Review: IDW TMNT #3

Issue #3 of the IDW TMNT comics came out months ago. Though I’ve been keeping up with reading the comics, I have fallen behind in reviewing them.  Really sorry about that.  I am going to work at catching up on doing some reviews starting with where I left off.  Going to be harder to keep my mind only on #3, since I have read all the way through issue #5.  Though this one is going to focus on only issue 3, not what we know is to come still.

Once again this issue picks up where the last one left off, as Raph and Casey are out doing their thing - trying to help people as they take out some thugs to help an elderly lady get her purse back.  At the end of the fight, they do the normal skit of them trying to return the stolen good only for the lady to freak out and run away.  Personally I find this over done in Ninja Turtles, ok we know people freak out to odd things, but have you ever had someone help you that you felt odd about by how they look or speak?  Would you run away from someone you just watched save your life?  I think it would of been a bit more creative, if they had her really scared but accepting her purse back at arms length and make up an excuse to get out of there.  Just to be different from all of the other medias that showed us this same type of scene. 

After the lady runs off scared, Casey and Raph share a heart to heart, as Raph realizes that Casey is stronger when he’s against strangers, than he is against his own father.  Casey shares his past story on why he won’t really beat up his father.  He also shares how his scholarship money is the only way he affords rent and food and that he needs to get his grades up.  As they leave to return the purse, we see that they have been spotted by some thugs that have taken an interest in them who are planning to tell Old Hob about this.

I find this scene a nice tie in as it works in a few different ways.  First, we get to learn more about Casey in this series, see some character growth between him and Raph while learning his history.  It wasn’t drawn out, it was just long enough to keep the story alive.  Second, they used this scene to help push the story along more, by having thugs for Old Hob find them.  A nice touch at keeping our interest and moving the comic along.

We now get to see what the other Turtles are up to, as they’re with Splinter training.  Donatello is getting schooled by Splinter for messing up.  While Splinter is telling them why it’s important for them to keep up with their training, he mentions enemies which gets Michelangelo to question something, something you think they would of been questioning this full time, as he asked Splinter what is Old Hob’s deal, why is he so hot after the Turtles?   Splinter tells him not to concern himself with that, which must be the answer he’s been telling the Turtles for this year.

It goes into another one of their flash backs, this time showing how Raph got split up from the other Turtles as Old Hob jumped down to attack them, picking up young Raphael.  Splinter attacked Hob, taking out his eye as Raph was dropped.  Though as soon as that fight was over the thieves who originally stole them from the lab was after the bag so Splinter had to go save the other three turtles leaving Raph separated from them at this point.  It also shows that they mutated full size soon after this event.

This is still something that was troubling me about the comic when I read it.  Splinter was not a ninja, he was a lab rat... there was no Hamato Yoshi to train him... yet now him and the Turtles are ninja... with no signs of how he would of learned.  And still loosing Raph that early, it would not explain on how come Splinter is so obsessed with finding Raphael.  These were the things that had me questioning if I could get into the IDW comics, as the character growth, the family growth of the original origin is one of the things that has always held me to the story.  This change, felt more than a little annoying.

Back to the story we’re now to present day and seeing the Turtles doing their nightly search for Raphael.  Michelangelo is complaining on how they do this every night and while Leo stands against him about this, Don agrees with Mike.  As a fight almost breaks out between Leo and Don over the subject, Mike stops them.  They decide to keep searching for Raph, but to be more proactive on their patrols.  As they all agree to this, they take off to find their missing brother.

This was a good scene for moving the story along, but didn’t really give us too strong of a sense of the characters since we mainly seem to be seeing them going on about this search.  Of course that’s what their life has been from what we’re reading.  Don seems to have Raph’s temper on this roof top with Leo, as he stands strongly against Leonardo.  That did trouble me a little, it almost felt as if they were trying to fill in for the missing Raphael and build up the tension more.  We have seen Don get upset a few times, but it’s not nearly as much as the others.  Leo is stuck with the two brothers who don’t normally stand up against him.  So that was one thing I did like, it took both of them to convince Leo and stand together on the subject.  Though it still felt a little forced.

Meanwhile Raphael is with Casey getting Hot Dogs from a street vendor, only to be pushed to the side, dropping their food, as some guy runs pass them.  Raph and Casey start to chase the thugs.  They take the two down, only to be surprised by Old Hob and his gang.

This left them a good cliff hanger to have all of us waiting for issue 4.  Again the comic felt two short, which seems to be from all the side stories you have to follow.  You only get a peek into each story as the comic goes.  By this point I personally was craving a good solid story where we could just start to really get to know the different groups... see some character growth.  This is making the wait for each issue seem so much longer.

Overall it was a good issue though, especially when you read it with the others.  Dan’s art work is good, though I did notice a mistake during the training time of this comic.  Leonardo’s belt did not have it’s normal straps.  Yet when they were searching for Raphael the straps were there.  Otherwise a really good issue I really do like how he draws Casey.  One of my favorite Casey drawings in this issue is when they’re getting Hot Dogs and the words “Did we lose the cops?” is in a bubble.  You can really see Casey there, with some great detail.

My favorite scene, while I did complain a little about it earlier, is when the Turtles are on the roof discussing if they should be searching for Raphael or not.  It almost reminds me of a part in City at War when the Turtles question why they’re fighting the Foot, question Splinter’s reasons and why they’re pulled in.  Here they’re questioning Splinter’s reason for this, as they don’t understand since Splinter is not telling them about the past.  It’s good to see them question Splinter, since most kids do question their father’s reasons.  I like how Michelangelo breaks up the fight, with the look of concern on his face.  Though what I think I like the most about this, is that it’s a nice long chunk of seeing the Turtles together talking to try and get a feel for their characters in this comic.

I also love that they still are sharing the layouts that Kevin Eastman does in the back of the comics.  It would be neat to see these released in some ‘making of IDW comics’ special.

I’ll be doing my IDW TMNT #4 review soon.  Though please feel free to comment here and share your reviews of the third issue.  Try to leave spoilers of any comics after #3 out, in case there are people behind who have not yet got to read the others.

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