Review: TMNT #36

The Turtles have been in limbo ever since returning from North Hampton. Even there the gang was trying to bring everyone together. There were goals and means even though a huge story arc had just ended. Now that they have returned though, it is unclear where everything is going. In one aspect I like the confusion and think it is necessary, but on the other hand, nothing is really progressing plot-wise. So let me share both sides. Each member of the group has been doing their own things. Casey is stressed about his father, Angel is trying out a new robotic look, April’s father is healed, Mikey and Raph are keeping an eye on Slash and Hob, Donnie wants to take down Krang, and Splinter is trying to convince Leo that the Turtles next move has got to be revenge on Shredder. See told ya, there is a lot going on. The group has never seemed further apart. I think with all these plot lines, we get no clear goal in sight. I mean what should the guys deal with is a toss-up. Each issue we get little progression on the plot, so not one of those problems is being addressed.

Then when I finally think that someone has to make a move. One Turtle has to decide where the gang goes and whose problem exceeds the rest, we get the introduction of yet another plot; The Rat King. Now at first, I was excited to see this character, but the timing seems all wrong. He literally pops into the issue with a motive that I think is unclear to understand. He brainwashes Leo and Splinter and just like that he is gone. His story didn’t add anything to what is happening. Last issue, he was in the background lurking and I wish it would have stayed that way. Having him appear quite frankly pissed me off. If it was so easy to brainwash people then why hasn’t the King taken over yet anyway?

TMNT36_cvr copy 2But like I said, on the other hand, I get the confusion. Everything can’t just be perfect or that would be the end of the comic. Everyone can’t just be kicking drug dealer’s butts all the time because that makes the plot boring. We need slow moments and we need layers. I also think that Leo and Splinter have some built up anger that needs to be address and what better way than to brainwash them; hence the cover of bad-Leo. The end of the issue too makes everything so clear.

All in all though, even the last page of this issue had more plot than the Rat King. I think following The Rat King around this issue led to some confusion. Right after he leaves, Leo and Splinter think nothing of it and move on with another story. Hello you literally almost just killed each other from the King’s mind tricks and you don’t even care! I am frustrated with that. I would have much rather followed Krang or Shredder or Alopex. What is up with that fox? And with the ended, I really would like to see what is up with Shredder. Needless to say, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this issue. I really hope a common goal is set up soon, or at least everyone’s individual story is moving with a pace in mind.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Tom Waltz Artist: Mateus Santolouco, Mark Torres, Cory Smith Colorist: Ronda Pattison Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/16/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital