Comic Review – TMNT #36

Originally written for Flickering Myth

If you’re not all caught up yet, check out my review for TMNT #35, which will make some of following review make more sense!

“Leonardo and Splinter plan for the coming war with Shredder. As they meditate on what their true path must be, they are engulfed by darkness. And from that darkness emerges‚Ķ the Rat King! Will his meddling with their minds lead to salvation or madness?”

Well now. I must admit that I wasn’t completely sure what to make of this issue as I was reading it. Seemingly a jarring change in story and progression, it became more and more apparent through the story that it what is occurring will have huge bearing on not only my favourite turtle and his father, but the course of the battle between our heroes and the various villainous factions they’re up against.

Last month I was left eagerly waiting for more TMNT action. But there is one point I need to let you know, and I need to let you down gently. Brace yourselves.
TMNT 36 is not dedicated to the Mikey and Slash pizza trek across America (MASPTAA? Someone must be able to make something of that). Dang it.
In the wake of that disappointment, let’s bask in the absolutely loopy concept that is the new Rat King! My main knowledge of this chap is the original cartoon, so pretty useless. But it turns out that like every other character, Waltz and co have re-imagined this rather creepy dude and made him extremely relevant to the goings on.
Mateus keeps up the strong artwork, and though by this point I’m pretty used to it, two things stood out. Firstly, the emotion on Leo’s face and his expressions are amazing. I was right there with him! Continuing the paternal thread I picked up on last month, there are some great scenes between father and son. Then there’s the Rat King, looking like a mangled, demented Richard O’Brien. With his Pied Piper verses and piercing eyes he’s a contender for outright scariest villain so far.
Whilst most of the issue focuses on Leo and Splinter’s predicament in the sewers, there is still some time for Casey to get some love. He’s had a rough time since this series started, with the stabbing and various beatings. He’s like Kick-Ass, but not inept.
Overall this is a more understated issue. Not in it’s visuals, but in how it takes us into the relationship between Leonardo and his Father, whilst introducing a villain that will no doubt become a large threat in the future. The TMNT universe just got weirder. Maybe our heroic family is finally healed; but with a huge final page, things are going to get a lot worse very soon.
The opposite could be said of IDW, who continue to handle this series well, meshing thoughtful and bombastic with aplomb. Another month and another strong issue.

TMNT Tidbits! Watch out for spoilers.

  • Great to see Leo back! He’s proven his state of mind and strength to not only the Rat King and Splinter, but most importantly himself.
  • I really need to see Splinter take Shredder down. It’s taken nearly 2 lifetimes but I hope he’ll get there.
  • Speaking of the can opener, ooooo! Team up with Krang!
  • Rat King is Kitsune’s sister?! The plot thickens. Another faction to take note of, as he doesn’t seem to be on speaking terms with her.
  • Really cool to see Casey accepted into another family. With his relationship with his Father dead and buried, he needs someone to turn to. I AOL’d (awwwwd out loud) at this.
  • Was Rat King awoken at the same time as Kitsune?
  • Did they just wander into his area of the sewer? Or did he find them?
As always, if you’d like to share this in any way that would be appreciated.

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