Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47

tmnt47“The Stockman Swarm”

I must say I have truly been enjoying this reincarnation of sorts of the favorite sons of wisecracking pizza eating Ninjitsu. I have read the first few arcs in this series and now fully jumped back into it. While I can tell I’ve missed a lot, the creative team keeps the book very accessible to the new reader without inundating them with a lot of bogged down continuity. I felt like I was transported back in time to Saturday morning and just turned on the tube to see my favorite cartoon again, and what a good feeling. All that was missing was my glass of chocolate milk and some Eggo’s.

The book opens up with the Purple Dragon Gang running amuck with the neighborhood citizens standing up to them in kind. What’s cool though is at the forefront of each group is a players involved in a very interesting father and son stand off. On the side of the Dragons is “Hun” Jones and on the side of the neighborhood is his cocky, hockey mask wearing young son “Casey”. Normally I’m not for de-aging characters in comics, but in the case of Casey it completely works. We all know the character of Casey Jones from Ninja Turtles lore, but this iteration of him adds a layer of complexity that was not in previous versions. Which I really appreciate making him more likeable. Casey is more of a sympathetic figure this time with having a completely drunk and abusive father whom he must always try to prove himself. The confrontation is great as Casey’s courage becomes infectious and the masses rise up against Hun and his Dragons right in the middle of the street. Even April O’ Nell’s dad has a cool moment using a toaster against one of the gang members. After the outcome of the fight, Casey’s dad in a twisted way tells his son he is proud how he rose up in defiance and warns him of the curse of the “Jones Legacy.”

We then take a quick jaunt to the local sewers where our heroes in green are accompanied by their fearless gal pal April and are discussing a matter of utmost urgency. It appears that they are in possession of a very powerful and dangerous ancient scroll that foretells of future events. While the majority of the Turtles want to destroy it, their master and father (in this version, both the Turtles and Splinter are reincarnated family that were murdered by the Foot Clan in feudal Japan in their previous lives) Splinter advises against that course of action. Splinter believes that it may hold the key to their final triumph so they keep for insurance. At this point it is important to know that the Turtles are still grieving the loss of one of their beloved brothers as Donatello or “Donnie” was brutally attacked recently and left for dead. His physical body has been compromised due to extreme trauma, but thanks to technology (and some well placed comic book magic) his brain has been transferred to a robotic shell (happy accident, that wasn’t a pun) and now is called Metalhead.

The rest of the issue is rounded out with the return of a major character (and I must say the artist Mateus Santolouco, draws the most badass version of this character that I’ve seen since the original Mirage Studios Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles run) as he strikes a deal with mad scientist Baxter Stockman (whom I’m glad is African-American again, and not like his “Gene Wilder-ish” counterpart from the old Saturday mornings cartoon) and his Mousers to destroy the Turtles once and for all.

Overall: To borrow a phrase from my 80’s reference lockbox, this issue was “totally rad!” It had good story pacing, great art, an awesome cover and like a favorite song it transported me to a moment in time again. I like the set up of the war to come, Donatello’s new role and transformation as well as the return of one of my all time favorite villains. Truth be told, I wish it was Kevin Eastman doing the art but Santolouco left me pleasantly surprised. Ten year old me would approve of this. If anyone needs me I will be scarfing a piece of pizza reading this one again thinking to myself “Turtle Power”. Now hopefully the theme song doesn’t get stuck in my head. Next time dudes!

Story: Kevin Eastman Art: Mateus Santolouco
Story: 9 Art: 8.3 Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy (with a slice to go)

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review



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