“The IDW debut of these powerful villains has arrived! The routine life of a street-level goon can get dull, so when opportunity presents itself these two won’t let it pass them by, but as they are about to learn the hard way, there’s more to being a successful mutant menace than just strength. Don’t miss this bone shattering issue that sets the stage for the final showdown in City Fall!”
I was pretty darn excited for the next villains issue to come out. Full of excitement that the series had delivered so far, and looking forward to some characters from my childhood making a comeback.
Turns out I should have tempered my excitement.
I’m choosing to give the story credit, by assuming the aim was to deliver a comic just like it’s two leads – dumb and loud. Starting in the midst of a beating for Bebop and Rocksteady as they are kicked out of their current gang we follow them through their journey to becoming a Warthog and Rhinoceros (Or Rhino-saurus, as they pronounce it in their dopey manner). They would be loveable if they weren’t a pair of criminals who take great delight in beating others to a pulp.
Whilst we’re on it, why would you choose a Warthog? A Rhino I understand but a large pig? Surely a big cat or wolf (Rahzar!) would be more suitable.
Anyway, back to the issue. The story itself is very simple. We see the change, and how it increases their standing in the world. Of course they do their best to undermine all this but if you’re also keeping up with the main title (so you should be), then you’ll know where we end up. An origin story that probably could have been covered in a few flashbacks. But we’d have all moaned like crazy if they hadn’t got their own issue so what are you going to do? Unlike the other villain entries I didn’t finish up thinking about motivations or what the future could hold. The characters themselves aren’t nuanced and serve one purpose. Brute strength. Plus a hefty dose of fan service.
Ben Bates has turned in some good work here, with a particularly nice double page image standing out. He judges each panel very well, giving us a very slapstick look on one page, whilst later a really mean scary feel. It’s the first time I’ve ever thought the pair looked a real threat.
Don’t make the mistake I did and come into this expecting anything high brow. It’s just not their way.
However, the way in which IDW are tying in so many strands of the different TMNT universes into one cohesive whole really does deserve some credit. So whilst this doesn’t really add anything to the overall story, it’s cool art and more humorous tone should be enough.