Review: IDW TMNT #9

The Ninja Turtles have been going through a rough time in their life, as Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo had to fight off the Mousers that destroyed their home only to find that Old Hob has taken their Master Splinter.  Searching to find Splinter is their main goal.  This is the current story of the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Comics.  Writers Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman have brought us on a roller coaster ride since the first issue of the IDW Comics this last summer.  Dan Duncan’s art work has given us this whole new set of Ninja Turtles to start their amazing adventure.  And up till this point, anyone reading the comic will have seen the main story line all through the first eight issues alone.  The Micro Series was just an extra piece that did not fully connect to the main story with only a slight mention here or there.

After issue eight, the main story line was picked up in IDW TMNT Micro Series #4, the Leonardo issue.  Much like in the Mirage Comics, the Leonardo Micro Series started off an important story line mixing right in with the other issues of the Mirage Comics.  So if you’re reading these comics and have not picked up the Micro series make sure to pick up issue 4 of the Micro comics as issue 9 picks up where the Leonardo comic leaves off at.

The Turtles have returned from their first search for Splinter, where they all split up in their own directions.  April is now awake as they have told her their story.  So we start off with April piecing their story together.  She realizes that these are the Turtles that she named.  April decides to help the Turtles in getting into Stockgen’s Labs to try and save Splinter.

I really do like this beginning of the comic, as we see the different expressions on April’s face as she’s realizing stuff.  Though as I figured something would not match up with the last issue.  In this issue Casey is helping April off of the floor.  Though in the end of the Leonardo Micro series, April walked up behind the couch, showing her already off of the floor.  Other than that, they did a great job at picking up where we left off, including Leonardo cleaning himself off from his fight with the Foot.  I really like how Tom got it written in about the Micro Series affecting this story line, including Don bringing up his slight mention of seeing Baxter at the Science Expo.  Nicely worked out scene, throwing April right into the mix of the group.

At Stockgen’s Labs, Old Hob has Splinter strapped to a table in a cage, with one of the workers in the room with him, Chet Allen.  Old Hob is enjoying tormenting Splinter, as Chet looks on.  When the phone rings, Old Hob has Chet answer it.  It’s Baxter on the phone, wanting to speak to Old Hob.  Baxter tells Hob to hold off on doing anything until he has arrived with the clients.  Splinter warns Hob that the Turtles will come, he grins saying that he’s counting on it.

It’s interesting to see just how much Stockman has Splinter locked down.  I like the art here and the lines exchanged between Splinter and Old Hob.  It’s also nice to see Chet all nervous around what is going on.  I do find it funny that Chet’s name is in this series as well.  With how much I’ve been reading the Ultimate Collection notes between Eastman and Laird about the name, I’m being reminded just how much Chet popped up in the original books.  A good scene that helped the story keep moving.

In the sewers, the Turtles have got their plan worked out with April and Casey.  Don makes sure that April is really sure about what she’s doing, and it’s clear she’s made up her mind.  As they go to start the plan, Don holds up one of the Mousers thinking they can use one of them.

I really am enjoying this.  April has her motive as to why she wants to work with the Turtles.  Instead of just being a victim, she’s joining the team to be help to them.  One of my pet peeves with other versions of April was how much of a victim she was in the stories.  I liked her in the 4Kids series for the backbone she had and doesn’t want to just back down.  I also enjoy Don getting a new toy to use in the fight.

Meanwhile, Baxter is giving Krang and his Rock Soldiers a ride to Stockgen’s lab so that Krang can see first hand that they got everything under control.  Though Krang is still very unimpressed by Baxter Stockman.  Baxter is very smug about this, as he feels everything is under control.

More and more the relationship between Krang and Baxter reminds me of Shredder and Baxter in the 4Kids series.  In the 4Kids series, Baxter was first seen talking to Shredder through phone calls, then pulled in for meetings, and every time it was would be an upset Shredder and a Baxter who was smug about his work.  And Baxter did not know Shredder was an alien in that series.  Well here we have Krang, first seen talking over the phone, now meetings and a smug Baxter to a disappointed Krang, while Baxter does not seem to realize Krang is an alien.  I enjoy seeing this sort of character relations, once again showing how much the characters are still so much the same even in this new world of TMNT.

