Review: IDW TMNT #8

Its that time of the month again to hit the comic book shops as we have another awesome issue of the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to get our hands on.  In this issue, we're picking up right where issue 7 left off where Raph and Mike came home to find Splinter, Don and Leo under attack by Mousers!  Controlled by Old Hob, these Mousers are taking the Turtles by surprised and is winning this battle.

For the last seven issues, Tom Waltz has been bringing us through an interesting twist of new turns.  First giving the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a full new origin story, with new and old villains appearing.  He’s been able to take this new version of the Turtles that are so well rounded that even though they’re not the same Turtles that we’ve followed all these years they are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  This new origin gives twists and questions for us to find out, leaving a new mystery to the comic.  And this issue of the comic is no different at bringing these twists.   Here is my review of this issue. If you do not want to see spoilers, come back after you read issue 8 of IDW TMNT.

We start with Raphael and Michelangelo coming into a room, finding Donatello and Splinter down and Leonardo is left standing alone to fight the mousers.  Right away, Raph gives Mike orders to help Don and Splinter, as Raph runs over to help Leo.  Mike gets over and is able to start helping Don, who is waking up from the attack.  Don joins the fight, giving Mike the job to only focus on Splinter, who is still out cold.   Don explains as he’s waking up that it’s Old Hob controlling the mousers, as Raph gets really angry with this news. Mike works at pulling Splinter off to the side, to protect him.  Though his plan falls short as he’s attacked by mousers and is taken down, leaving Splinter unprotected.

I love the interaction here between the Turtles, as it’s a serious moment, though they’re able to keep their heads on straight and focus on teamwork.  Raphael did great at helping in command there, sending Michelangelo to go do something with Donatello and Splinter, as Raph realized that this was too much on Leonardo.  It was sad to see Mike so focused on protecting his father, only to be taken down by Mousers.  Poor Mikey, it would've been interesting to see how he got the Mousers off of him, and how he got a distance between Splinter him.  Though we get directed to a different scene in the comics.  I really like how the art is showing the stress of the characters, you see the fear and just get pulled into the story.  Tom and Dan are really getting the feel of this comic down.

Baxter Stockman is still dealing with Krang as he explains why he needs Splinter and the Turtles, and just why Old Hob won’t do for what they’re after.  He talks about how Splinter really is the only one with the stuff controlled as it was put into him.  So really the one he needs the most to get the mutagen that he’s working on is Splinter.  Baxter also expresses his concern with these Ninjas, and mentions that they have been able to make their own Mutants.  Though Krang is not concerned about the Ninjas, and threatens Baxter in a three step process.  If Baxter fails, he’s going to die.   Baxter assures him that Old Hob is on the job now.

I loved this!  All the information just given out in this scene to fill in gaps on what’s going on.  Since we started to learn the background the big question was, why are they not using Old Hob.  Now we know!  Really well thought out plot that has been pieced together great.  And the concern of the Ninjas, just leading up to the Shredder story line, seems Shredder is not that big of a concern for Krang.  It’s interesting to see that Krang and Shredder are not a team this time.  Overall, I’m excited about how this is shaping and really wish the comics were more than once a month.  The interesting thing here is the relationship between Krang and Baxter. It really reminds me of Baxter and Shredder in the 4Kids series.

We go back to the fight between the Turtles and the Mousers, though we now see that Old Hob is standing over Splinter.  All four Turtles are in the swarm of Mousers fighting.  Old Hob sets the remote to auto for the mousers as he takes Splinter, the remote falls out of his pocket as he leaves.

For once it looks like Old Hob got what he’s after.  As he does get to leave with Splinter, bringing us to one of those ‘save Splinter’ story lines.  Though this is an interesting one, because we’ve been watching the build up with Old Hob and Baxter trying to get them since the first issue.  So it’s not like one of those, let’s throw in a plot that will be resolved in a short blink of an eye and never spoken of again.  This is along the lines of something bad that could really happen which would reflect in the direction this comic is about to take.

Meanwhile, April and Casey are at a doughnut shop talking about life.  Casey shares about his mom dying and how he’s not that close with his father.  This gets April to open up about what happened to her while working at the lab and why she’s into the self defense.  She tells Casey everything from the ninjas to the lab rat, Splinter.  This surprises Casey to hear her mention Splinter.

I am really liking the build up in characters here.  And it is fun to see a new way of April being introduced to the guys.  The idea that she is going to find them through Casey is a new story line overall.  Even though April did meet them first, before they were mutated, she doesn’t know them like Casey does.  This has been one of my favorite character growth scenes between April and Casey so far, just them sharing their life and getting to know each other.  Another thing I did find really funny here was the name of the doughnut shop they were at, Duncan.   Dan got his name right into the comic.  Nice touch.

