Group Review: TMNT #29

“City Fall” has concluded, but with it brought a rejuvenation of Turtle fandom to the site. We’re still kicking around ideas on how to handle the reviews for this series since there are so many of us interested in continuing with the series. The simple fact is that there are seven of us reading this series each month so we’ll either continue with group reviews or trade off on solo reviews. What would be a great help is if you let us know what you’d like to read in the comments. In the meantime, let’s jump in the reviews. Steve: BUY

Like most people I suppose, I’m not a fan of “come down” or “recovery” issues, particularly after a great event like TMNT’s “City Fall.” You naturally have to assume that these issues will echo in pitched white noise rather than resound in explosive action. So in TMNT #29, I was expecting a lot of solemn, heavily-expositional wound-licking, with a dynamic similar (if not identical) to the bucolic retreat the Turtles take in the middle of their first live-action movie. Well, guess what? That’s exactly what this is. And I still really, really enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong, this book is mouthy as hell, but it hits that somber timbre without feeling overly laborious.

What issue 29 does especially well is set up (again, with great verbosity) the next arc of the book, connected as it is with April’s family; simultaneously, in terms of character development, it plays well on the different voices of each Turtle, establishing them further in personality - an especially important move, given the family’s currently fractured nature - not to mention in look. Speaking of which, I really enjoy the art here from Ross Campbell (and the continued bright and breathable work from colorist Ronda Pattison); it reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon version of what might happen if Nick Pitarra and Frank Quitely’s styles ever had a kid, and it’s the best I’ve seen this book look thus far. Altogether, this issue acted well as the recoil to issue 28’s blast; quieter certainly, but still a great turn in one of this year’s most surprisingly satisfying series.


Samantha: BUY

After Leo’s huge story arc, TMNT needed to slow down a bit, and they have. I knew I wasn’t going to be blown away with the issue, but it was still a good transition episode. Ross Campbell brought a different style of art to the issue. It is way more soft than Mateus’. A good switch was needed since the comic has a new feeling to it.

It will take many issues for the Turtles to be the brothers they once were, but damn this is going to be good. Leo is so fucked up from his brainwashing. I feel bad for him, and especially Splinter having to deal with the possible loss of his son. What will add some interesting twists will come from Alopex and April’s parents. April’s parents have something to hide, and I am wondering if they will soon get to know the Turtles better. All of it will have to be some sort of retaliation on Shredder. At least I hope that sucker has something coming his way.

Erik: BUY

These next issues of TMNT are going to drain every bit of energy from our bodies. Prepare to become committed to following the lives of these characters.

Tom Walt’z script was a complete work of art. Every word is absolute poetry, and every single bit of dialogue has a sense of desperation to it. I started to legitimately wonder how the turtles are going to get through this hardship that will no doubt come to remake them as a family. The fact that the family still lives having barely escaped is a positive, but so much has been lost. They have their lives to be thankful for, but confidence, hope, brotherhood, and loyalty are all being held for ransom by the memories that they are now forced to live with.

Ross Campbell has hit a homerun. I didn’t think that I would come across an artist who I prefered for this series more than Mateus Santolouco, but the surprises keep coming. I found myself staring at each panel longer than I am used to. This is the artist that belongs on this series. There is a specific flashback sequence that is put together beautifully and it was the thing that I loved most about this book. There are a lot of little things that stand out about his art, but I don’t want to get into too much detail so that I don’t build up too much anticipation. Everything seems to fit. The season wherein the arc takes place is perfect, the character designs of everyone are amazing, and the mood that has been created is unlike anything that I’ve ever encountered in TMNT.


James: BUY

The Turtles have been one of the best running titles of the year in my opinion and if I thought that things might slow down after the big City Fall story arc, we'll I was gravely mistaken. This run isn't missing a beat and it has the same level of intensity that the previous issues have even if the locales have changed.

The guys have had to make a hasty retreat after the events of City Fall and they have left the confines of New York City for the quiet and calm of the Hamptons for some rest, relaxation, and recuperation as they left wounded and weathered, especially Splinter and Leonardo. As they settle in for some quiet time, unexpected foes show up making for anything but a peaceful time in the making. Add Leonardo's continued troubles and you have for yet another bang up issue with some more tidbits of future story liberally sprinkled throughout.

TMNT has become one of my favorites and it is a must for any pull list as I find everything being just great. The story, the dialogue, the art, the color, everything. It continues to rock and to rock hard.


Dustin: BUY

I don’t want to say that I liked “City Fall” more than anyone else on the site, but I think I did. I really didn’t have a single problem with the story line and loved every page of action or dialogue. Here’s the thing… I loved this issue more than any single issue of “City Fall.” Not more than the overall story line, but I loved the shit out of this issue.

Here’s why: These are my Turtles. I know that sounds stupid, but what happens with franchises like this is that they get handed off to another generation. Changes are made and the property no longer resembles the franchise that we once loved. It happens with everything and sure with comic books the tendency for it to come back around to you is greater, but overall once the torch has passed that’s it. It doesn’t invalidate your connection or journey with the property; it’s just not for you anymore. The thing is… there’s are my Turtles. Sure their personalities are bit different and the storylines are very different yet familiar, but that’s why. I’ve connected to these stories more than ever because there’s a real heart and passion to them. This issue was incredible because of the amount of character development there was. Yeah, I’m surprised too! Character development for the Turtles!?! They’re known at their character types: Leo the leader, Raph the angry one, Donnie the brains and Mikey the comic relief. We know them and associate with them because of this, but they haven’t stopped growing in this series.

The comic and new animated series couldn’t be further apart in their stories and designs, but I’ve never enjoyed them more. Each of them are fantastic and have made me reconnect with the franchise I spent years of my life loving. You may think that sounds like a terrible waste of time, but you don’t sit down to watch cartoons with me and my wife each week so eat it… and buy this book it’s fantastic!

Score: Five Buys!!!

Writer: Tom Waltz Artist: Ross Campbell Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/18/13