- Written by Kevin Eastmen & Tom Waltz
- Art & Cover by Dave Watcher
- Colours by Ronda Pattison
“Chasing Phantoms” Part 1! While the Turtles and Splinter are still reeling from the events of TMNT #60, they come under attack by the Street Phantoms! Will Splinter let this challenge to his rule stand?
Pickup your copy of ‘TMNT’ #61 at Comixology now!
I’ve spoken in the past about how ‘TMNT’ comics works in cycles. Several issues are spent building towards big battle, the battle takes place and the series resets. It’s repetitive and the periods of reset often feel like dejavu. This issue serves as one of those reset points.
Thankfully it would seem that Eastmen and Waltz have learnt from past mistakes. This issue tackles the material from the point of view of summing up the last 10-issue arc. Although the Street Phantoms are present the issue is ruled by the dinner between Splinter and family. Cleverly the Street Phantoms have been ever present through the last arc but were overtaken by Kitsune for the big battle. Essentially Eastmen and Waltz have created concurrent arcs which are able to break the series mould.
Coming off the back of the Kistune battle the ‘TMNT’ is still fractured. Michelangelo distrusts the alliance with the Foot Clan. Casey and April have split. Splinter delicately tries to hold the family together but the tensions are palpable.
There’s a real sense in this issue that the ensemble cast are balanced. In the past some recurring characters have felt lost in the melee of action. This is becoming less and less the case as time goes on. ‘TMNT’ has always existed with one-shots and mini-series and is now in a position to benefit from those.
Fixing the imbalance in the ensemble and restructuring the story has enabled ‘TMNT’ to creatively take a huge leap forwards. The stories have always been complex but their structure has not. I’m very excited to see what could be coming in the future now these adjustments have been made.
Visually I would not hear a bad word spoken about Dave Watcher. He has created stunning visuals on this series since he first started. The colours provided by Ronda Pattison compliment his artwork perfectly. The series is unique, it’s colourful and it’s fun. Yet it knows how to handle darkness and tragedy without compromising its uniqueness.
‘TMNT’ #61 is an interesting new beginning for the series. The issue is self contained yet also another piece in a very large jigsaw. This is definitely one for fans of substance AND style. It has plenty of character and enough action to keep the reader entertained from start to finish.