The Turtles are still fighting the Mousers, though it now hits Michelangelo that Splinter is gone.  Leonardo yells for Mikey to keep looking, but Mike yells out that he is gone.  Donatello takes notice that Old Hob is not in sight either, and asks if they think that he took their father.  Wanting to go after their father, Donatello points out that with Hob not being there, the mousers would be on auto control which may work to their advantage.  He has his brothers follow his direction, a plan in which you’ll have to read the comic to see.

This is a fun fight scene, showing them really working together in trying to take out the Mousers and the panic through them about Splinter being gone.  I’ve noticed that they call him father a lot more in this comic.  Though this fight scene does start to bring up one pet peeve that is starting to really show through, the Turtle's plastron’s bending.  This is something I usually have problems with in costumes because they don’t want to limit the actors too much.  Though even in some of the fight scenes we’re seeing the plastron kind of wrinkled up like flesh would.  I’ve always felt that the plastron was one of the few things that shows they are Turtles, and those things are hard.You can not take a turtle and bend them at the waist, it’s not possible. So seeing this being drawn into the comic, mainly during this fight scene,  is a personal pet peeve.  Though I won’t let this stop me from enjoying the comic, since Tom and Dan has been doing a great job so far, it’s just one of those things that got me to stop and stare at it while reading the comic... a distraction.

Casey and April are top side in a van, as Casey is giving her directions on where to go.  April seems concerned about the area, the buildings look abandoned, though Casey assures her it’s not one of the buildings that they’re going to.  Casey points at a manhole, getting April to ask if he’s joking.  Casey just says something along the lines of finding Ninja Robbers Crazy.

I LOVE THIS... the van is just like April’s van in the original Mirage Comic, only missing the VW logo from the front of it.  What an awesome nod to Eastman and Laird’s original series!   Again we get more growth, showing just how much April now trusts Casey to follow him to this dead part of New York City and in to a sewer... wow...

Down in the sewers the Turtles are trying Donatello’s plan.  And it works, the Turtles are able to overpower the mousers only to find the remote on the floor. It’s clear to them now that Old Hob has gotten away with Splinter.  Though as their getting ready to start the chase, they hear voices coming their way.  They pull their weapons thinking something else is bad coming their way,  Raph is the first to take notice of his friend Casey.  After seeing the Turtles, April passes out. Some things never change. Leo tells Casey there’s no time for talking.   Though Casey tries to explain to Raph that he thinks April may have known them when they were in the lab.  Casey realizes it’s a bad time, Raph says that they’ll be back, as the Turtles leave Casey alone, in the busted up lair.

What a fun ending to the comic, we get action, character growth, the plot starting to move along.  And finally April is brought in to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I find it interesting that in all media of TMNT April passes out when she first sees the Turtles.. the comics, cartoons, and movies have always had this.  I was wondering if this one might be different since she’s been training to defend herself and working at getting a stronger backbone before meeting them.  Though it seems to be tradition.

And what can I say about this comic?  Why can’t issue 9 be in my hands right now!  I overall enjoyed it, the storyline is getting stronger and deeper.  The action is packed and the writing for the characters is wonderful.  The story is so intense that you get pulled right into it while reading, but still can get a good laugh in as you read the issue.  What an amazing comic series.  Much like the Image series for me, started off with question marks but started to do some really interesting things with the guys.

Have you picked up this issue yet?  If not what are you doing reading all of these spoilers?  Go buy the comic!   Please leave Comments, questions, or your own review in the comment section below.  Please remember all email addresses are left private!

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Thanks so much!!!

Tom Waltz

Michele Ivey's picture

Thank you for writing an amazing comic! :)

I was just curious if you are collecting all the variant covers in this series Michele? I saw some of them are drawn by Eastman and Laird and was wondering if this was new or old art? I love all the covers and sometimes have trouble deciding which one to buy, that is if I see an alternate cover to choose from. Usually I only find cover A.

Michele Ivey's picture

Yes I am collecting all of the Variant covers. Have not been able to get all of them from the really early issues. The art from Eastman and Laird has been recent stuff. We see a lot more from Eastman than Laird art for the covers. If not collecting all the covers, I'd recommend picking up the one that you like the most. That's what a friend of mine does. :)

great review! i really dug this issue.

i'm gonna nerd it up for a second, though! :D April didn't actually faint or pass out when she first met the Turtles in the 1990/first live-action movie; she was already unconscious because the Foot dudes knocked her out, but when she awoke in the sewer lair she just freaked out at the sight of the Turtles and Splinter, she didn't faint because of them! ;)