’ve already read The Secret History of The Foot Clan, and the Old Hob issue in the TMNT Villains series, as both play into the current story (and in particular this issue) very much. If you haven’t it’s not the end of the world, but it would add a bit more meat to proceedings.

So, a slower, but no less brilliant issue. I don’t know how the creative team are going to keep performing at this level, but I have faith that they will. Roll on #24!

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