IDW's reboot of the classic franchise won me over after the very first issue. Writer Tom Waltz (collaborating with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman) has managed to strike the perfect tone to appeal to new and old fans -- both young and old. The comradery between the Turtles is as strong as ever, the classic villains are familiar but have enough alterations to give them a fresh feel, and of course, the action is... well, turtletastic (yes, I just said that).
This issue manages to deliver yet another solid chapter in the reboot, focusing on Slash (who was teased in April's micro issue) and the team's search for a new lair. Unfortunately, that means Krang and Shredder aren't seen, and their absence is certainly noticed because both of those plots are going down some very, very interesting roads. I imagine juggling those stories will be a difficult chore with Waltz and Eastman, but they've absolutely earned my optimism so far.
The action in this issue rocked. Seeing the Turtles (well, just Leonardo) bullet time was an awesome fanboy moment and watching their excellent teamwork to drop two goons almost made me cheer. Almost. The fight with Slash was also pretty cool and it made sense since their visibility was massively hindered. Ninja action aside, there was an unexpected and suprisingly hilarious scene with Splinter. IDW, you'd be fools not to sell Splinter's apron!
There were quite a few moments that made me exclaim, "Wait, what?!" The team knows the NYPD is on the hunt for a giant green monster, so it seems odd for them to be baffled when they finally bump into Slash. "What is that?!" I think it's more than safe to assume that's the creature you guys have heard about earlier in this issue.
Also, Slash's actions have forced the Turtles to seek shelter from the public, so why is no one calling out Raphael on wanting to go to Casey's hockey game? I know they're buds and all, but seeing as they have an emphasis on stealth at the moment, going out to a school sports game just seems incredibly foolish. Raph, I'm certain Casey would understand, bro.
Andy Kuhn's art won't be for everyone. It's very rough and the faces for the Turtles can be jarring at times. The teeth and gums can look odd and sometimes their faces appear flat. That said, his style does fit the tone well at times, giving the book more of a cartoonish vibe, and as a child of the '87 cartoon, that's something I can appreciate.
Kuhn's art might be off-putting to some, but please don't let that deter you from reading this book. There's some stellar (albeit brief) action in this issue and Slash's return takes center stage. There's certainly more to come with the character and it'll be especially interesting to see if they have to put him down... or if he'll become an ally. Furthermore, the plot with Shredder and Krang has only just begun and I'm very anxious to see how those two stories will unfold and potentially connect. This is a must read if you've ever considered yourself a Ninja Turtles fan.