COMIC REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36

If, like me, you’re not at San Diego Comic Con (consarnit), you’ll be wanting to see and read a lot of awesome stuff over this coming weekend to make yourself feel less insanely jealous about all the fun everyone else is having. Well, my friend, look no further than the latest installment of half-shelled goodness from IDW.

If you’ve not read any of this current run of TMNT comics (shame on you) and you’re a fan of the Turtles, I would wholeheartedly recommend you try it. Having Kevin Eastman on boards means that, whilst the back story is a little different, the feel of the comic and the mood of the stories run truer to the original source comics than other incarnations (e.g. the kitschy delight that was the 80’s cartoon). That being said, this issue does quite well in standing alone as a very interesting read. It revolves almost entirely around Leonardo and Splinter, and their relationship following the incredibly stressful period in which Leonardo had been brainwashed against his family. This story does an absolutely beautiful job of showing that Leo is well and truly back, and even stronger following his experience with the Foot.

Whilst this issue is very light on action, (the main focus is on the Rat King, whose abilities include paralysing and silencing his prey, which he utilises to incredibly distressing effect) it is an incredibly well written and enjoyable issue, using the folk tale of the Pied Piper of Hamlin too add an extra measure of creepy to the whole affair. Plus, you know, there’s all the rats too *shudder*

Mateus Santolouco is one of my favourite artists right now. I first saw his absolutely splendid work on the TMNT mini-series ‘The Secret History of the Foot Clan’, which he wrote and drew to a top-notch standard. He clearly has a love for and understanding of the Turtles that shines through in his artwork. He can wonderfully capture the different and often comical expressions of each Turtle, perfectly blending the playful with the dark. This issue sees other artists chiming in too, Mark Torres and Cory Smith, to provide artwork for the Pied Piper story that is very reminiscent of the Fables comics (not sure if this is purposeful or not, but it’s a very clever visual association to make). The intricate borders featuring rats and musical notes beautifully offset the fairly horrid story of rats ravaging towns and children being lured away by a monster and serve to separate the two parts of the story very nicely.

Overall, this was an incredibly good issue; I’ve never much been a fan of the Rat King but this issue sets him up as a genuinely creepy and possibly hard-to-defeat adversary. His motives are unclear and his powers are quite terrifying (would you want to come across someone who could control rats, for Pete’s sake?!) The final page sets up a HUGE development in the overall story and made me very, very antsy for more. Wonderful art, fantastic storytelling and an intriguing villain to boot; TMNT #36 upholds the very high standard of storytelling I’ve come to expect from the IDW run. Great stuff.

GS Blogger: Stacey Taylor

Rating: 4/5

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: