Even though this is more of a companion series to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles run, as a #1 issue I had hoped for a nice introduction to the universe, some character building, and some familiar faces. And that’s kind of what I got. But I also got a heavy reliance on the past comics and little to no actual introductions. There’s one section where the endings to a few past arcs are explained away, in no more than two speech bubbles and I felt completely lost. I had no idea who the character was, why he had the influence he had, why he performed the actions he did and I had literally no idea how he has the shit he has prepared for the future. Sure, it’s my bad for not reading the rest of the comics but I just wish some of it could have been explained in a bit more than two speech bubbles.
So while I wouldn’t consider this a great jumping on point for newcomers, it is easy enough to put two and two together and enjoy the story going forward, since there is a lot to love. The story in this issue is very well paced, and very familiar to what I loved about the show, a bit of action, some intrigue, witty dialogue, the works. When we join the turtles each of their characters main traits are fully in place, the first thing we see is Mikey and Donatello having a great argument over who’s weapon is better while Leonardo and Raphael are overlooking the scene. Classic.
The characters being well established this quickly helps set the pacing for the comic but doesn’t really provide anything new to the characters. That being said I do love the characters and more importantly the relationship between them. They’re well written and accurate, not only are the relationships between the turtles well done; their interactions with the new villain are great as well. The villain herself is cool and she can hold her own in both fighting and quipping with the turtles. So I’m looking forward to see how she evolves.
How it looks
The Art style isn’t anything to write home about and I don’t think it’s an example of Damian Couceiro’s best work; however the coloring provided by Ronda Pattison recovers the art work pretty well and really helps to give the comic a darker feel. The dark art style really works for the subject matter, as this universe is pretty dark in terms of story as well. This comes across very well in even just the first comic and brings home that there can be fatal consequences to actions in this universe, much different than I would have thought coming from a purely 90s cartoon happy fun time background.
The back story “Inside-out” follows Leonardo kicking ass and although only four pages long it is brilliant. The penciling and style is superior to the main comic. Honestly, I think the entire comic is worth a read even if just for those four pages.
So overall while it is a companion series it’s a promising one, as a newcomer I was only lost for a short while, apparently the reasoning for this companion series is that they have expanded the universe so much that they found that they were having to either rush through or neglect some of their stories and by adding this series they can allow creators to not be bogged down by the main story and can let their creativity flow by exploring storylines they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Hopefully this means that this series will be one to keep up with and while it’s not going to win over many newcomers, existing fans will find a lot to love.