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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #21 Review

5

The Turtles are back on Earth but instead of a warm welcome, the team bumps into a dangerous character who will put their skills to the test.

The Good

Issue #21's the start of an all-new adventure (oh yes, it's time for 'City Fall') and it definitely feels like they wanted to kick things off with a very nice dose of total fan service. The combination of Kevin Eastman's classic visuals, the team's drive and sense of family, and the "give me more" conclusion without question makes this a must own for any fan of the Turtles.

Sure, this issue's pretty much just one lengthy fight, but the lack of plot progress (until the end, that is) doesn't matter that much when the filler fight's a blast. Not only is a good time, but it also delivers what we love about the Turtles: their sense of comradery (even if Raph's still a hothead). It's more than clear they're outclassed, but that won't deter them. They're not quitters and they'd rather die than put their father at risk. It's just one of the many reasons why I love them and it's always nice to see that motivation go into overdrive.

Then there's Kevin Eastman's signature style. The visuals here make it seem like you're reading a rather awesome issue from the original Mirage series, dishing out an amazing sense of nostalgia. No disrespect at all to the other artists on the title, but when it comes to the Turtles, Eastman is king. The characters look great as the battle takes a toll on their shells and skin, the action is super fun as it spills into several panels, and the environment is absolutely unique and simply feels like the definitive look for the franchise.

The Bad

It's not the biggest deal around, but it's safe to say you're going to guess the twist before its big reveal (anatomy, y'all). Additionally, the ending here may leave you in the dark if you haven't read TMNT: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN. And if you haven't read it, shame on you. It's phenomenal, so jump on that as soon as possible.

The Verdict

With one good story after another, let it never be said that IDW isn't taking full advantage of this franchise. Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman continue to do brilliant work with the iconic characters, paying tons of respect to the original material while incorporating big changes which make the series feel fresh. While this issue only does the bare basics to introduce 'City Fall,' it makes up for a lackluster plot with a crazy fun and lengthy fight sequence and Eastman's fantastic visuals. The twist won't drop your jaws, but you're sure to be hugely entertained as the Turtles struggle to defy the odds. This issue deserves to be in your collection, fellow TMNT fans.

16 Comments
Posted by kriminal

knew is should bought the foot clan mini series. ganna have to get the graphic novel

Posted by G_Money_Christmas

@kriminal said:

knew is should bought the foot clan mini series. ganna have to get the graphic novel

You most definitely should have. You're missing out.

I'm so glad this issue is good. And I also wish Eastman would stay on art duty. Out of all the artists so far, I like his best. I like the grittiness of it and i love how he does shadowing.

Posted by ThorBoy

Great issue! Bring back classics TMNT artists like Michael dooney and Jim Lawson

Posted by Owie

I am NOT surprised to see that you liked this! I haven't been getting this series despite all your recommendations, but finally picked it up when I noticed that Eastman was going to do it. Great to see his classic art style. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue or not, since it didn't give much of a peek into the plot, but the fight was a lot of fun. Before the reveal (which I figured was coming) I had daydreams of a battle between the anonymous ninja and Ikari here on the battle forums.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@owie said:

I am NOT surprised to see that you liked this! I haven't been getting this series despite all your recommendations, but finally picked it up when I noticed that Eastman was going to do it. Great to see his classic art style. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue or not, since it didn't give much of a peek into the plot, but the fight was a lot of fun. Before the reveal (which I figured was coming) I had daydreams of a battle between the anonymous ninja and Ikari here on the battle forums.

Cool man, hopefully you'll stick around because I have a feeling the next issue will flesh out the story.

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Posted by RoTheKid

Had to pick this up because of the review! Thanks, Gregg! :)

Edited by Dark_Guyver

Eastman on art and story!! So...much....nostalgia! This issue was great. Looking forward to what's in store for the next arc.

Posted by Ben3000

Fantastic issue once again. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to be one of my favorite books on the shelves. This clip basically sums up my thoughts after I finished reading this issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RYlKOecCSM

Posted by Raw_Material

Can't wait to pick up the issue [when I get the chance to]

Edited by G_Money_Christmas

I finally was able to read it last night and it was awesome. I loved it and how it was able to tie in with the SHOTF miniseries. The battle with the Clown was crazy awesome. Next issue is going to be awesome. If only it were a twice monthly series.

Edited by k4tzm4n

I finally was able to read it last night and it was awesome. I loved it and how it was able to tie in with the SHOTF miniseries. The battle with the Clown was crazy awesome. Next issue is going to be awesome. If only it were a twice monthly series.

Yeah, super pleased that SHOTF leads right into this. Very pumped for 'City Fall.'

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Edited by G_Money_Christmas

@k4tzm4n: I just hope that my LCS will somehow carry the Declan Shalvey variant cover but they don't order 10 copies: / I would be okay with the Eastman cover, though. I'm also super pleased that Santoluco is taking up art duty on the ongoing, at least for City Fall. I loved his style on SHOTF

Posted by ReverendHunt

This was actually my least favorite issue of the IDW run, not just because the identity of the attacker was super-predictable, but because I read this EXACT same story as an online comic that preceded the new cartoon.

Posted by k4tzm4n

This was actually my least favorite issue of the IDW run, not just because the identity of the attacker was super-predictable, but because I read this EXACT same story as an online comic that preceded the new cartoon.

Link? I know they're coming out with a comic for the animated series, but I was unaware there's free stories to read online.

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Posted by ReverendHunt

@k4tzm4n: http://www.nick.com/ninja-turtles-comics/

Posted by Lvenger

Whilst this was pretty much a filler story, it was a helluva fun filler issue. The TMNT's fight with the 'mysterious foes' was awesomely choreographed and the characterisation of each Turtle was nailed throughout the story. I especially loved Donnie and Leo's lines at the end. Not much did happen though and it took me a while to appreciate Eastman's pencils. Great review Gregg! But this story actually reminded me of a Nicktoon online comic now that I think about it.