TMNT #50

Not caught up? Here’s the review of #49.

“The epic conclusion to over four-years worth of storylines! The Turtles stand agaisnt Shredder for one final battle that will determine the fate NYC, and the world, for years to come!”

This month we have multiple reasons to celebrate. Firstly, IDW’s TMNT series has reached #50, a milestone many comics don’t reach. Secondly, this month’s issue is double size! Thirdly, it lives up to expectations.

Getting excited but also not wanting to spoil you all makes writing this tricky; there are so many moments that make me want to turn to you and say “did you see that?!?”. Alas, I’ll try to skirt around it.

Issue #50 has the task of not only wrapping up several main plot points, but setting up a few threads moving forwards. It does so with a sure-footedness that comes from the same team working together for years. Everyone brings their A-game, from Waltz and Eastman’s story to Santolouco and Smith’s mesmerising art, which is further enhanced by Pattison’s colours.

The story makes the most of the extra pages, not only giving us some fantastic panels focusing on The Gauntlet, but also a look back at Burnow Island. Cory Smith comes in to provide several extremely important and quality pages too.

Don’t think that this issue is all about fists and swords though; this is a battle that takes place on multiple planes. Despite many years spent together and an often hidden respect, Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki clash in every regard. IDW have made a real point of portraying them both as flawed; Splinter is far from a saint himself. However, one has worked hard to shape his flaws into strengths whilst the other has let them dominate him. One has embraced calm whilst the other feeds on anger and hubris. This is most obviously shown in the ways they encourage those fighting for/with them. I make that distinction as the familial bond Splinter shares with the turtles couldn’t be more different to the ruler/underling relationship The Shredder uses in the The Foot Clan.

If you’re a lover of the original comics, or the 1990 film (one of the best comic to film adaptations there is), the final confrontation will seem extremely familiar. That’s not a bad thing though, as it feels so right.

I must say I’m not entirely convinced by some of the ‘banter’ the turtles come up with mid-fight, but they are centuries old teenagers in the bodies of mutated turtles, so I’ll cut them some slack. Otherwise this issue comes together extremely well. Not only was I left satisfied that my expectations had been met, but I’m excited for the next fifty issues. We’re moving into territory I’m far less accustomed too now, so who knows what will happen.

IDW have built a universe that can stand proudly amongst the various versions of the TMNT; it may even be the best overall. Here’s to issue 100!

As a Staff Writer for Flickering Myth I’m privy to review copies of comics. This review was first and foremost written for them, lovely people that they are.

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Reviews for April and Casey #3 and TMNT #49.

If you enjoyed this why don’t you check out my other reviews and pass it on.
I also have interviews with TMNT artists Ross Campbell and Mateus Santolouco!

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