“What lies on rooftops?”
This month we get a change of scenery from the dank, dark sewers to the wide open snowy rooftops of New York City. (Movin’ on up) The story opens with a few splash pages of an airline jet and at first you think that it’s April O’ Neil but then it is quickly revealed that none other than the Shredder’s ruthless granddaughter Karai, is back. Her demanding presence does not bode well for our half shelled heroes.
We switch from the skyline to the mountain scene as Casey Jones and his pregnant girlfriend Gabe are enjoying the view (She says they don’t have this in Massachusetts and as a native I chuckled, we just have winning sports franchises and endless traffic) when a nervous Casey musters up the courage to pop the question. A tearful Gabe says yes and they quite literally ride off into the sunset. Now I didn’t remember reading this part when I was younger but reading it now it wasn’t a happy moment. To me Casey and April were always meant to be together, they were Dawson and Joey before the Creek ever existed. They were the ultimate “ship” for those familiar with the term. So to see the end of that here was kind of sad, even if it was now rendered in gorgeous full color. (Fanstastic job Adam Guzowski)
Switching gears, we turn to the other side of that once famous couple as April O’Neil is on a blind date. The guy is a sleaze and gets a little grabby under the table so naturally April being the stand up gal she is, makes sure he regrets it. She just recently moved to Los Angeles for a change of scenery and wonders if she’s just traded the view for some new problems. (Ya think?) I have a major complaint with this scene however. No it’s not the fact April stood up for herself or the coloring (again fantastic stuff) but with the way she was drawn here. I don’t know if the artist was particularly lonely the day he penciled these pages but April’s breasts seemed to have doubled in size from last issue. I mean they are popping out at the reader and the guy sitting across the table from her. Maybe this was done to remind us what a dunce Casey was to let her go or try to put her in a different light but, for me it just did not work. I found it off-putting and not a way to treat one of my favorite literary heroines.
Next we find Splinter still injured and barely hanging on to consciousness in a dark corner. He sees a silhouette and wonders if death is coming for him. A voice speaks to him and assures him it’s not death and in a total Terminator moment, says to come with him if he wants to live. Subtle request there, shadowy man.
Finally we are at the meat and potatoes of the issue and the Turtles make their grand entrance as they scour the city’s snowy rooftops and Raphael.. steps in poop. No, seriously he does. I found it funny because you never see comic book heroes engage in such ribaldry. He reacts natural as the rest of us would and flips out and wants to quit the mission. His brothers try to talk him into staying but to no avail, his hot-headedness gets the best of him and he takes off. Now any one who watches a scary movie knows, when you split from the pack usually bad stuff happens. It remains no different here as Raph, is attacked by a shadowy ninja who wants to kick his shell in something fierce. Here we are treated to an epic rooftop battle and the way the art comes alive, I can’t help but think of Frank Miller. With the added color it is quite a thing of beauty. (Fingers crossed one day that Mr. Miller illustrates the Turtles on some project)
The remainder of the issue is a poop-less confrontation between the Turtles and Raph’s ninja foe as well as more on Splinters odyssey. The pieces continue to fall in place for the big battle and I want a front row seat. (No scalping tickets please)
Overall: This was a fun issue and I always love revisiting the past and my childhood. Plus I haven’t had the opportunity to write poop in a review before which is fun too. My disappointment that there was no Shredder really didn’t drag it down either. I enjoyed the rooftop battle immensely and the banter between the Brothers in Shells was cool as always. Other than the depiction of April’s ridiculous mammary glands, I found no fault this month. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t spectacular either. It was kind of there. So like a season ticket holder I will be there, with hopes of a higher performance. Till next month, should be a shell of a time!
Story: Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird Art: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird and Jim Lawson
Art: 8 Story: 6 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Pass
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review