Fair warning: you may suffer from an overdose of fan service after reading this issue. There's two big reveals in the fourth chapter of "City Fall" and both are sure to induce a very, very strong reaction. One is a huge twist you'll never see coming and the other has been brewing for quite some time, but despite it being more obvious, the reveal still made me excited like a kid on Halloween night. Seriously, talk about a beyond superb way to leave fans wanting more.
Big reveals aside, this issue focuses on how the heroes are reacting after finding out Leonardo has been turned and the potential gang war takes some massive strides forward. The focus on Raph is pretty by the books, but it's still an engaging read, especially when Donatello and Michelangelo enter the mix. I never really get tired of how the IDW team writes the brothers in situations like this one, and you'll probably be surprised by how the friction between the three is resolved. Over on the villain side of things, we get a deeper look at Shredder and Kitsune's plans for Leo and some of the specifics behind the magic currently influencing him. The second chapter revealed a lot about what's going on with the Turtles' former leader, but this new set of information was much appreciated and serves as a nice reminder of how they've expanded the mythos so much.
It's entirely possible Mateus Santolouco was born to illustrate this book. Once again, he presents some hugely impressive illustrations and, dare I say it, has provided a signature "modern" look for the franchise. If Kevin Eastman's style represents classic TMNT, then Santolouco's is absolutely the definitive modern look for the title. Month after month, he brings a consistent and recognizable look for each character and fills the environment with so much detail. That said, I do have two minor gripes this time around. Every now and then backgrounds are totally eliminated and it feels random. However, considering the amount of effort he puts into each panel, it would be understandable if he did this because he was pressed for time. Also, there are two times characters completely lost their irises. It's possible this is used to convey rage, but there are other examples of anger and the characters still had them. Again, I only noticed this twice, so no biggie whatsoever.
As always, colorist Ronda Pattison does a solid job with Santolouco's pages, giving each character a little more depth and making them immediately recognizable with their unique coloring. While Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow write these great moments, Santolouco and Pattinson always bring them to creation with a tremendous amount of talent.
I only have two very small issues with the art this time around and I listed them above. Aside from that, I have no complaints.
Everything is heating up this chapter and the next one has the potential for some massive and explosive payoffs. The team continues to make the heroes lovable and there's all kinds of exciting drama building up with the villains. Toss in two cheer-inducing reveals and even more praiseworthy art from Santolouco/Pattinson, and this is yet another excellent chapter of the book's first big event. At this rate, there's no denying "City Fall" could become one of the best TMNT stories. If I wore a hat, I'd tip it to the people over at IDW for creating this. But I don't have a hat, so hopefully this 5-star rating will express my appreciation just as well.