- Story by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
- Script by Tom Waltz
- Art & cover by Ken Garing
- Colours by Rhonda Pattison
A new faction within the Foot colludes against Splinter and the Turtles as they struggle to deal with new threats to New York City. And where’s Michelangelo?
Pick up your copy of ‘TMNT’ #52 @ Comixology now!
I had been waiting for quite a while for this issue to finally arrive in the post, my subscriptions can be a little slow sometimes when other titles don’t always publish on the correct dates. I’m still intrigued by the plot developments that Eastman and his team have introduced in to ‘TMNT’. They have really revitalised the series over the past couple of months after getting in to a story cycle which had become increasingly repetitive. I’ve not been shy about my concerns that it was beginning to become stale but those concerns are now a thing of the past.
Previous issues have set the status quo with Splinter now the head of The Foot Clan and Michelangelo now separated from his brothers so now the story begins to move on towards the inevitable conflict that this new status has created.
The cover to ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ #52 is a little misleading. The opening scene is heavily focuses on Casey Jones, returned from his adventures in his mini-series with April he now feels the need to take control of the streets and remove the gangs whether they are causing trouble of not. There has been little time for Casey to share ink with Angel of late, despite their past history so the opener of this issue with the two of them catching up and her concerns about his behaviour could be a nice foreshadowing of things to come.
Casey has been underused for a little while but with his appearance in the upcoming ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ film his popularity is sure to explode once again. Hockey mask for Halloween this year anybody?
Casey aside much of the story focuses on Splinter and his investigations in to the dissent within the elders of the Foot. We’ve had snippets of this story in recent issues but you can feel with #52 that things are building and as with ‘TMNT’ it’s not long before a fight breaks out although considering the scale of other battles in the series this is just a minor skirmish. Splinter is perhaps the most loved non-Turtle character in the series and he is now placed in a vary precarious position having taken over from Shredder. Whilst the Foot soldiers themselves fall in line the writers are clearly setting him up for future dangers.
Having separated various members of the team from each other over the course of this run the next big move for the writers would be to eliminate Splinter, at least for a time.
Interestingly Raph and Donnie don’t appear in this issue at all. The Casey and Splinter stories are instead bookended. At the front by Leonardo continuing to train soldiers and at the end by Michelangelo meeting up with the Mutanimals whilst being watched by the mysterious Darkwater.
The Mutanimals are an interesting addition to the series, the stories have developed a cast of mutated characters who could really form a family around the Turtles given the chance. Here they serve little purpose other than to provide some comic relief but it does give a happy ending to the story at least.
Garing’s artwork continues to the keep the series looking sharper than ever, greens jump off the page whilst the overall blue tint to this issue gives a really gritty urban feel to it. I’m always impressed by Garing’s detail work as panels can become simplistic when there are actions taking place but there are always accented details to pick up to keep the image interesting.
It’s a little slower than recent issues but still a great story in a series that is really on the up.