IDW’s second reprint from the original Mirage Comics run centres on Donatello. As I’m not a little more accustomed to both Eastman/Laird, and different types of TMNT stories, how does it stack up?
Overall, this issue is extremely friendly. It couldn’t be more self-contained if it tried! Everything you need to know is here, from Donatello’s reason to be on his own, to why there is a guy called Kirby (get it?) down in the cellar.
Whilst attempting to placate a whiney Raphael (seriously, you’d think a Turtle would be able to deal with some cold water), Donatello stumbles across Kirby, an artist whom April has rented out a room to. Doesn’t sound like the wisest idea when you are also homing four anthropomorphic turtles, but they are ninjas so if they couldn’t make themselves scarce I’d be disappointed. You just have to roll with it.
We are very quickly thrown into the meat of the story, with Kirby and Donatello embarking on an adventure in another dimension. Kirby’s magic pencil is put to good use as Donatello battles a series of monsters originally created by the artist.
The story wraps up almost as quickly as it starts, with a surprisingly bittersweet ending. It also shows us just how well Donatello can handle himself (something we haven’t seen so much of in the recent TMNT series). Sadly, with the story being based on turtle who ‘does machines’, I expected to see a bit more of Donnie’s brains being used. It does touch upon this a the start with the expectancy that Donatello will fix things, but is quickly forgotten.
The art is classic 90’s with a particularly frizzy haired April. There is also plenty of the turtles sans masks, which is cool to see. It would be weird if they lived in their bandanas.
These colour classics are very much comics of a different time. They are almost naïve in the storytelling, and whilst that doesn’t always compare well against newer fare, it does sometimes make for a nice change of pace. ‘Donatello’ is a fun little bit of escapism that requires no previous knowledge.
Good for lovers of both long time readers interested in the history of the TMNT, and also I’d suggest for younger readers.