The Turtles’ Northampton retreat continues as April gets a spunky new hairdo, a still-confused Leonardo takes an important first-step into returning to his role as the Turtles’ leader, and Raphael finally accepts Alopex into the family, at least until Shredder’s new warriors led by Koya find them.
I’m hoping the bridge built between Raphael and Alopex, who I very much enjoy together, isn’t so quickly burned down as the Turtle is quick to blame Shredder‘s former soldier for leading the Foot Clan’s assassins to the group.
Other than the first appearance of Koya, who we should be seeing much more of next issue, and April’s haircut, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31 is most notable for Leonardo accepting the blue mask from Splinter and taking his place alongside his brothers yet again. Now we see if Shredder’s training, with the abscence of the brainwashing, has made Leonardo a more fierce warrior or if this too will take time. Worth a look.
The Rat King is one of my least favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villains but the latest issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures does what it can with the villain and also returns Monkey Brains whose attempts to control the rodent-controlling madman who stuck his mind in the body of chimp have unintended side effects when he accidentally gives the Rat King even greater control of New York’s rat population allowing him to gather them all together to form a giant monster swarm of destruction.
If that sounds kinda gross it’s because it is, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #8 also begins to further develop April O’Neil‘s unique sensibilities which prove instrumental in helping defeat the villain.
Those who are more fond of the Rat King than I am are likely to enjoy the issue more than I did, but even so there’s enough here in terms of character interaction and developing ongoing plots which I felt helped the comic work despite focusing on a villain I don’t much care for. For fans.
The Turtles exile in Northampton at the family farm of April‘s parents continues as both Leonardo and Splinter attempt to work through their recent struggles and failures. Both receive visions of Hamato Yoshi’s wife and Leonardo’s mother helping to soothe their pain and trying to bring her family back together once more.
As Michelangelo struggles to put recent events down in writing and Donatello struggles without having the necessary equipment or research to do much of anything, Raphael continues to be distrustful of Alopex and the arctic fox’s actions concerning his recently brainwashed brother.
The low-key issue is very much presented as the calm before the storm. Alopex finds at least temporary acceptance with the Turtles, Leonardo begins interacting with his family, and even Raphael lets his guard down a bit. However, it is all to be short-lived as Karai‘s agents have found the Turtles which should lead into a much more action-packed issue next month. Worth a look.
It’s a date night (of sorts) for the Turtles. Donatello and April spend some time alone together trying some of the city’s various food choices, Michelangelo convinces Raphael to dress up to see the latest kung fu action flick in a theater, and Leonardo spends some rooftop flirting with Karai who he attempts to convince they could be friends.
Eventually all three stories merge as Donnie and April are attacked by the Purple Dragons and Dogpound and lead the small army to the theater where the battle interrupts Mikey and Raph’s movie night. Eventually the fight even spills back out into the open ending Leo’s opportunity to win over the Shredder’s daughter just as he was appearing to make some progress.
The ridiculousness of Mikey and Raphael in women’s clothing doesn’t go unnoticed by both friends and enemies, and Donnie’s attempts to shrug off any romantic aspects of his night with April seem only partially successful. And I always enjoy the combination of Leo and Karai, which is one of the TV show’s most interesting pairings. Worth a look.
Given strict orders by Splinter to stick to the shadows and observe the Kraang‘s movements in an attempt to uncover what the alien brains might be up to, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello prove that stealth and patience aren’t the group’s strong suit as they quickly engage the aliens and steal their new weapon which Raphael accidentally activates in the middle of the Shellraiser.
With an alien tentacle monster taking over their battle van, the Turtles’ evening gets even more action-packed as the foursome work together to stop the monster (eventually turning it on its Kraang masters). The monster is your basic monster of the week, but its destructive nature (and the fact that they accidentally unleashed it on the city) does give the Turtles a legitimate threat to deal with.
Memorable mostly for the characters interactions (such as Raphael literally poking the beast after being warned not to), and with plenty of action and Turtle hijinks, fans of the show should enjoy the foursome’s latest adventure. Worth a look.
Beaten, battered, and broken, the Turtles exile from New York City begins with a trip to April‘s family farm in Northampton. The journey not only allows the Turtles time to rest and lick their wounds, and for Leonardo to come to terms with Shredder‘s brainwashing, but also for April to spend some time with her parents (which may also hold some important answers for the Turtles as well).
Splinter, the Turtles, Casey, and April aren’t the only ones who make the trip north as a former Foot lieutenant decides to stowaway with them. With Leonardo’s mind still far from right I’m going to be very interested to see what Alopex‘s true motives are and whether the arctic fox becomes a friend and ally to the Turtles.
From Leonardo and Raphael‘s continued squabbling, and Leo’s refusal to accept Splinter’s commands, it’s obvious there’s much healing to be done over the next few months but the tale April’s parents have to tell may give the Turtles yet another reason for returning home sooner than planned. Worth a look.
Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.
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“City Fall” concludes as Splinter, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael fight to free a brainwashed Leonardo from the Shredder‘s control. Things were looking pretty good for the group, at least until the arrival of Karai and her two new mutant soldiers Rocksteady and Bebop. With the help of Angel, Casey, Old Hob, and Slash the Turtles are able to reunite their family but their small victory is overshadowed by the Foot Clan‘s larger victory and total control over New York City.
Leo returns to his family, thanks in large part to Raphael, but the scars of his time of his brainwashing look like they may take quite a long time to heal. Karai proves her worth as he finally earns the role of Chunin, but all is not perfect for The Foot as Rocksteady and Bebop are unable to prevent the Turtles escape and Alopex seizes the moment to take his revenge (leaving the future of the character very much up in the air).
With The Foot in control of New York and the Turtles in exile to lick their wounds and put their family back together the series moves forward into its new arc beginning next month. Worth a look.
When Fishface attacks a cruise ship looking to get his hands on his former partner-in-crime Victor Sousa, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello show up to save the day. For the first time the Turtles find themselves fighting the fish-mutant in water, and Fishface turns out to be far more trouble in his natural habitat.
Raphael questions putting their own lives on the line to save a gangster (which turns out to be prophetic as Victor eventually turns on his would-be rescuers). Although the ship is sunk, the Turtles eventually are able to stop Fishface and turn Victor over to the police allowing Leo to show his brother that saving a criminal doesn’t mean letting him go free.
Of the characters created for the new animated show, Fishface is one of the oddest. I haven’t been the biggest fan of his, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #5 uses the setting to the character’s advantage, making him a credible threat given the circumstances the Turtles find themselves in. Worth a look.
Things are looking bleak for the Turtles and their friends. The city has fallen to the Foot Clan, Leonardo is still under the control of the Shredder, and Angel has lost control of the Purple Dragons to Casey‘s father Hun, who like all the other gangs still standing have sworn allegiance to the Foot.
On the night of celebration, Shredder demands the mandatory audience of all the gangs to witness the public execution of the Savate. However, just as Shredder begins tightening his grip on his new spoils small cracks begin to emerge such as possible collaboration and ulterior motives for Alopex and Kitsune and the increasingly conflicted nature of Leonardo.
With the help of Old Hob and Slash, Splinter, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael crash the party to rescue Leonardo. However, they don’t plan on Karai showing up with her two new mutant soldiers: Rocksteady and Bebop. Now things are gonna get interesting. Worth a look.