Comic Review – Turtles in Time #4

Originally written for Flickering Myth.

Not caught up yet? Here’s my review for Turtles in Time #3

“The Turtles’ time-travelling adventure comes to its epic conclusion in the not-too-distant future! The Turtles are shocked to discover a Manhattan greatly changed from the home they know. Surprising enemies and allies await them, in addition to grave decisions. Will they be able to make it back home AND save the future?”

I’ve been a big fan of Turtles in Time. Issue 1 was a vibrant adventure in prehistoric times where Raphael met the cutest little dinosaur. We were then taken to Feudal Japan to see the human child version of Leonardo give turtle Leonardo the stink eye. The third issue then saw Michaelangelo become captain of a pirate ship to take on a technologically advanced ship supplied by none other than Krang. Throughout their adventure time traveller Renet has been popping in and out as her faulty sceptre prevents her from rescuing them.

So we’ve had three issues which concentrate more on three of the turtles. You know where the final issue goes. To my least favourite turtle Donatello. A conversation with Ross Campbell made it clear to me that bar being clever, Donnie rarely has a defining characteristic. Is he a comedy duo with Mikey? A genius who can build things far beyond what you should be able to in a sewer with scraps?

Utterly random comment first…There is a giraffe wearing a hat on the front cover! I love giraffes. Anyway….

Issue 4 makes one thing clear at least. Donatello is a thinker; which I think is a pretty important aspect to nail. Maybe he isn’t as clearly defined as his brothers but throughout the series he’s been the one to question their origins so for him to also question why they do what they do makes complete sense. To everyone it’s clear as day; it’s the right thing to do. But a meeting with a character from Donatello’s future brings it all into sharp focus. What if the Shredder-lead future is all the TMNT and their allies are working towards? Are they doing the right thing or have they already made the decisions that lead to this outcome?

This issue isn’t action focused, sidestepping any need to go big for the final issue. When there are hits though they are sold well through Dan Duncan’s artwork. As the first artist to work on the IDW series I was looking forward to seeing his work again. This time his turtles have a leaner, longer appearance but it still looks good. I particularly enjoyed the expressions, especially a Mikey with a face full of food attempting to listen to something. It’s also very interesting to check out how many different species are represented in this future world and the amount of character they all have. Take some time to look around each panel and you’ find a lot of interest. Nicely done Dan.

One thing I need to mention before I wrap up is that I have loved all of the covers by David Petersen. Pretty sure I hadn’t mentioned it before!

Paul Allor has crafted a more thoughtful issue that I’ll admit on first pass left me a little let down. But second time around I realised that I was given enough information and enough closure for the story that I didn’t need everything spoon-fed or for there to be a big fight. It ties in perfectly with issue 37 of the main series and adds to the background we now have with Renet from the 2014 annual to leave us in a really strong place moving forwards.

I’m really looking forward to owning this series as a paperback.

Turtles Tidbits! Spoilers ahead.

  • Woody has had a hard time. He looks rough.
  • Humans aren’t doing too well here are they? They’re the ones getting rounded up and executed. Seems Shredder has been busy making more mutants and pretty much populated Manhattan (sorry Shredder Island!) with them.
  • Renet’s entrance is rather amusing. Not as bad timing as she first thought!
  • Old Donatello! He’s become a jaded fellow but I get why. His more thoughtful approach to things leads how you’d expect.
  • Seeing the bandanas on the wall was full of feels. Made it all the more powerful seeing Old-Don putting his back on! I can just imagine him taking them from his brothers. Heartbreaking.
  • Is that Metalhead in the corner?!? You can see him when the Turtles first enter they’re lair.
  • We don’t actually see Shredder. But you can feel his presence throughout.
  • Bebop and Rocksteady used as the basis for an army? You can see Warthogs and Rhinos at the end.
  • So Krang has Europe, Africa and Asia, whilst Shredder gets the Americas. Who is that on Australia? Is it a fly? Stockman? I’m not sure but it’s a tantalising tidbit.
  • Old-Don actually gives me a bit of DKR vibe in how he enjoys hitting people.

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