Comic Review – Casey & April #1

Originally written for Flickering Myth.

“Introducing a very unique TMNT tale starring Casey Jones and April O’Neil, by acclaimed indie writer Mariko Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer)! The couple take a road trip to the southwest to dig up more clues about the mysterious Pantheon that has seemingly been pulling the strings on the Turtles’ lives from the beginning. Casey and April will find even deeper mystery, unexpected danger, and start a new chapter in their relationship.”

 Another week, another TMNT mini-series from IDW. So far their record has been impeccable, shining light on different aspects of the TMNT world. With everything from Secret History of the Foot Clan to Mutanimals, they’ve earnt my trust.

Casey and April haven’t had a lot of time in the main series lately so it seems right that they’d get some attention. Bar usual letterer Shawn Lee and Editor Bobby Curnow they get a new creative team too.

With the Krang threat dealt with for now, Shredder presumed dead and Donatello dealing with his new abilities the immortal characters seemingly pulling the strings in the background are being investigated. The Pantheon is a huge threat, and our heroes have all been affected by them in some way.

Following on from events in the main series, the teenagers set off across America in search for more information. Striking out on their own, it’s a chance for them to show off what they can do with no mutants in sight.

Well, that could happen if they actually did anything. With only four issues to tell a story I expected it to get into things pretty quickly. Perhaps if I was interested in some teenagers getting a bit pissy with each other and getting themselves into trouble I’d be more excited.  As a start to a new series it doesn’t do much to make me want to carry on though of course I will).

I’m not oblivious to the fact that this could be aiming for a calmer tone before some action in the following issues, and I understand that Casey and April have had precious little time to just be a couple with all the craziness that surrounds them. Can they actually survive as a couple when there aren’t explosions and fights around them? It’s a question I’m glad IDW feel they can take on, as many series wouldn’t get the chance. I just expected more considering what we’ve had previously. Damn you IDW and your creative teams. You’ve set a very high bar.

I do like Koh’s artwork, though I don’t get a terribly strong sense of movement from it. Something I think is lost sometimes is the age of the characters, and Koh nails this aspect. The ‘getting a bit pissy with each other’ aspect is handled very well too. Come to think of it maybe it’s the success of it that annoys me! Teenagers…ugh.

OK, so it’s a not bad issue. But to be more than ‘meh’ to me I hope this story doesn’t just become teenage melodrama. Signs say it won’t, and I still trust IDW. But the jury is out.

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