The final chapter of Northampton is here and it all wraps up on a crazy fun and legitimately heartwarming note. If you read the last issue, then your anticipation is most definitely through the roof before going into this one. Thankfully, Tom Waltz and the other minds behind IDW's TMNT end this story on a very strong note. But honestly, did we expect anything less from them at this point?
It's an action-packed issue and the chaotic developments feel well-earned. Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to see brawls in this book, but this one has been building since the team fled the city. This arc has relied on character-driven moments and understandably so considering what occurred during City Fall. It's been a great insight into each main character, so to reserve a majority of the really big and exciting action for this ending was a great choice and makes for some hugely satisfying bits of ninja violence. Everything from watching the team bond as they face this latest challenge to how a character is defeated is basically guaranteed to make any fan cheer -- I know I sure did at least twice.
The new mutant, Koya, is a solid addition to the book. She's one of those characters who can't resist saying all of the terrible and gruesome things she'll do to her enemies as she dukes it out with them. It's something we've seen plenty of times before and we know they're idle threats (something tells me she'll never actually strangle Leo with his own entrails...), but it's amusing to have that kind of villain square off with the team and hopefully become a reoccurring obstacle. This appearance didn't really give her much depth (e.g. she's loyal to Shredder, hates the Ninja Turtles), but it definitely made her quite the powerhouse and left me wanting to see more of the character.
Artist Ross Campbell and colorist Ronda Pattison go all out in this issue. The pages are downright spectacular; the variety of character work and thorough coloring makes everyone and everything look great. Mikey's expressions are priceless and damn, they do a stunning job creating a pissed off Raphael! The duo's ability to fill these characters with life is topnotch and delivers on every single page. Even little details like leaves moving in the wind help make this such an engaging and excellent experience for the eyes. I especially love how they go heavy on the shading when the tone takes a darker shift -- it reels you right into scene. You know what'll happen, but man, they really sell that moment.
Well, it's "bad" that I can't read #33 right now. Does that count? But seriously, this was a tremendous way to wrap up the storyline and I have no major complaints whatsoever.
Northampton is the perfect follow-up to City Fall. While City Fall was explosive madness from start to finish, Northampton was able to give us a bit of much-needed rest and reflection. It gave the characters a proper amount of time to develop before ending on a note that'll warm your heart and make you cheer as the team finally reunites to kick the crap out of some new Foot villains. Nothampton is guaranteed to be both an emotional and thrilling experience for any TMNT fan. Campbell and Pattison's terrific artwork is just a very, very nice bonus.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: man, I love IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.