Comic Review – TMNT #34

Originally written for Flickering Myth

If you’re not all caught up yet, check out my review for TMNT #33.

“Trying to figure out a way to thwart Krang’s Earth-ravaging monstrosity, the Technodrome, Don seeks the help of his genius (but cranky) friend, Harold. Unfortunately Harold has his hands full with his newest invention— the robotic turtle Metalhead!”

I’ve been very fortunate, what with Leonardo being my favourite turtle. He’s had a good chunk of the spotlight in IDW’s series so far, and seems to be on the mend. Raphael led the first arc with him finding his family again so he’s been well looked after too. But what of Michaelangelo and Donatello? They’ve had their moments, and Mikey has strongly endeared himself to me, but as the less dramatic pairing in the TMNT they haven’t had any stories concentrate on them in particular.

Well Donatello fans, it’s your turn to get excited! Between Donnie and Angel you’ve plenty of purple to gaze at this month. I’ll admit, he’s probably my least favourite turtle, but that doesn’t stop #34 being another solid entry as it introduces yet another blast from the past into the IDW universe.

Metalhead is not a character I’ve had much knowledge of before but after reading this I issue I looked him up. Santolouco has done it again! Not only has he created a Metalhead that is respectful of the previous versions but it looks cool and fitting. I’ve no idea what role he may play in the future but he made for an entertaining foe with a range of abilities that could both be a blessing and a curse for our heroes. If you think about it for too long it might seem like a silly concept, but it works well in the story.

Oh! Aficionados of the Mirage comics should keep their eyes peeled. Say no more!

Leonardo meanwhile isn’t in the issue much, but his conversation with Splinter regarding where the family should concentrate their efforts. Splinter is very forceful is his opinion that Saki/Shredder is the main focus, Leo doesn’t disagree, which makes sense considering his recent struggles, but also puts across Donatello’s point that Krang and the Technodrome are a more widespread threat.

Can the turtles afford to split their focus? Is the more personal and possibly selfish mission of stopping The Foot more going to mean much if Krang takes over the entire planet? A deftly written and thought provoking scene.

The more I think about this issue and more times I read it the more it moves from being a pretty good story, to a great story. There are plenty of ideas and layers to be picked here. Add in Mateus’s continually awesome artwork (with his nicely misleading cover), and a good dose of Donnie action and we’re onto a winner.

Fingers crossed next month we get a look at Mikey!

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