Review: TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #4

Guys, this mini-series is about love. I just figured that out. Specifically, it's a story about codependency rendered in extreme. And after the initial weirdness of a homicidal warthog being soul-mated to a purported war veteran rhino, you start to root for these two crazy kids to stick together. If only sticking together didn't also mean mindless destruction and countless deaths. Some people express their love in unhealthy ways, I guess. There's a cute running gag about time-displaced Bebop and past Bebop grating on each other's nerves in an almost literal case of self-loathing. But that gag exists as a counterpoint to past and present Rocksteady sharing a seemingly aching need for acceptance and direction, regardless of the source of said validation. The Rocksteady pair end the issue with a genuinely heartwarming (if a little troubling if you think about it) admission that really cements this as a platonic love story.

TMNT_B&R04_cvrUnfortunately, art is all over the place again. And while the hodgepodge of rendering styles does reflect the jumbled nature of the time-travel adventure, it doesn't make for a comfortable read. The styles aren't different enough to stand apart. But they blend together in a way that makes their differences fit awkwardly in a single issue essentially following two characters.

By now, the story is so tangled, the script doesn't even attempt to keep track of or explain the causal damage being done by our protagonists. It's fun and all, but the result feels a tad shallow. It's hard to care about what's going on when I feel certain some miracle will wipe away the story's events. The only potentially enduring effect of the mini-series will be the strengthening of the Bebop and Rocksteady partnership in the eyes of the readers. I don't know if it counts as spoiling a surprise to go into detail in this regard.  It should suffice to say when the title says "Destroy Everything", and the plot has made great effort to introduce many versions of our deadly duo, you should expect a mounting sense of confusion from the characters. The turtles are only just barely in this issue, relegated to a brief cameo appearance. Their reaction to the actual magnitude of events is pretty priceless.

With most of the development and exploration I've been hoping for, issue four is a good, character-driven chunk of story before the mini-series comes to a close.

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TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #4
Writers: Ben Bates, Dustin Weaver
Artists: Dustin Weaver, Damian Couceiro, Nick Pitarra, Ben Tiesma, Pablo Tunica, Tadd Galusha, Aaron Conley, Ryan Browne
Colorists: Bill Crabtree, Michael Garland, Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 6/22/16
Format:  Mini-Series; Print/Digital