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Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director’s Cut #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director’s Cut #1

As a kid who grew up in the 1980s and a fair amount into the 90s, I saw where cartoons evolved and newer ones launched making a splash. I grew up in a time when shows like He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe was everywhere and everything to kids. I remembered asking my parents to go to Toys R Us back then to pick up my favorite character’s action figures. This was also true for shows like G.I. Joe and Robotech. They gripped my imagination in ways that they still d. Eventually, those shows faded into memory and newer shows would take their place.

We went from watching shows like those mentioned on Saturdays to watching after school every day. One of my favorites being Gargoyles and the another being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I found out The Turtles’ stories were much darker in the comics and actually were a precursor for Marvel MAX in so many ways. The creators of these beloved characters return in a story that only they can put together. Now, the hit debut gets a “director’s cut” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director’s Cut #1.

We are taken to the not distant future, where NYC is deeply polluted, and human survival is pretty scarce, where we find Michaelangelo, without his brothers and Master Splinter, who all have died because of some mysterious circumstances. As Michaelangelo makes his way through what used to be his home, the sewers, he is met by fully integrated robotic security, as a man named Oroku Hiroto, the master of The Foot Clan, who now rules what used to be known as New York City. As Michaelangelo dismantles the security every step of the way, he gets closer to Hiroto’s lair, as Hiroto uses every contingency to delay Michaelangelo’s progress. By the issue’s end, before Michaelangelo can get any further, he gets badly injured, by Hiroto’s security, and gets aided by an old friend.

The comic is an expanded first issue. It not only comes with the excellent story but now also features notes about the comic itself. Expanded material features script information, sketches for characters, and rough page layouts. They add to the depth and excitement of the series.

Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director’s Cut #1 is a timely yet worthy story added to TMNT’s canon, while this edition, gives fans a peak into the creative teams’ process, and more than elevates the franchise. The story by the creative team is harrowing and powerful. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, probably one of the best books of 2020, and with this edition, gets the Criterion Collection treatment for comic books.

Story:  Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz Script: Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman
Layouts: Kevin Eastman Pencils/inks: Esau Escorza, Isaac Escorza Page 39 art: Ben Bishop
Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado Color Assistance: Samuel Plata Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow Additional Editorial coordination: R.G. Llarena
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.8 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus Comics

Preview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director’s Cut #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director’s Cut #1

(W) Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz (A/CA) Kevin Eastman, Esau Escorza, Issac Escorza
In Shops: Mar 17, 2021
SRP: $10.99

TMNT: The Last Ronin was one of the biggest books of 2020 and now it returns with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this instant classic! Featuring never-before seen layouts from Eastman, story notes that date back decades, character designs, script pages and more, this is a must have for any TMNT fan who wants to discover the story behind the story!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Director's Cut #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 Delivers IDW’s Highest Comic Print Run Ever

Building on the success of its highly-anticipated first issue, IDW Publishing has announced that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 has achieved an astounding new milestone: the largest print run for a single comic book in the company’s 22-year history, with over 130,000 copies printed!

Out in comic shops today, The Last Ronin #2, set in a dark possible future for the TMNT, delves deeper into the tragic history of the last surviving Turtle, and delivers one of the most heartrending scenes in TMNT history: the final moments of a beloved character! Longtime TMNT fans and newcomers to the comics alike will not want to miss this new chapter’s twists and turns as The Ronin’s mission of vengeance becomes all the more clear.

In anticipation of a rapid sell-through of issue #2’s first printing, IDW has already committed to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 Second Printing featuring new cover artwork illustrated by the Escorza brothers. Slated for release on March 31st, the Second Printing is now listed via Diamond for retailer pre-order (Item Code: DEC209476, UPC 82771401991900212).

Three decades in the making, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin is based on an unpublished 1987 story concept by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird; with script by Eastman and Tom Waltz; layouts by Eastman; pencils and inks by Esau EscorzaIsaac Escorza, and Ben Bishop; colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, and letters by Shawn Lee.

The Last Ronin is a five-part comic book miniseries shipping quarterly, with each oversized issue measuring 7” x 11” and 48 pages in length. The high demand for issue #1 has led to multiple printings and over 200,000 copies in the market. A special 64-page Director’s Cut edition will be released on March 17th, including the full story from issue #1 plus bonus content (character designs, script pages, and much more).

Preview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 (of 5)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 (of 5)

(W) Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz (A) Kevin Eastman (A/CA) Esau Escorza, Issac Escorza
In Shops: Feb 17, 2021
SRP: $8.99

Secrets are revealed as we begin to discover what happened in the past to lead to this nightmarish future. The Ronin meets an unexpected new ally but the Foot Clan begins an exhaustive sweep of the Bottom to find the vengeful mutant. And what role does Baxter Stockman play?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 (of 5)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Gets a Director’s Cut

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 Director’s Cut

The debut issue of the epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin is one of the biggest comic events of 2020 with more than 180,000 copies in print! IDW Publishing is releasing a special behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this instant classic with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 Director’s Cut, due to hit stores in March 2021.

Featuring never-before seen layouts from Kevin Eastman, story notes that date back decades, character designs, script pages, and much more, the Director’s Cut delves deep into the lore of The Last Ronin’s future New York City, where a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. This 64-page special issue is a must-have for any TMNT aficionado who wants to discover the story behind the story!

Originally an unpublished 1987 story concept from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter LairdThe Last Ronin took shape as a comic book miniseries in 2020 with a script by Tom Waltz; layouts by Eastman; pencils and inks by Esau EscorzaIsaac Escorza, and Ben Bishop; and colors by Luis Antonio Delgado.

In addition to the news of issue #1’s Director’s Cut, IDW is announcing the revised on-sale date for the next eagerly-awaited chapter of TMNT: The Last Ronin. Issue #2 will be available on February 17th, with a story that reveals more dark secrets of The Ronin’s past and sets him on a path alongside an unexpected new ally.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1’s Second Printing Gets a 50,000 Print Run

With more than 37,000 current preorders and climbing, IDW Publishing has announced that high anticipation for the second printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 has necessitated a whopping 50,000-unit print run — the largest reprint quantity in the company’s history since their debut 20 years ago! Longtime TMNT readers and curious newcomers are invited to visit their local comic book shops tomorrow, December 2nd, to snag a copy of this comic book milestone!

An epic miniseries three decades in the making from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter LairdTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin takes place in a future New York City far different from the one we know today, where a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. The debut issue hit stands on October 28th, immediately selling out and prompting a new printing that features a re-colored cover by Eastman, Esau Escorza, and Isaac Escorza.

The Last Ronin is based on an unpublished 1987 story concept by Eastman and Laird, with script by Tom Waltz, layouts by Eastman, pencils and inks by Esau and Isaac Escorza, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, letters by Shawn Lee, and edits by Bobby Curnow. The series will run for five issues, with each issue oversized at 7” x 11” and 48 pages in length.

Fans eagerly awaiting the next chapter in the TMNT: The Last Ronin storyline will be looking forward to the January 27th release date of issue #2! Secrets of this dark future will be revealed as The Ronin meets an unexpected new ally and the Foot Clan attempts to thwart his mission of vengeance.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Spoiler warning: This review contains mild spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Sometime in the future, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are no more! Decimated by a third-generation foe, one turtle has survived and seeks his revenge. This is the tale of The Last Ronin, who travels a futuristic New York and stops at nothing and no one to avenge his fallen family. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 is the highly-anticipated reunion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. You might have seen this reunion hinted at on Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us. I know I was excited about this book.  I have very few complaints about The Last Ronin. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first.

It’s an exciting story, fast-paced, gritty, and heavy on the action. We don’t know yet how Splinter and the Turtles died and it’s not necessary for the first issue to show all of its cards yet. Instead, this issue focuses on our survivor and how there are not many obstacles that will stop his justice. It’s a bit difficult to get too much into who the Ninja Turtle is but I figured it out really quick and I feel like the reader will, too. And in saying that, there’s a tiny amount of hardship in talking about this book without taking away the surprise from those experiencing it. I was very happy that the one I wanted to be the surviving Turtle was the one who stars in it and it ends up feeling like the best-case scenario. And no lie: it’s great to know that Eastman and Laird were able to both come back for another TMNT project. Eastman has always been here but both creators have history, maybe had too much, but it’s good to see them going all-out with this project.

Stories like this always run the risk of being pretty much worthless and just throwing a ton of future versions of legacy characters at the hero. I don’t know what the next few issues are going to be like but I don’t see new versions of all of the big bads being represented. Visually, I think it looks great for a TMNT book. Not knocking previous artists who have worked on the various Ninja Turtles books, but Eastman and Co.’s art style fits perfectly with the story. The colors are on-point and the lettering isn’t blocking anything critical. I liked the art more than the writing, but not by much.

My negatives would be that it’s so action-packed that it almost feels like a fight for nearly the entire issue. Having read this issue twice, I’m just not sure how to feel about it. It just seems like at some point in The Last Ronin that one issue is going to have the burden of explaining a lot about what went down. Another thing is that there’s a feeling that I’ve seen this play out before in other books. It doesn’t reek of 100% originality. The Last Ronin really feels like the Turtles are back to their original inspirations and it has a bit of a Dark Knight Returns feel to it. I’m actually trying hard to be overly critical because of how I felt about this. Maybe I’m being nit-picky.

Point blank reaction: I enjoyed the hell out of this book. I’ve started reading through IDW Publishing’s TMNT books and while I haven’t read it all, The Last Ronin reads like one hell of a sendoff. I do wonder how hard this will be to actually get. Word is the print run was cut short and some shops think their full orders won’t be filled. There are also around 70 variants out there for this book. This is definitely a read but I think it’s good enough to purchase. I feel like a lifetime of enjoying the various incarnations of the TMNT, whether it’s been comics, cartoons, or movies, has prepared me for this moment where they are down to one against all the evil in the world. Maybe it’s cliche but The Last Ronin is an absolute blast.

