“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #18”

TMNT #18
(w) Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz
(a) Ben Bates
IDW Publishing
$3.99

Talk about being dumped right into the action! Right from page one we have the Turtles in the middle of a battlefield on the world of Neutrino. And the action really doesn’t stop there save for a few moments flashing back to earth.

I was surprised that this was a regular sized issue when I finished reading it. There was a lot of exposition and action that felt like the story was thrown into high gear. It makes perfect sense that this is happening, seeing has how we have a couple of different storylines all colliding soon.

There were a couple of moments in the book that I felt were a little distracting. The first was Splinter’s moment of rage. I’m just not buying it. Here is the guy who is all about meditation and careful thought and it just seems like not the time for him to let loose with some of the anger. I could see it being more appropriate if the Turtles came back (if they come back) and one of them lost an arm or something. Or if they discover a secret about Splinter while on Neutrino (which I don’t really think is too plausible, but we will see).

The second thing that got me was the look of Casey Jones and April in this issue. Now I have all the high praise in the world for Bates’ art. I find his work to be what should have followed Duncan’s, the original artist, when he left after issue #12. In this issue, both April and Casey look much older than they should. If memory serves, they should be college age, about teenage or slightly older, and in this issue they look more like mid to late 20s. Something about their face just lacks a youthful appearance to it.

One moment that I thoroughly enjoyed was Michelangelo’s reaction to hearing that a princess was being kidnapped. My guess is that he wanted to take a page from a video game and go rescue the princess. Thankfully, the elvish appearance of Princess Trib could be a variant edition of Zelda to fit that role.

And if you were looking for some answers to how Krang takes over planets, this comic will give you some answers. Personally, I liked the setup and this issue raises the bar again for this Turtles comic that I thought had been going stale as of late. If you asked me just last week if you should pick up the Turtles, I would have recommended just going with the Secret History of the Foot Clan mini that is out right now, but now that book has some competition.