Welcome back shell heads! With only one issue to go till the big 50th issue spectacular, I wasn’t sure how this one was going to go. If I had to guess it was going to be all build up with the big melee taking place next month as we salivate impatiently. Well that was not at all what happened.
The issue opens up with Baxter Stockman and The Shredder ready to bask in the glow of the Turtles defeat only to find that they have become even stronger in numbers. Who is helping our heroes? None other than Shredder’s own ninja Foot Clan themselves. Stockman is livid and senses a double cross is afoot. (pun not intended) The Shredder realizing who has defied him, unceremoniously summons for his granddaughter Karai. However Karai is not present and she is confronting the Turtles. She tells them not to mistake her aid for mercy, as it would be dishonorable to watch them die at the hands of non warriors. Before they can thank her, she informs them that they will fight to the death here and now. (Sheesh, they would have been better off on their own)
They all get ready to throw down, when Splinter (Formerly leader of the Foot Clan, Hamato Yoshi) intervenes. While he applauds Karai on her sense of honor, he informs her that death this way would be dishonorable as well. He speaks of her grandfather, The Shredder and says the only way it should all end is between the two warriors once and for all. As her grandfathers blood and chunin (Ninja Field Commander), she agrees to consult him in person. She will take her enemies to him.
At this very moment we see that in a remote laboratory, Professor Honeycutt, is instructing his robotic assistant Fugitoid about the status of Donatello’s synthetic shell transplant. (Remember, thanks to Bebop and Rocksteady, Donnie’s physical body is on life support with his original shell destroyed) To the good professors dismay, Fugitoid does not share his sense of optimism. He informs Honeycutt that they are far too low on the special mutagen that is necessary to make the transplant complete. As this conversation is going on we see a big green hand with claws and a tail to emerge from the shadows holding a large vial of mutagen. My guess like probably a lot of long-term readers is that person is actually the Cajun alligator, Leatherhead. Is he friend or foe though? We will have to see.
Meanwhile at the Foot Clan’s Lair, the ultimate odd couple of Stockman and the Shredder are having a couples spat. The Shredder will have none of this insolence and prepares to smite Stockman, when Karai bursts in to save her grandfather. The Shredder then orders his ninja to seize her. (some gratitude there, pointy helmet) She apologizes for her transgression, but that’s not all! She’s brought The Shredder’s worst enemies right to him in the heart of his secret lair. Before he can sentence his blood to death, Shredder is calmed down by his beloved and listens to her proposal. It’s very simple. The best of the Saki Clan (Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady, Bludgeon and Koya) vs. the Yoshi Clan (Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Metalhead and Splinter) in a battle royal to the death. Surprisingly it does not end there and we actually see a good one. (Won’t ruin here uh, uh you’ve got to read)
Overall: This issue had a lot of build up and a surprising amount of action too. It was well-balanced. There were noticeable changes in the art though and thought the Turtles didn’t look so great when they were posing, but was fine and fluid when in battle. The Shredder still looked amazing though. The creative team has been building to this for a long time now and the payoff promises to be big. Rumor is that one or even more of the Turtles could die. It has a big final showdown feel for sure. In the words of good Ol’ J.R. “This one is going to be a slobberknocker!” One month is too long to wait, but lots digital pizza on me guys! See you in 30…
Story: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz Art: Corey Smith
Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review