In case you haven't heard by now, I really adore Nick's TMNT show. I was hugely skeptical when I saw the first round of trailers and clips -- it looked like it was geared solely towards kids -- but I immediately fell in love with the program when I gave it an honest shot. Because of this, I'm obviously stoked to see the fun animated world is spilling into a comic book, too. The Free Comic Book Day issue was awesomely written by Erik Burnham and it felt just like a short episode, especially since Dario Brizuela's art was able to duplicate the unique visuals of the show so well. But Burnham was only assigned to the FCBD chapter and issue #1 is written by Kenny Byerly. So, does it once again successfully capture all of the charm the show has to offer? Well, if you've glanced at the star rating (which is likely), then the answer is obvious: yes, it most certainly does!
Seeing as Byerly helped write numerous episodes of the TV series, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise this issue feels just like a shorter episode -- and that's totally a good thing. It's filled with levity, great chemistry, and a whole lot of joyous action pieces. Byerly absolutely nails it when it comes to conveying the unique voice of each character and the relationships they share. Michelangelo has a few funny blurbs, Donatello has a few awkward remarks around April (and as always, he gets hit in the face), Raphael is snarky, April's anxious to do more, and Leonardo's the boyscout and tries way too hard when it comes to delivering a funny line. It feels just like a short episode and, if you even remotely enjoy the show, that's something you're sure to appreciate. Also, the ending legitimately made me laugh out loud.
This issue primarily revolves around Donny and April and their effort to snag some technology from a military junk yard, but despite shining the spotlight on that duo, the narrative still manages to juggle all of the cast quite well along the way. They don't face a mutant or alien threat of any kind (they even remark on that), but that just helps make this short adventure feel even more unique because they have to put a stronger emphasis on stealth.
Dario Brizuela does a phenomenal job replicating the show's style and Heather Breckel's coloring gives it so much more depth and liveliness. It's super animated and they do a tremendous job making it feel every bit as cinematic as the program. Just to maintain consistency with the show, there's even some hysterical and over the top effects thrown into the mix whenever there's a strong reaction from a character.
Just like quite a few of the episodes, there's a bit of silliness to be found in the plot. But considering it's an all-ages adventure, it's no biggie and these minor gripes are vastly outweighed by how much fun the issue is.
Do you like the show? If the answer is yes, go buy this issue right now. Byerly does a tremendous job recreating the show's massively entertaining and lovable vibe while doing a superb job with the dialogue. Throw in the fact Brizuela/Breckel do a flawless job making the visuals feel just like the animated series and you've got a must read for anyone who loves the show. Seriously, if you dig the show at all, it's your duty as a fan to give this a chance.