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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #22 [Review]

teenagemutantninjaturtlesidw022City Fall, Part One
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Mateus Santolouco
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Mateus Santolouco
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

Once I originally discovered the original Mirage TMNT comics and could be officially considered “into” them, THE major TMNT story was City at War, beginning with the big #50 issue that saw the return of Eastman and Laird–the characters’ creators–simultaneously to the title. The arc continued for the next 12 issues; 13 chapters in all…easily the largest single arc in the characters’ history to that point.

Now, after five 4-issue arcs and several mini-series, we begin what’s being billed as the largest-yet arc for this current IDW run: City Fall. I’m almost certain the title is MEANT to recall City at War, just by its name…and reading this issue, I can see a sort of thematic connection already. I don’t recall–if I even ever “knew”–how long this arc’s intended to be, but for some reason I have “7” on the brain.

Raphael and Casey are out and about, checking on Casey’s dad…when they’re ambushed by the Foot. Raph escapes, but is unable to take Casey with him–he quickly returns to his brothers, anxious to get back out and rescue his friend. While a rescue mission is mounted, the turtles and Splinter are dismayed at the presence of Shredder himself…a situation that–coupled with Raph’s uncontrolled rage–leaves the entire turtle-family in a far less than ideal situation by issue’s end.

Visually, I enjoyed this issue more than I thought I would. I don’t recall having any real issue with Santolouco‘s art on the Secret History of the Foot Clan mini, and his style works well here. Coupled with the consistency of Pattison‘s colors, this fits in very well with established IDW TMNT visuals; and aside from one panel toward the end of the issue, I have no trouble following the story visually.

The story itself seems to be–based on the credits–a sort of “story by committee,” and if this were DC or Marvel I might be quite concerned to see the book’s editor in the story credits. But I’m already used to seeing both Eastman (co-creator of the characters!) and Waltz credited together…and with Curnow’s history with this property, it makes sense for involvement there as well.

I definitely find myself enjoying the use of continuity…it’s been frustrating in its own way having such short, clipped arcs of “only” 4 issues apiece (notable by the collected volumes popping out every few months). But we’re treated to stuff coming out of the various arcs, as opposed to some floating, “timeless” standalone arc that could happen at “any time.” Recurring characters and events/references come from the various Micro-Series issues and even last year’s phenomenal Annual.

From this issue alone, the story actually feels bigger…and we get a potentially major event in this issue to kick things off with pretty high stakes–I don’t know exactly what to expect going forward…but whatever happens, this issue will certainly be one ripe for lots of further reference as we continue on with this continuity.

The issue’s certainly a treat to me, having been following the entirety of the IDW TMNT continuity since it began a couple years ago…I could say this is my favorite issue of the week, but that’d be a bit misleading, as this is the ONLY new comic I bought this week: the TMNT are a core part of my comics buying, and visiting the comic shop for this single issue–where in the past I’ve skipped a week due to there only being 2 issues of anything out–was totally worthwhile. I’m definitely looking forward to the next issue!

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