Story:  Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz Script: Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman
Layouts: Kevin Eastman Pencils/inks: Esau
Escorza, Isaac Escorza Page 39 art: Ben Bishop
Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado Color Assistance: Samuel Plata Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow Additional Editorial coordination: R.G. Llarena
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

(W) Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz (A/CA) Kevin Eastman, Esau Escorza, Issac Escorza
In Shops: Oct 28, 2020
SRP: $8.99

It’s the TMNT event of 2020! Springing from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comes an epic like you’ve never seen before! In a future NYC far different than the one we know today, a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. Kinetic layouts from Eastman, inks from Esau and Isaac Escorza and a thrilling script full of surprises from longtime TMNT scribe Tom Waltz all combine to make this one of the most memorable TMNT stories you will ever read!

Oversized in both format and page count, this is a perennial TMNT tale that can’t be missed!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 is Over 130,000 Copies Ordered and Gets a Second Printing

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, a comic book miniseries three decades in the making from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird has shattered expectations and is seeing pre-orders of over 130,000 copies for the first issue. It comes to comic shops on October 28th, 2020.

IDW has immediately commissioned a TMNT: The Last Ronin #1 “Thank You” Variant Edition to be provided to all retailers who placed orders for the First Printing via Diamond Comic Distributors. The rare black-and-white cover edition will feature a foil logo cover enhancement sure to make it a hot collectible. Full details on the “Thank You” edition will be provided to retailers through distributor communications.

IDW has also committed to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 Second Printing featuring a re-colored variant of the artwork by Kevin Eastman, Esau Escorza, and Isaac Escorza. Slated for release on December 2nd, the Second Printing is now listed via Diamond for retailer pre-order (Item Code: SEP208135, UPC 82771401991900112).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin takes place in a future New York City far different from the one we know today, where a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. An epic five-part miniseries, The Last Ronin is based on an unpublished 1987 story concept by Eastman and Laird, with script by Waltz, layouts by Eastman, pencils and inks by Esau and Isaac Escorza, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, letters by Shawn Lee, and edits by Bobby Curnow. Each issue is oversized at 7” x 11” and 48 pages in length

Heavy Metal #298 Heads to the Furthest Reaches with Ben Templesmith, Richard Corben, David Hine, and more!

Heavy Metal Entertainment has announced the release of Heavy Metal #298, the Furthest Reaches Special, coming March 2020. In the lead up to Heavy Metal’s landmark 300th issue, the world’s greatest illustrated science fiction mag will take readers to the edge of the cosmos and beyond with this specially curated issue.

Managing editor Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Halloween, Batman Eternal) helms the intergalactic Heavy Metal starship bound for Alpha Proxima 9! An amazing collection of all-new science fiction tales fills this issue. Stories so twisted they are sure to blow a circuit in that defective cybernetic implant you had inserted into your cerebellum.

In this issue:

  • “Murky World” Chapter 12, by Richard Corben, continues. In a bizarre land populated by hungry deadlings, cruel necromancers, and buxom cyclops, Tugat the warrior sets out to retrieve his lost horse Frix.
  • David Hine & Mark Stafford create bone-chilling intersections with insectoid life in Bug House.”
  • Alex Smith takes us through a Body Jack as modification reaches new frontiers.
  • Matt Emmons plumbs the robot psyche with The Incubator.”
  • Emilio Balcarce & Marcelo Perez explore “A New Life” in the collapse of a robot army.
  • James Maddox & Ben Templesmith plunge us into the Abyss of Souls with partners lost in space.
  • “Philip K Dick’s Head is Missing is based on the true story of the Android Head of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick that went missing in 2005.  In 1980, Robert Faraday, assistant to Philip K. Dick, chronicles the author quickly losing his mind. While the author tries to explain staggering visions from space, his Android simulacrum gains a sentience of its own in the future. A shared destiny links them as events hurtle towards a singularity. By Michael David Nelsen​ and Dwayne Harris​.
  • Carlos Huante, Artist and concept designer for the Ridley Scott films Alien: Covenant and Alien: Prometheus, is featured with a gallery of previously unseen images and concept designs. Also highlighted in a gallery is futurist visionary Josan “Deathburger” Gonzalez as he discusses his post apocalyptic worlds of Robo-City Prime and New Citadel 9. Interviews by Hanna Means Shannon.
  • In Omar Estevez and FG Dr. Stain Ortiz Rivero’s “Totemic”, a couple of bandits in a ravaged world discover that sometimes it’s better not to get what you asked for.
  • “Project Z”: An earth-shattering asteroid changed the course of mankind forever. The few who survived sought to rebuild what was lost, factions of people scattered across the earth, unbeknownst to one another, fight to survive on this now desolate earth. By Matt Medney & Morgan Rosenblum.
  • “Dowser” is a short story by Dwayne Harris. In a world nearly devoid of drinkable water, a vicious gang holds sway over one of the few remaining wells in the American Southwest. When their well runs dry, they seek out a legendary figure, the Dowser, to help them find another – whether he’s willing to or not.

Heavy Metal #298 features three covers to choose from:

Cover A: “Taarna” by Esau Escorza & Carlos Villas
Cover B: “Recalculating” by Gabriel Ippoliti
Cover C: by Phil Cohen

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