The Turtles get to Stockgen’s labs with April and Casey.  April tells them the best way in.  Though is a bit surprised when Casey and her are told to leave.  Casey puts his foot down, with Raph’s defense that he is part of the family.  Which is when April first sees Casey’s mask and bat get pulled from the bag.  April decides to put her foot down and demands to be a look out for the guys.  While Leo sorts out things with April, Donatello takes time to fix up the mouser he grabbed.

Once again Tom is working us through the adventure with getting to know the characters.  The Turtles don’t know April that well, so of course they would try to send her away, but she is willing to stand her ground.  I like this new April.  She’s got a drive to her.  I also love how fast Raph defended Casey being part of the family.  This was  a really well done character growth scene, as April is making herself more a part of the team.  Should be fun to see where she goes with them from here.

Inside Stockgen, the guards are bored, playing games and eating lunch.  It’s clear they don’t normally have action at this door.  Though they notice something on the screen.  As they try to figure out what it is, the mouser Donatello fixed breaks in attacking.  Under Don’s control the mouser freaks out the guards, destroys their work station and gets the guards to run off.   The Turtles now have their entrance.  As they make their way through taking out more guards, they get one guard to answer where Splinter is being held.  They get outside the door of where Splinter is, only to find a giant mouser guarding the door.  Raph and Casey use some awesome team work to take the giant mouser down.

These panels flow nicely as you see them making their way through the building. You also see how well Casey works with the group as Raph and Casey get to question the guard.  Each of these panels show a great amount of action as Dan did a great job just catching the flow of this comic.  We get to see Casey and Raph take down this giant mouser with great teamwork.  It really is good to see Casey get to be such a strong part of the team here without losing the feel of the rest of the team being there.

Finally, the Turtles have reached the room they need to get into.  As Don opens the door, the Turtles find a shocking scene.  The cage is empty. Old Hob is laying on the floor out cold and Chet is on the ground scared.  Casey and Raph decide they’re going to take care of Old Hob, but Leo tells them to back off as he looks to Chet for the answers.  He tells them that others with swords and masks came and took Splinter.

What a twist!  We think we’re getting to the big battle to see Splinter returned to his sons, but instead, they’re thrown into an even bigger mission.  I love it!  The build up, the lead up, the writing, the art, and the character growth, this story just keeps pulling you in more and more as the the adventure takes new twists and turns!   It’s a story worth reading.  This scene here is just so well done, it wins for my favorite part of the comic.

This is not the end of the book, though the last part really should be left for you to read about in the comic itself.  Let’s just say we get to see who has Splinter, as someone we all have been waiting for has finally showed his face in an IDW comic book!   If you have not read this yet, go pick up this comic!

Once again the IDW crew has managed to pull me into this adventure.  The comic feels so short only because I read through it so fast and want to read the next one right away.   It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a comic book series and I will admit that when IDW first started I did not realize I would become this hooked to what they had to offer.  If you have not been reading this comic because of the new back story, I recommend just trying to get around that and go on with the story.  It is different yes, but as we learned in “Turtles Forever” this is just another world of TMNT.  It is not replacing any of the other areas out there.   These are new stories that are worth reading.

Issue 9 of IDW TMNT is a full on adventure, with character growth and new twists and turns for the Turtles.  While a lot of fun to read, this series does fall in the line of ‘read them all or none at all’, as they are all inter-connecting.  You will not understand everything just by reading this issue alone.  So while I highly recommend this issue to every TMNT fan out there.  I am really recommending the series as a whole.

Keep up the great work IDW!  I can not wait to read issue 10!

Have you read this issue?  What was your favorite part?  Were you surprised at which characters show up on those last few pages?  Share your thoughts, reviews and questions in our comment area below!  All email addresses are kept private.

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