I was a few issues behind in the IDW TMNT ongoing series but recently I got caught up and just need to read #53 to be completely up to date. While reading #51, I knew that I had to review it even if it is a few months old as we speak.
IDW hit a milestone with the TMNT by releasing its 50th issue not too long ago. The events that transpired in that issue had my mind racing as to what could possibly come next after such an epic ending. The writers told us that they would wrap up loose ends during the 50th issue and that they did. If you have not read issue #50 (or #51) then I suggest that you stop reading now because the following will contain spoilers.
After Splinter defeated Shredder and took over as the master of the Foot Clan in TMNT #50, I was very intrigued but also a bit scared as to where the series would go next. With Shredder now dead, who would step up as the big cheese villain? Would the Foot Clan accept Splinter as their Jonin? How would the TMNT react to this change? We know Mikey wasn’t thrilled with the outcome and is now on his own but the other brothers seemed like they were going to stand by their father’s side. Let’s answer some of these questions and more!
First off, what a beautiful cover by Ken Garing. I absolutely love his style and I am sad that his run was short lived for this series as he only drew #51 and #52. His work reminds me of the Mirage turtles, mainly Tales of the TMNT Volume 2 era. That combined with fantastic, fresh new stories by Waltz and Eastman sucked me right in. I saw a panel that totally seemed influenced by Jim Lawson as well. Very cool stuff. On to the story!
The basic premise of this issue goes something like this. The TMNT lead the Foot to investigate a warehouse that is protected by armed guards. All havoc breaks loose and the TMNT find that there is more in the warehouse than they bargained for. Instead of striking fear into some thugs, they witness a group of men wearing cloaks who seemingly vanish right through the floor. As it turns out, this group seems destined to become the TMNT’s newest enemy…to make matters worse, they are being backed by a very rich individual.
I know you are dying to know who these cloak wearing baddies are so I won’t keep you guessing any longer.
That’s right, Jammer as in Jammerhead from the TMNT Fast Forward cartoon series! Jammer and the Street Phantoms are now the main threat to our boys in green. So who is the rich person backing these Street Phantoms?
None other than Darius Dun! I honestly thought we had seen the last of the Fast Forward characters but this issue makes me truly believe in the saying “never say never”.
Some other interesting tidbits occur in this issue as well. Mikey is off on his own and runs into Mondo Gecko. Mondo talks Mikey into coming over to hang out with the Mutanimals. One problem…a man is seen spying on them from the rooftops. Additionally, Kitsune seems to be up to no good and is on house arrest. She says that the game has changed and things have to accelerate. Now on to my thoughts and feelings of the issue.
Major props to Waltz, Eastman and company for having the ability to make almost comedic characters like Jammerhead and the Street Phantoms seem badass! Darius Dun backing them is a very cool twist as well. I wonder if he will have any ties to Casey? Due to the fact that he did serve as the uncle to Cody Jones in FF, the great-grandson of April and Casey.
The writers always pull characters from other incarnations and incorporate them perfectly into the ongoing storyline. It is so awesome that they can pick and choose characters from the vast number in this franchise and surprise us like this.
I love that Harold had a part in all of this too. It is revealed that Harold’s partner actually stole the cloaks from Harold, as they designed them, sold them off to Darius Dun and now they are worn by the Street Phantoms. I wonder if we will find out who Harold’s partner was?
The last page of this issue also reveals a trader amongst the Foot Clan. An assassin who is later revealed in issue #52. I believe that there is a lot of potential for this character and truly hope that the writers take full advantage of the opportunity. I think it could be interesting if the character is a relative of Shredder’s, a child perhaps, and that is why they are not on board with Splinter.
As I mentioned previously, I was a bit concerned with what direction this team would go in after the demise of the Shredder. It seems like other incarnations of the TMNT tend to go down hill when Shredder is eliminated from the picture. I feel that IDW kept Shredder around long enough to keep our interest but not too long to make the character stale.
I am very pleased with this new enemy choice and feel that the writers have breathed new life into an already wonderful ongoing series. I mean it is the start of something new when you consider the fallout from #50 and all of the change in the air. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Shredder return eventually, perhaps with the help of Kitsune, but for now I am very excited with the new direction of this series and I hope that the next 50 issues even come close to the previous 50! I will leave you with one last piece from #51 since I was such a huge fan of Ken Garing’s work, especially these cool closeups of the TMNT. Thank you for reading and happy New Year’s Eve!!