Comic Publishers

April 1, 2016

IDW Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Deviations One-Shot

STK6976311Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Deviations One-Shot
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Tom Waltz
Artist(s): Zach Howard & Cory Smith
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Cover: Zach Howard

The “City Fall” storyline was a crucial turning point in the TMNT mythos and we revisit it during IDW’s Deviation series. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the Deviations,  it’s an alternate version of certain stories in the vein of a “what if” so with this story things that started off bad for the heroes here only get worse. So in this issue Casey never recovered from being attacked by Shredder and the brothers all succumbed to Kitsune’s manipulations and are now members of the Foot Clan. Which is very bad news considering how dangerous the situation was when it was just Leo who had been turned.

Waltz opens the story with a violent and bloody chase as the Turtles are hunting Splinter. It’s a dark, haunting, and sad series of events as Waltz gives you a taste of how twisted the brothers have become. Mikey’s change is probably the most disturbing as his light hearted jokes are just creepy here as he taunts his father. Waltz also gives you no allusion that things are going to end well here and it’s a guessing game as to how his plot will unfold as you read along. Even Casey’s dad, Hun, steps up to avenge his son which is actually impressive considering the type of father he’s been to Casey throughout the series. There are a few deaths here and some were quite unexpected and even for a “what if” type of story they still have quite the impact in the end.

Zach Howard gives Waltz’s opening sequence the weight it needs to be effective. His style here actually made me think back to the early Eastman and Laird days of the TMNT series and how dark and violent the series looked. What makes it work is that in every panel with Splinter you can see in his eyes how it hurt him to see his sons serving Shredder. Even during the fight he’s not directly attacking the Turtles as he’s using a series of parries and blocks to fend off their attacks. The second page actually gives you that feeling of dread as it’s a game of “find the ninja turtle about to kill you”. Splinter is looking up as his son’s are making their way down to him and it’s one of the best pages in the issue. When Splinter challenges Kitsune on the astral plane, Cory Smith takes over giving the sequence a much different feel from the rest of the story. Smith also has the last page which shows an overhead view of the battle’s destructive outcome. Kind of giving off a moment of clarity as things have settled but at what cost. Ronda Pattison colors the two different styles and brings out what’s needed to make each scene stand out. Excellent work on her part is to be expected as the series has looked fantastic in part to her and the artists she’s worked with during various arcs.

If there is one thing this issue could have used it would be more pages to tell the story. The page breakdown is greatly appreciated and I’m sure will help some aspiring writer or comic artist out there but several story elements could have been expanded on. Though this could also be coming from a selfish need to see more Alopex and ninja action.

If you didn’t read “City Fall” you should still pick this up as there is a recap before you get into the story so it can still be enjoyed on it’s own. For those that have read the pivotal story arc then it’s a no brainer that you should go out and pick up this issue to add to your experience!

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