COMIC REVIEW: TMNT Turtles in Time #2

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Stace’, says you, ‘why are you reviewing issue 2 of something that you haven’t reviewed issue 1 of?’ The answer to that is this is, without a doubt, the best comic I have read in months. Fantastically written, beautifully rendered and so good I’ve read it three times already, this issue is a must-read for Turtles and comic fans alike.

So the premise of this mini-series is that the Turtles have become unstuck in time, zipping about haphazardly, with no knowledge of why this is happening to them, or when and where they will end up next. Issue one, written by Paul Allor with art by the utterly delightful Ross Campbell, saw the Turtles dealing with dinosaurs and Utroms in prehistoric times; a fun romp featuring a super cute dino-sidekick. (Note to self; get a pet and name it Pepperoni). Issue two, however, is a much deeper, much more meaningful chapter in this story.

The Turtles find themselves in Japan, during the time of the Samurai. After stealing some armour from four bathing warriors, the Turtles head off to explore. They happen across a man being set upon by six members of the Foot Clan. Whilst Donatello is hesitant to do anything that might alter the timeline, Mikey dives right into the fray (being the only Turtle who can speak Japanese, Mikey recognises the Foot as ‘bullies’ and feels this isn’t a fair fight). Believing the Turtles to be demons, the Foot flee, and it’s at this point the game-changing bomb is dropped for our three-fingered friends; the man they just helped is none other than their father, Hamato Yoshi, in his original human form.

That’s as spoilery as you’re getting from me, because the rest of the issue just goes on to get better and better from there and I’d hate to be the one to ruin that for you. Whilst the time travel story of changing your own past has often been told, rarely has it been done with such gravitas and emotional weight. The epilogue delivers the kind of gut punch you don’t normally expect from a Turtles comic, and I am being 100% truthful when I say that the only reason I didn’t cry was because I was on a bus reading it and didn’t want to look like a weird numpty, weeping openly into a comic book. Erik Burnham needs some sort of award (or at the very least, a giant cookie) for his writing in this issue. The Turtles personalities are perfect and whilst it’s Raph that surprisingly keeps his head under awfully tough circumstances, the reasoning behind this seemingly ill-fitting choice makes perfect sense given the situation. The final page is a lesson in how to write with maximum impact, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be fretting over that epilogue for days.

The art in this book, by Charles Paul Wilson III, took a little getting used to for me, as the Turtles themselves looked somewhat pudgy and decidedly more adult. However, by the end of the issue I realised that this style suited the theme of the book perfectly, and grew to really love it. The colourist, Jeremy Mohler, did a wonderful job of capturing the mood of the story, using a muted, rustic palette of greens, browns, reds and oranges to portray the more serious nature of the tale. Overall the book looks pretty stunning.

I could honestly ramble on about this book forever, so I shall simply say this; if you only read one Turtles comic this year, make it Turtles in Time #2. It’s amazing.

Rating: 5 / 5

GS Blogger: Stacey Taylor

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